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CLIPS Training

Training and capacity building has always been a key part of the Climate Information and Prediction Services (CLIPS) Project activities, and the development of Focal Points has enabled this training to be focused in an effective manner. 

The concept of a CLIPS Curriculum has further aided the initiative, enabling training to be done on a sustainable basis. Training workshops have been held on sub-regional scales in close collaboration with the concerned National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and regional / international institutions having CLIPS expertise.  The training workshops followed a common format, with some of them in the form of preparatory workshops ahead of Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs).

The CLIPS training workshops are generally composed of three essential parts relevant to the concerned sub-region:

    1. Climatological and predictability issues
    2. Communication and delivery of climate services
    3. Climate applications issues

The workshops also considered the types of misinterpretations that forecasts are subject to, presentation matters (including relationships with the media), decision processes, and project management. As far as possible lectures are made interactive and numerous practical activities are organised to support the training. Efforts are made to ensure all the countries in a sub-region have access to CLIPS training opportunities.

Follow-up activities are encouraged, as a one-off CLIPS training workshop is sufficient only as an introduction. With the help of other institutions involved in capacity building in the area of climate, a number of CLIPS Focal Points have received follow-up training in regional climate prediction and applications.

The CLIPS Curriculum is being developed not only to improve capacity of CLIPS Focal Points, but also to provide a resource for training of other meteorologists and end users, as well as for training in WMO's Regional Training Centres (RTCs). 

The intention is to develop the CLIPS Curriculum in a series of stages as the need for each stage is established, with a Primary Curriculum drafted and a number of its modules already created. Projected Groups in the Primary level include Basics, Introductory Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics, Modeling, Predictability and Prediction, Applications, Presentation, and Management.

Modules in the Basic Group are intended to provide the background to the science as well as information on relevant Programmes and Projects, including CLIPS. The Introductory Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics Group is self explanatory, whereas the Modeling Group covers both empirical and dynamical modelling. Empirical modelling is critical for many countries, with a CLIPS survey revealing that at least one-third of the WMO Membership has seasonal forecast capabilities, most of this being based on empirical techniques. Predictability and Prediction covers some of the more technical issues such as ensembles, probability approaches, verification and downscaling. 

A range of introductory modules are also being developed for the climate Applications Group, while the Presentation Group includes contact issues with users, including the media. Finally, the Management Group is intended to give basic training on project management.

Through a combination of CLIPS training initiatives concerted efforts are being made to facilitate the delivery of climate services on national and regional levels. It is envisaged that the NMHSs will play a key national role in the delivery of services within these mechanisms. RCOFs and the Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) being developed have contributed, and will continue to contribute, to the essential training of climatologists, intermediaries and end users. 

The Focal Points, with training both within CLIPS Workshops and in collaboration with other similar initiatives are expected to play important roles in the operational mechanisms that are used to deliver climate services. 

In many respects climate services, particularly those related to predictions, are more complex to provide and to use than short-range weather forecast services.  The probabilistic aspects and the formats currently used are less amenable to decision making than information from weather predictions. 

Training is perhaps the single most important need to ensure maximum benefit from climate services, and current activities are building a foundation for those services.






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