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Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

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WMO VLab Regional Focus Group of the Americas and Caribbean

We are a group that meets virtually via the Internet once a month to view satellite and other imagery, and share information on global, regional, and local weather patterns, hurricanes, severe weather, flooding, and other interesting phenomena.

We are researchers, forecasters, trainers, students, and managers – mostly from Central and South America and the Caribbean, with a few from the United States and an occasional few that join in from other parts of the world. We are able to “build capacity” by communicating with others in our disciplines and across disciplines from many different countries to discuss the impacts of forecasts or impacts of broad reaching phenomena such as El Niño.

To receive notifications for the monthly or special sessions: If you have a gmail account and want to use it, find the google group ‘wmo_ra-iii-iv_vlab’ and request to join. If you want to use a non-gmail account , send an email to <wmo.ra.iii.iv.vlab@gmail.com>.  In the subject line please use “Add me to WMO RA-III/IV VLab”.  In the body of the email include your name, the country you are from, your organization, and a brief description (1-2 sentences) of your interests.

 

This activity supports the WMO Virtual Laboratory for Education and Training in Satellite Meteorology.

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The idea for the satellite weather briefings, was born at the (WMO) Satellite Training Workshop held in Barbados in December 2003. At that time, a WMO Virtual Laboratory Focus Group was formed with support from NOAA, CIRA, CIMSS, the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT), and the CoE in Costa Rica and Barbados. During the first year, the focus group was composed of participants and workshop instructors; the sessions were conducted in English and occurred on a monthly basis.

After the WMO Workshop held in Costa Rica in March 2005 the focus group expanded tremendously and evolved to include monthly bi-lingual and Spanish only sessions. It is pertinent to note that besides the overwhelming interest from participants in the focus group generated at the March 2005 workshop, the group leadership expanded to include the NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) International Desk at the Weather Prediction Center (WPC). They brought with them an extensive history of positive interaction with countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean and hence a strong following of participants. New RMTCoE in Brazil and Argentina were recognized by WMO in 2006. They have become strong supporters of the focus group as well.

Mike Davison from NOAA/NCEP/WPC International Desk is the primary lead for the sessions. He likes to use the SLIDER tool for the weather briefings to view and draw on the imagery. 

GoToWebinar provides both voice and viewing. Participants register to join a session. The sessions are recorded and made available. 

We have had participants join in from many countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Netherland Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

For voice and viewing during the sessions, we use GoToWebinar. You can register at any time, even after the session has started. If you register before the session, you will receive a confirmation email and can then use that link to connect directly to the session. If you register after the session has started, you will be joined to the session immediately. Read the GoToWebinar User Guide for tips on registering and connecting for the session. GoToWebinar User Guide

Please provide your name, email, country, and affiliation/organization. If you are participating as part of a larger group, please let us know through email or through chat during the session.

The first time you use GoToWebinar, a file (g2m_download.exe) will download automatically. The first time I used GoToWebinar on my laptop, it did not download automatically and I received the message: Please try to download again. I hit the button to download and then had to click on the file to run it manually. Every time a meeting is held, when you initially connect, GoToWebinar will (again) download information to begin the session.

If you connect and the organizer has not started the session, you will see the following message:

 

When you connect, you should see a screen like the following. All participants enter with their microphones muted. The yellow box highlights this. The pink box highlights the buttons to check your audio. If you want to ask a question during the session, raise your hand by clicking the hand with the up arrow. One of the organizers will unmute you and allow you to talk. The area highlighted by green contains the welcome information.

Recorded Sessions


Below you’ll find a list of recorded WMO Regional Focus Group monthly sessions and special topics, listed in reverse chronological order.

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Date Description
2021-04-28 Overview: Synoptic patterns and climate analysis and forecasts for the Americas and the Caribbean.  GOES satellite data, RGBs and polar orbiting products for the eruption of Volcano La Soufriere on Caribbean Island of St. Vincent. Presentation PDF
2021-03-24 Overview: Broad synoptic overview of the Americas and the Caribbean followed by a Climate indicators update (SST,ENSO,MJO, precipitation, winds, LPW), as well as heavy rains in Brazil, examples of blowing dust in Mexico and the southern US, detection of ash from Volcano Pacaya in Guatemala, and more!  Presentation PDF
2021-02-24 Overview: Broad synoptic overview of the Americas and the Caribbean followed by a Climate indicators update (SST,ENSO,MJO, precipitation, winds, LPW), as well as examples of Saharan dust moving in to the Caribbean and an inversion over Venezuela using different images from the Slider, and more!  Presentation PDF
2021-01-27 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, winds, LPW) discussion on trough or SACZ, potential for severe weather in Chile, heavy precipitation in Ecuador, Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB, and more! Presentation PDF
Date Description
2021-03-10 [Español] Las corrientes en chorro (jets) y su impacto en los procesos dinámicos son un elemento crítico que el analista y pronosticador meteorológico tienen que siempre considerar durante la evaluación de la atmosfera.  En esta sesión especial exploraremos modelos conceptuales y las características de los jets en niveles superiores del hemisferio sur; concentrándonos en los dos ramales del jet polar, el subtropical, el jet de la noche polar y el subecuatorial. PDF de presentación
2021-02-11 [Español] Interpretación de Aspectos e Indices Climáticos discutidos durante las sesiones mensuales del Enfoque Regional de las RA III/IV de la OMM PDF de presentación
2021-02-10 [English] Interpretation of the Climate Aspects and Indices Discussed during the WMO RA-III/IV Regional Focus Monthly Sessions Presentation PDF
2021-02-04 [Español] Frentes y Líneas de Cortante / Cizalla en el Caribe (Parte 2) PDF de presentación
2021-02-03 [Español] Frentes y Líneas de Cortante / Cizalla en el Caribe (Parte 1) PDF de presentación
Date Description
2020-12-16 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, winds) cyclone off the coast of Chile, severe weather in Paraguay, fronts in the Gulf of Mexico, total solar eclipse, GOES-17 imagery, and more! Presentation PDF
2020-11-25 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, winds, TPW) severe weather in Argentina, front north of Hispaniola, discussion on the active Atlantic hurricane season, new maps in SLIDER, GOES-16 imagery, and more! Presentation PDF
2020-10-27 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, winds) Tropical Storm Zeta, fires and snow in the United States, heavy rain in Brazil, GOES-16 imagery, and more! Presentation PDF
2020-09-16 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, winds), fires and smoke in the western United States, Atlantic tropical cyclone activity, snow in southern Brazil, GOES-16 imagery, and more! Presentation PDF
2020-08-19 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, winds), fires in Colorado, tropical systems, cold surge in South America, fog event in Argentina, near record temperature in Death Valley, and more! Presentation PDF
2020-07-29 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, winds), ITCZ, impact of dust on tropical cyclone development, heavy snow in Patagonia, GLM lightning, and more! Presentation PDF
2020-06-17 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, winds), ITCZ and tropical waves, heavy rainfall associated with the Central American Gyre and Tropical Storm Amanda/Cristobal, snow in Patagonia, and more! Presentation PDF
2020-05-20 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, LPW), smoke in southern Mexico, 2020 Atlantic hurricane season prediction, monitoring the Saharan Air Layer with GOES-16 satellite imagery, RGBs, and more! Presentation PDF Dust Presentation PDF
2020-04-22 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, LPW), extratropical cyclone off the coast of Chile, fires and smoke in Central America, GOES-16 imagery, and many questions! Presentation PDF
2020-03-11 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, TPW), drought in southern Brazil, Saharan dust outbreak reaches Barbados, South Atlantic Convergence Zone, RGBs, and more!
2020-02-12 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, wind, precipitation), snow in Mexico, heavy rainfall in southeast Brazil, dryline in Patagonia, the Bolivian high, WPC International Desk forecast tools, RGBs, and more!
2020-01-22 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, LPW), frontal system moving through the Caribbean, smoke plume from the Australia fires, eruption of the Popocatepetl Volcano and Taal Volcano, RGBs, and more!
Date Description
2020-12-11 [English] Fronts and Shear Lines (Part 2) Presentation PDF
2020-12-10 [English] Fronts and Shear Lines (Part 1) Presentation PDF
2020-09-10 [Español] Análisis y Pronostico de Fronteras Meso-Sinópticas en Sudamérica (Parte 2) PDF de presentación
2020-08-27 [English] The Forecast Funnel: Streamlining the Thought Process and Objective Weather Forecasting Techniques Presentation PDF Tropical Wave PDF
2020-08-13 [Español] Análisis y Pronostico de Fronteras Meso-Sinópticas en Sudamérica (Parte 2) PDF de presentación
2020-08-13 [Español] Análisis y Pronostico de Fronteras Meso-Sinópticas en Sudamérica (Parte 1) PDF de presentación
2020-07-09 [Español] ¿Ondas Tropicales o Vaguadas inducidas por una TUTT? (Parte 2) PDF de presentación
2020-07-08 [Español] ¿Ondas Tropicales o Vaguadas inducidas por una TUTT? (Parte 1) PDF de presentación
2020-06-25 [English] Atlantic/Caribbean Basin Tropical Waves and TUTT Induced Inverted Troughs (Part 2: Practical Exercises) Presentation PDF
2020-06-24 [English] Atlantic/Caribbean Basin Tropical Waves and TUTT Induced Inverted Troughs (Part 1: Concepts) Presentation PDF
2020-05-06 [Español] Nuevo grupo de herramientas de pronóstico desarrolladas por los Escritorios Internacionales de la NOAA: Indice Gálvez-Davison Mejorado (EGDI), Diagnóstico de la inversión de los Alisios (TWIN), Potencial Severo y específicamente de Granizo (GR02T), Identificación de la posición de frentes en superficie (FRONT), Potencial de acumulaciones de precipitación en los Andes Centrales (CAPI). PDF de presentación
2020-04-29 [English] New set of forecasting tools developed by the WPC International Desks: Enhanced Galvez-Davison Index (EGDI), Trade Wind Inversion Diagnostic Tool (TWIN), Potential for Severe Weather and Specifically Hail (GR02T), Surface Front Identification Tool (FRONT). Presentation PDF
Title Date Description
WMO Focus Group – December 2019 2019-12-10 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, TPW), strong winds in the Drake Passage, ITCZ over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB, and more. It was noted during the session that the Chilean C-130 Hercules plane went missing within the Drake Passage on the previous day. Our thoughts are with the families.
WMO Focus Group – November 2019 2019-11-19 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation, TPW), meteorological bomb, operational applications of GDI, fires in Australia, Air Mass RGB, Day/Night Band, and more!
WMO Focus Group – October 2019 2019-10-24 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, wind, precipitation), convection and lightning in the Caribbean, potential for hail, low-level circulation off the coast of Chile, GOES-16 RGBs, and more!
WMO Focus Group – September 2019 (Part 2) 2019-09-18 Part 2: Presentation by Cap. Mauricio Laurizi with a current synoptic description of the Argentine Antarctic region, fires in the Amazon, GOES-16 imagery, and more!
WMO Focus Group – September 2019 (Part 1) 2019-09-18 Part 1: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, wind, precipitation), tropical cyclone activity, new tool for hail forecasting, devastation in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian.
WMO Focus Group – July 2019 2019-07-18 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, precipitation), rare snow event in Peru, cold front in Brazil, RGBs highlighting snow in the Andes Mountains, Himawari-8 and GOES-17 perspectives of an SO2 plume, and more!
WMO Focus Group – June 2019 2019-06-27 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, ENSO, MJO, wind, precipitation, TPW), briefing on the Caribbean including tropical waves, convection, strong winds, and dust; eruption of the Raikoke Volcano as seen by Himawari-8 and GOES-17, RGBs, and more!
WMO Focus Group – May 2019 2019-05-07 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, precipitation, TPW, ENSO, MJO), dry spell in Colombia and Venezuela, rainfall event in Chile, strong winds in Brazil, GLM lightning, RGBs, and more!
WMO Focus Group – April 2019 2019-04-23 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, precipitation, ENSO, MJO), heavy rainfall in Brazil, hail and funnel clouds in the Bahamas, LPW over South America, new WPC International Desks online product, GOES-16 imagery, and more!
WMO Focus Group – March 2019 2019-03-27 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, TPW, rainfall, ENSO, MJO), ITCZ, strong winds across Panama and SST cooling, eruption of the Bezymianny Volcano seen in the Ash RGB and SO2 RGB, fire hotspots, and more!
WMO Focus Group – Special Session 2019-03-01 Special session with Dr. Louis W. Uccellini, Director of the U.S. National Weather Service and U.S. Permanent Representative with the WMO: celebrating 30 years of service for the International Training Desk program.
WMO Focus Group – February 2019 2019-02-13 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST, TPW, ENSO, MJO); Altiplano/Atacama Desert rain, comparison of GOES-16 and GOES-17 imagery, dust and smoke off the coast of Africa, fire hotspots, and more!
WMO Focus Group – January 2019 2019-01-16 Due to the partial shutdown of the U.S. Government, the format of this session is different. We discuss ways to access digital data, including an overview of GEONETCast-Americas by Diego Souza (INPE, Brazil) (http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/training/rmtc/docs/GNCA_Intro_DiegoSouza_v20190116b.pdf) and a presentation on Internet Data Distribution by Marcial Garbanzo (University of Costa Rica)(http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/training/rmtc/docs/IDD_LDM_MarcialGarbanzo_20190116.pdf)
Title Date Description
WMO Focus Group – December 2018 2018-12-12 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO, SST, TPW, winds); cold fronts, developing El Nino, heavy rains in Ecuador, eruption of the Fuego Volcano, GOES-16 imagery, and more!
WMO Focus Group – November 2018 2018-11-15 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO, SST, precipitation, winds and anomalies); cold fronts in Argentina, mountain waves, RELAMPAGO field campaign, GOES-16 imagery, and more!
WMO Focus Group – October 2018 2018-10-24 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); low-level jet in Argentina, heavy rain event in Trinidad and Tobago, GOES-16 imagery, and more!
WMO Focus Group – September 2018 2018-09-26 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); Tropical Storm Kirk and Hurricane Florence, discussion of a downslope wind event, fires in Argentina, GOES-16 imagery, and more!
WMO Focus Group – August 2018 2018-08-30 Sorry there is no audio for this session due to operator error. Topics covered include an update on climate indicators, tropical waves, GOES-16 imagery, and SSMI wind speed. To see the associated imagery, browse through the video.
WMO Focus Group – July 2018 2018-07-25 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation); severe/snow event in South America, What is the feature in the Dust RGB?, eruption of the Sierra Negra Volcano, GOES-16 imagery, and more!
WMO Focus Group – June 2018 2018-06-26 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); Saharan Air Layer, severe weather across South America, eruption of the Fuego Volcano, GOES-16 imagery, and more!
WMO Focus Group – May 2018 2018-05-23 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); lightning data from GOES-16 GLM; the start of hurricane season; analyzing a volcanic eruption in Vanuatu with GOES-16 imagery and RGBs, and more!
WMO Focus Group – April 2018 2018-04-25 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); GOES-16 imagery, RGBs (Airmass, Dust, Day Cloud Phase Distinction), Day-Night Band on SNPP, and more!
WMO Focus Group – March 2018 2018-03-28 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); waning La Niña pattern, dual ITCZ; upper level WV patterns; dust and/or something else hazy off the West coast of Africa, and more!
WMO Focus Group – February 2018 2018-02-21 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); upper level WV patterns, changing SST pattern in the Eastern Pacific (neutral ENSO developing?); analyzing the potential for lightning with GOES-16 imagery and model output; a quick look at the Sinbung Volcano eruption in Indonesia with Himawari-8 and JPSS, and more!
WMO Focus Group – January 2018 2018-01-24 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); upper level WV patterns, anomalous SST off the coast of Ecuador, Storms in Argentina, GOES-16 imagery and Day-Night Band on SNPP, and more!
Title Date Description
WMO Focus Group – December 2017 2017-12-07 Overview: Heavy rain predicted for the Western Caribbean and snow for Northern Mexico; an update on climate indicators for an El Niño pattern (TPW, SST, MJO and anomalies, precipitation); upper level WV patterns, review of Dust RGB in Argentina, what are these straight lines, GOES-16 on the move, and more!
WMO Focus Group – November 2017 2017-11-16 Overview: Climate indicators for an El Niño pattern (TPW, SST, MJO and anomalies, precipitation); upper level WV patterns, GOES-16 imagery, Dust RGB, rain streaks in IR in Argentina, and more!
WMO Focus Group – October 2017 2017-10-25 Overview: Climate indicators update (MJO and anomalies, SST, precipitation, TPW); upper level WV patterns, negatively tilted trough, GOES-16 imagery, cloud height product, Airmass RGB, and more!
WMO Focus Group – September 2017 2017-09-20 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST and anomalies, MJO); Hurricane Maria rapid intensification yesterday, landfall on Puerto Rico and forecasted path; eastern Caribbean update from Simon, GOES-16 imagery and more!
WMO Focus Group – August 2017 2017-08-17 Overview: Climate indicators update (SST and anomalies, MJO), other useful indices (TPW and GDI), GOES-16 imagery and the more of the new SLIDER viewer (Caribbean briefing; Is this dust, smoke, or sunglint?; volcanic ash) and more!
WMO Focus Group – July 2017 2017-07-12 Overview: GOES-16 imagery and the more of the new SLIDER viewer, SST, MJO, TPW, GDI, and many questions!
WMO Focus Group – June 2017 2017-06-22 Overview: GOES-16 imagery and the new SLIDER viewer, SST, MJO, TPW, GDI, and many questions!
WMO Focus Group – May 2017 2017-05-25 Overview: SST and anomalies, MJO velocity potential anomalies, large scale water vapor patterns, regional and local views with visible and infrared imagery. Highlights: Airmass RGB example with Himawari imagery AND Visible and near infrared GOES-16 imagery
WMO Focus Group – April 2017 2017-04-20 Highlights: First Part – SST and anomalies, MJO velocity potential anomalies, large scale water vapor patterns, Second Part – Visible and near infrared GOES-16 imagery viewing of surface and cloud features through the RAMMB slider, and a peak at the night Day/Night band on VIIRS with moonglint off the Coast of Chile.
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