Training Courses, Workshops, and Visitor Training

Provided below are examples of various training programs undertaken by HRC throughout its history.  Those listed are intended to show the range of the types of programs supported by HRC.  Other training programs are discussed throughout this site.

Central American Flash Flood Guidance (Initial Flash Flood Guidance Training Course)

Two trainees from Costa Rica and El Salvador visited HRC for Central America Flash Flood Guidance System (CAFFG) training for three months in October 2004. The trainees received hands-on training and helped operate the system under the guidance of HRC staff as though it were done in real time keeping operational logs of actions taken. This training also served as the first operational test of CAFFG under real time conditions. Trainees also trained in the protocol for using CAFFG results in operations.

With assistance from NOAA National Weather Service International Activities Office, HRC staff facilitated and conducted in El Salvador an international workshop on the Central America Flash Flood Guidance (CAFFG) system. The focus of the workshop was to provide training on the overall system, the rainfall data processing component, the soil moisture analysis component, the Flash Flood Guidance component, Flash Flood Guidance products, system and product use, and system implementation and installation procedures. The workshop was held in San Salvador 4 June 2004, and included participants from various agencies of the seven Central American countries

Companhia Paranaense do Energia COPEL

As part of a technology transfer agreement with COPEL (Companhia Paranaense de Energia) in Southern Brazil and in collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology, HRC implemented an integrated forecast-control system for the upper Rio Iguazu. COPEL staff visited HRC for four months of hands-on training in 1996. This system, which is the result of a feasibility study, was evaluated and adopted by COPEL engineers/managers for real time operations.

Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training COMET

Drs. Georgakakos and Guetter (then with HRC) delivered lectures on Quantitative Precipitation Forecasting (QPF), Hydromet Courses and Flash Flood Guidance at COMET/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in 1994 and 1995 . Dr. Georgakakos also delivered an extended lecture on Elements of Operational Hydrology at the COMET/UCAR Mesoscale Analysis and Prediction Class in May 1995.


A total of eight weeks of training was provided to Nile Forecast Center (NFC, Cairo) staff from January-March 2001. Two engineers received hands on instruction on parameter estimation for distributed models. Two engineers received training on merging satellite and rain gauge data. Training was completed for the Blue Nile Region using available historical data.

A four week training course was held at HRC to train selected staff from the Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources (MPWWR) of Egypt to better understand and utilize satellite images and hydrological and meteorological processes in order to more accurately forecast Nile River flows.

As part of a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) agreement, HRC implemented a newly developed satellite rainfall estimation system at the NFC. The system is used by NFC engineers to produce rainfall estimates for the Blue Nile basin. Dr. Georgakakos, Dr. Tsintikidis (then of HRC) and Mr. Sperfslage visited Cairo for installation and training of the HRC software.

Dr. Tsintikidis and Dr. Georgakakos were involved in training two NFC Engineers in satellite rainfall estimation methods and flood prediction. These Engineers were supported by a FAO traineeship.


Mr. Sperfslage and Dr. Georgakakos were instructors in short courses offered to Panama Canal Authority staff on rainfall estimation and forecasting and flash flood warning system design in 1999.

Two Scientists from the Panama Canal Authority were trained in rainfall estimation and prediction, and in the basics of HP UNIX Operating System by Dr. Georgakakos and Mr. Sperfslage at HRC in 1998.


As part of the 33rd anniversary of the formation of SENAMHI (Servicio Nacional de Meteorologia e Hidrologia) in Peru, Dr. Theresa Hansen was one of five invited speakers who participated in a one day seminar hosted and organized by SENAMHI entitled “El Nino, Fenomenos Meteorologicos y Climaticos Extremos y La Planificacion en la prevencion y mitigacion de desastres naturales en el Peru”  (“El Nino, Meteorologic Phenomena and Climate Extremes, and plans for prevention and mitigation of natural disasters in Peru”) on 22 March 2002. Dr. Hansen discussed the Flash Flood Guidance initiative for Central America. The audience included various representatives from SENAMHI, the Department of Civil Defense, and agricultural community.

A four month training course was held from January through April 2001 at HRC for Mr. Luis Terrazas Metzger from SENAMHI. The focus of his work was the validation of realtime ensemble hydrologic forecasts using probabilistic measures of reliability. Those validation methods were applied to the forecasts of the Ensemble Hydrologic Forecast model implemented by HRC at SENAMHI for the Rio Rimac Basin. Mr. Metzger authored HRC Technical Note No. 16: “Reliability Analysis of Discharge and Volume Forecasts for the Rio Rimac Basin in Peru.

Dr. Nicholas Graham and Dr. Theresa Hansen of HRC both visited SENAMHI in January 2001, for the purpose of completing training of SENAMHI staff on hydrometeorological forecasting.

During the period 20-27 November 2000, Dr. Georgakakos visited SENAMHI. He gave lectures for SENAMHI staff on real time hydrologic forecasting of floods and flash floods. He implemented HRC’s Hydrologic Forecast System and provided training for SENAMHI staff on hydrologic modeling coupled with state estimators for real time updating from discharge measurements.

Dr. Theresa Hansen visited SENAMHI in November of 2000, for the purpose of training SENAMHI staff on the Calibration of the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting Model for hydrologic modeling. The training was to cover the calibration process and surrounding issues which include: input data issues, understanding of model components and model parameters, and a recommended strategy for interactive calibration. The training was accomplished through lectures, video segments from a U.S. National Weather Service training video produced by HRC, and hands-on exercises with data from a specific SENAMHI basin.


On 14-18 November 2005, HRC presented a five day workshop on the flash flood guidance system for Romania. The workshop was conducted in San Diego for a delegation from the Romania National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, the Romania National Meteorological Administration, and Lockheed Martin. There were a total of seven attendees. Three days of the workshop were devoted to training on the theory and design of the FFG system, overall forecast operations concepts, an overview and training on system products, their interpretation, and their use in an operational environment. The other two days focused on an overview of the snow and soil moisture models within the NWS River Forecast System, including calibration. The training was productive and interactive, leading to variations in the planned design, alert features, graphical output features, archiving capability, product processing.

State Space Sacramento SS-SAC

Training Seminars sponsored by NOAA/NWS were conducted at River Forecast Centers in the U.S. on SS-SAC Technology developed at HRC.


In collaboration with the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, HRC organized and hosted the Fourth International Symposium on Hydrologic Applications of Weather Radar held in San Diego, California, in April 1998. More than 100 scientists and engineers attended from 13 countries. Dr. Georgakakos moderated the Meeting Sessions.


The first threshR Training Workshop was held at the River Forecast Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, September 1994. The software package threshR was developed by HRC with NOAA funding to assist in the determination of objective flash flood guidance values for all the small basins in an RFC region using GIS and hydrologic/hydraulic procedures and digital databases.

Training Videos

Sperfslage, J.A., and K.P. Georgakakos, “OH/WMO Calibration Training Video”, Progress Report OH–97.1, Hydrologic Research Center, San Diego, California, 10 pp., February 1997.

As part of a cooperative agreement with the Office of Hydrology, National Weather Service, HRC produced a training video series for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The focus of the video series is the Calibration of the Sacramento soil moisture accounting model. Dr. Dan Fread and Dr. Eric Anderson of the Office of Hydrology, NWS, and Dr. Konstantine Georgakakos of HRC were lecturers. Mr. Jason Sperfslage of HRC prepared the graphics for the video. The video was disseminated world wide.

“WMO/NOAA Sacramento Model Calibration, Part I”. HRC VHS Video Series. Hydrologic Research Center, San Diego, California, 2:15 hours, November 1997.

“WMO/NOAA Sacramento Model Calibration, Parts II & III”. HRC VHS Video Series. Hydrologic Research Center, San Diego, California, 5.0 hours, May 1999.

Companion Notebook to NOAA Video Series, “Calibration of the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting Model: Demonstration of an Interactive Calibration Approach”, May 1999.

Dr. Georgakakos participated in the development of a training video on Weather and Water by the Weather Channel targeting high school students.

Dr. Georgakakos and colleagues from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and San Diego Super Computing Center participated in the production of a UCSD TV video segment on the topic “Where Water Comes from and Where it Goes.” The video segment of a 15-minute duration was broadcast on several days in November and December 2001.