The first DTC METplus Users Workshop was held virtually June 27th through June 29th, 2022 covering a multitude of topics and application areas. METplus became an operational software tool for NOAA NCEP Central Operations in 2021 and provides a framework for all components needed to provide ease-of-use and diagnostic capability to the Model Evaluation Tools (MET) package first released by the DTC in 2008, which originally began through and continues to benefit from the generous support of the Air Force. The last MET Workshop was hosted in 2010 and was focused on the core tools housed within MET. Much has changed since then and the committee developed the workshop agenda with goals of building the METplus community and inspiring external contributions to the development of the verification system, with special attention paid to planning future verification and diagnostic frameworks. The workshop garnered tremendous interest with 250 registered participants. Users were actively involved during the workshop, with presentations on ways they have used METplus in forecast verification and diagnostic activities. Thirty METplus community members from across the globe represented various NOAA centers (EMC, CPC), the UK Met Office, India’s National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, as well NCAR’s AAP and JNT, ICDP (UCAR’s International Capacity Development Program), and NOAA GSL. METplus community members from these groups gave 15- to 20-minute presentations about various METplus tools and product capabilities.
Users of all experience levels were engaged, with the METplus development team providing top-level overviews of the verification system on the opening day and condensing the newest capabilities of METplus in easy-to-understand presentations. Parallel sessions were conducted throughout the workshop to maximize the community presentation time, enabling attendees to select the sessions they were most interested in. For those interested in seeing all of the sessions, recordings of the workshop are available on the Workshop website and the presentation slides are available from the Workshop Google Drive folder.
The workshop also went beyond presentations by engaging all participants directly through the use of online surveys during session breaks to collect and address accessibility issues and outline opportunities for success in future releases of the verification suite. The second and third days of the workshop provided attendees with the unique opportunity to receive one-on-one assistance via a virtual METplus help desk hosted by a METplus team member.
The final day of the workshop culminated in a sneak-peek at upcoming and in-development tasks that will be coming in the next METplus Coordinated Release (version 5.0.0), as well as two rounds of small breakout groups focused on five topics in which attendees provided feedback on current activities and future development. The METplus development team was grateful for the opportunity to engage with such a large part of the verification community and will continue to find ways to build engagement with the community and strengthen the METplus suite to advance its mission.