Who We Are

The COMET® Program was established in 1989 by UCAR and NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) to promote a better understanding of mesoscale meteorology among weather forecasters and to maximize the benefits of new weather technologies that emerged during the NWS’s modernization program. Today COMET continues to use innovative methods to develop training in the environmental sciences, and our mission has expanded to include capacity development related to the collection, creation and dissemination of weather information in developing countries and small island states.

COMET has a highly trained team of instructional designers, scientists, graphic artists, multimedia developers, and information technology and administrative professionals. A COMET strength is the flexibility of its staff, which allows effective use of program funds and efficient production.

Our Mission

COMET serves the international geoscience community through the translation of emerging geoscience knowledge and competencies into education and training for society.  The COMET Program creates environmental science education and training in support of a diverse community of users by offering the following products and services:

  • Media­rich, interactive, multi­lingual distance learning
  • Internet-­based synchronous and asynchronous courses
  • The MetEd website with a user tracking and assessment system
  • Residence courses, workshops and meetings
  • Small grants program (Outreach)
  • Leadership and consultation in science education and training

COMET Strategic Plan 2014-2019 (.pdf)

Parent Organization and Sponsors

The COMET Program is part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's (UCAR's) Community Programs (UCP) and is sponsored by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), with additional funding by:

Community and Collaboration

A foundational principle of COMET is that all of the program’s activities are strengthened by collaboration with others. The COMET Program’s primary community includes environmental forecasters and scientists in all settings, including universities, government agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector, both in the U.S. and internationally.

The COMET Program receives significant benefits and support from its community. In particular, the unique relationship with the university community has been especially important to COMET’s mission. COMET works closely with faculty and members of the operational community to develop distance learning lessons and teach symposia and workshops. Through these interactions, academic partners often become aware of operational research needs that can lead to joint activities such as the ones promoted through the COMET Outreach Program. This collaborative involvement promotes the transfer of science into real-world applications and strengthens the use of new data and tools provided by NOAA and other federal agencies. At the same time, operational forecasters who work with academic partners gain a deeper understanding of the science behind their work.

We're proud of our accomplishments of the past 30+ years and look forward to continuing to serve our diverse user community for years to come.

COMET Group Photo