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METEO 101 - Understanding Weather Forecasting

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


METEO 101: Understanding Weather Forecasting. (3 credits). Fundamental principles of synoptic and physical meteorology, satellite and radar imagery, and data analysis in the setting of mid-latitude weather forecasting.

METEO 101 is the first course in a series of four online courses in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting(link is external) program. This course also serves an entry point for prospective Meteo majors, and as a General Education Science/Lab course.


METEO 101 will establish a solid foundation of atmospheric concepts primarily related to the observation, analysis, and forecasting of mid-latitude weather systems.

When you successfully complete this course, you will be prepared to:

  • Analyze and interpret conventional maps of surface and upper-air data, as well as soundings on a thermodynamic diagram.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the basics by which atmospheric observations are taken, both in situ and remotely.
  • Describe the processes by which synoptic-scale weather systems form, grow, and dissipate.
  • Explain the fundamental forces that drive atmospheric motions, both in the horizontal and vertical.
  • Apply the basics underlying weather forecasting and numerical weather prediction to create simple, point-forecasts for basic weather variables.

Required Materials

The materials listed here represent those that may be included in this course. Students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.

I emphasize here that all the material contained in the lessons, taken as a whole, will serve as the primary textbook for this course. However, if you desire an optional secondary reference to supplement the online text, I suggest A World of Weather: Fundamentals of Meteorology, Sixth Edition, by Lee M. Grenci and Jon M. Nese. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa. ISBN: 1465298398. (You can order it from if you wish).




We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. How much and how well you learn is dependent on your attitude, diligence, and willingness to ask for clarifications or help when you need them. We are here to help you succeed. Please keep up with the class schedule and take advantage of opportunities to communicate with us and with your fellow students. You can expect to spend an average of 8 - 10 hours per week on class work.

Major Assignments

Three components will comprise your final grade in METEO 101:

  • Promotion Quizzes - 20%
  • Weekly "Weather Station" assignments - 30%
  • Assigned Projects - 50%

Course Schedule

All assignment deadlines will be available in Canvas at the start of the semester.

Course Schedule
1An Introduction to Atmospheric Variables
2Data, Data Everywhere
3Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere
4Controllers of Air Temperature
5Controllers of the Wind
6Vertical Variations in Temperature and Their Consequences to Weather
7Patterns of Pressure and Wind Aloft
8Upper-level Winds and Their Roles in Surface Highs and Lows
9The Cyclone Model
10Numerical Weather Prediction
11Forecasting High and Low Temperatures
12Forecasting Precipitation