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METEO 241 - Fundamentals of Tropical 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 241: FUNDAMENTALS OF TROPICAL FORECASTING (3 credits) - Applying atmospheric principles to the tropics, with an emphasis on the development, structure, prediction and destructive impact of hurricanes.

METEO 241 is one in a series of four online courses in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting program. It is offered every Fall (August - September) semester and periodically in the Summer (May - August) semester.


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

  • describe the methods used for making in situ and remotely sensed observations of tropical phenomena.
  • describe the structure of tropical storms and explain the atmospheric conditions conducive for their development and movement.
  • apply techniques used to forecast the onset and evolution of tropical storms.
  • describe the global general circulation and apply related principles to tropical weather forecasting.
  • apply knowledge of tropical responses from monsoons and El Nino/La Nina to seasonal forecasting in the tropics and middle latitudes.
  • analyze the products on Penn State’s Tropical e-Wall(link is external) and apply those products to tropical forecasting.
  • incorporate analyses and forecasts routinely issued by the National Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Required Materials

Typically, there are no required materials for this course. If this changes, students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.




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 12 – 15 hours per week on class work.

Major Assignments

Three components of assessment will comprise your final grade in Meteo 241:

  • 10 Promotion Quizzes (20% of final grade)
  • 9 Lab Exercises (30% of final grade)
  • 3 Projects (50% of final grade)

Course Schedule

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

Course Schedule
Lesson Topic
1Meet the Tropics
2Remote and In-Situ Observations in the Tropics
3The Tropics from Bottom to Top
4General Circulation
6El Nino
7Tropical Cyclones: Cooking Up a Storm
8Tropical Cyclones and the Upper-Air Connection
9Wind Fields in and Around Tropical Cyclones
10Structure and Hazards of Tropical Cyclones