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METEO 3 - Introductory Meteorology

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 3: INTRODUCTORY METEOROLOGY (3 credits). Nontechnical treatment of fundamentals of modern meteorology and the effects of weather and climate. Prerequisites: None

This is a General Education course offered by the Department of Meteorology. The course is designed specifically for distance learners seeking general science credit. METEO 3 will introduce to you a wide variety of basic atmospheric concepts so that you can become a better "weather consumer" (better understand and evaluate weather information) and gain a better understanding of "how the weather works."


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

  • describe the typical vertical variation of the basic variables used to quantify the atmospheric state, including temperature, pressure, humidity, winds, and natural and anthropogenic particles
  • describe the basic techniques used by meteorologists (and other scientists) to gather and interpret atmospheric data
  • discuss climate and climate change, together with the possible influences that humans have on diverse climate phenomena
  • analyze the forces that drive three-dimensional atmospheric motions
  • identify basic cloud types and discuss their formation mechanisms, together with the precipitation types and other materials that precipitation cleanses from the air
  • describe a variety of large-scale atmospheric phenomena, including the extratropical cyclone, the jet stream, and the general circulation
  • describe a variety of mesoscale and small-scale atmospheric phenomena, including tropical storms, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes.

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 8 - 10 hours per week on class work.

Major Assignments

Four components of assessment will comprise your final grade in METEO 3:

  • "Taking Your Temperature" Surveys ...10%
  • Lab Exercises ... 30%
  • Lesson Quizzes ... 30%
  • A Final Exam ... 30%

Course Schedule

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

Course Schedule
1A Meteorologist's Toolbox
2The Global Ledger of Heat Energy
3Global and Local Controllers of Temperature
4The Role of Water in Weather
5Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere
6Surface Patterns of Pressure and Wind
7Mid-Latitude Weather Systems
8The Role of Stability in Thunderstorm Formation
9Severe Weather
10The Human Impact on Weather and Climate
11Patterns of Wind, Water, and Weather in the Tropics
13Becoming a Savvy Weather Consumer