Warm fronts, cold fronts, air masses and isobars. What do these all mean? If you have ever wanted to interpret the weather, or even forecast the weather yourself, then this course will be for you. Whether you are organising an outdoor event or intending to take a walk in the countryside, you will be more able to plan ahead and be better prepared.
Week1 - What are the elements of the weather? Temperature, precipitation, wind speed, wind direction, humidity and air pressure and how we measure them.
Week 2 - Down in the Dumps. The Low pressure system or depressions. How and where do they do they form and what weather do they bring in the winter and the summer to the UK?
Week 3 - High and Dry. The Anticyclone or area of High pressure. How is this different from Low pressure and what weather does it bring in the winter and then in the summer in the UK?
Week 4 - The Weather Chart or Synoptic Chart. Interpreting weather maps, isobars, fronts, weather symbols. Some weather charts available to interpret and weather symbol decoding for group exercise.
Week 5 - Why is the weather so changeable? An introduction to air masses. What are air masses? Where do they form and what weather to they bring to the UK? Five main types, introduction jet streams and link to variability in weather.
Week 6 - Up in the Clouds. How do clouds form? What are the main types of clouds and how are they classified? What weather might certain types of cloud bring?
Week 7 - Weather in our Urban Environment. What effect has increasing urbanisation had on our weather? A study of urban heat islands, wind flow patterns and precipitation in and around our urban centres in the UK.
Week 8 - Weather for business. Who uses weather data? Construction companies, retailers, Local Government, Highways Agency, tourist industry. The Long Range forecast and accuracy.
Week 9 - Extreme weather events associated with intense high pressure or blocking anticyclones. Relate to jet stream and to detailed case studies such as the 1962/63 winter and the summer of 1976.
Week 10 - Extreme weather associated with Low pressure systems such as the 1953 North Sea storm, the Great Storm October 1987, and other major storm events in recent years.