Weather 101

A general page that will be populated by some weather information, weather basics, how a forecast is made, some weather sites I personally follow, and some places to check out if you would like to learn more about meteorology and forecasting.

National Weather Service Weather general information

Colder temperatures, areas of heavy rain, and heavy higher elevation snowfall will be expected through Monday across northern areas of the Intermountain West

2 am EDT May 29: A broad low pressure area could form around the middle of the week over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico or northwestern Caribbean Sea. This system currently has a low chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 5 days. More:

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for western/central Nebraska until 1 am CDT. Widely scattered strong to severe storms are expected to develop across the region early this evening, posing a threat for damaging winds to 75 mph and isolated hail to 2 inches in diameter.

Here's a look at #forecast high #temperatures and departure from climatology on #Sunday. The Western U.S. will remain cool and below normal but from the Plains into the East expect warm temperatures with above normal highs. In fact, a couple of record highs are possible in Texas.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for southwest Oklahoma, northwest Texas and the southeastern Texas Panhandle. High-based thunderstorm development is expected this afternoon along a dryline, with damaging winds to 75 mph and isolated hail to 1.5 inches possible.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for western South Dakota, northeast Wyoming, and southeast Montana until 9 pm MDT. Severe wind gusts of 60-75 mph appear to be the main threat, and isolated large hail near 1.5 inches may also occur with the strongest storms.

Memorial Day weekend will kick off quite the temperature swing across the U.S! A strong cold front will spread mild 🌡️ in the 50's-60's eastward, nearly a 40 degree change for parts of the Plains under 100 degree highs today.

5/28/22 - Isolated to scattered severe storms may occur from W TX into W OK this afternoon and evening. Main threats are damaging winds and large hail Across E and S FL, isolated heavy rainfall and localized flooding may occur.

An active period of severe weather is expected today through early next week across northern/central parts of the U.S. Large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes will be possible during this stretch. Remember to stay weather aware this weekend.

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Learn more about Meteorology!

Check out Penn State’s Undergraduate Certificate in Weather Forecasting. From their website:

Learn How to Forecast the Weather with an Online Weather Forecasting Certificate

Use the program's innovative forecasting techniques and conceptual approaches to learn about meteorology, enrich your hobby, supplement your professional career, or build a preparatory foundation for future study or work. As a student in this program, you will have an opportunity to become a better-informed, critical consumer of weather-related news. Whether you are an amateur weather enthusiast or a weather-related industry professional, enrolling in this 12-credit certificate program can help you refine your skills to more effectively predict the weather.

More Penn State on-line resources to learn about the weather, including links to free content!

The following two courses are offered to the public under a Creative Commons license. These are the exact same courses being taught today at Penn State:

  • Here’s a link to Penn State’s “Introduction to Meteorology” (METEO 003) General Education course. This is the same course hundreds of Penn State undergraduates take who are not pursuing meteorology degrees. The course is non-technical but based on sound science and physical concepts.
  • This link takes you to Penn State’s “Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science” (METEO 300). This is a course is required for our sophomore meteorology majors. It assumes successful completion of first year college calculus and physics, so the material may not be for everyone! But if you are mathematically inclined, METEO 300 gives you all the basics you need to understand how our atmosphere really works.

Do you have a son or daughter, niece, nephew, grandson or granddaughter who has a real interest in weather? They might enjoy attending one of Penn State’s Weather Camps.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), through the COMET program, offers hundreds of lessons and courses at no charge covering many aspects of meteorology. While some lessons are quite technical, many are not, and also cover topics such as emergency preparedness and weather communications. You can check out their list of offerings here.

The National Weather Service also has a free school for online weather, called ‘Jetstream’. Modules include fundamentals of the Atmosphere, mid-latitude storms, tornadoes and hurricanes. According to their website, ‘Jetstream’ is designed “to help educators, emergency managers, or anyone interested in learning about weather and weather safety.”

Miscellaneous Cool Stuff

Check out this animation by Brian Brettschneider. Using the latest climate normals, he shows the progression (and retreat) of the average 70 deg F day across North America.