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

National High/Low temps for Friday September 30, 2022: 106 at Death Valley, CA; 21 at 14 miles west-southwest of Mackay, ID, Angel Fire, NM #cawx #idwx #nmwx

Tropical-storm-force winds, which should not be underestimated, are expected along the coasts of South Carolina and Southeastern North Carolina through early Saturday.

Stay off the road. Secure loose items.

Stay indoors, and away from windows.

A few tornadoes will be possible through this evening across the coastal Carolinas and southeast Virginia, in association with #Ian.

A Tornado Watch means Be Prepared.

A Tornado Warning means Take Action!

Most flood fatalities occur in vehicles, and it only takes 12 inches of water to sweep a car away.

Don’t drive through floodwaters. Don’t drive around barricades.

Consider delaying travel until conditions improve. #Ian

5PM EDT Sep 30 Key Messages for #Ian:
Dangerous storm surge continues along the coast of the Carolinas this evening. Tropical-storm-force winds are expected along the coast of South Carolina and SE North Carolina through early Sat. For more:

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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.