Climate Science II - Weather Forecasting

Study the application of weather forecasting to different practical and commercial situations.

Course Code: BSC309
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn how to predict the weather

 

Weather forecasting is never 100% accurate, but by observing patterns and understanding the factors that influence weather it is possible to predict what weather conditions are more or less likely.

If you have any self or professional interest in the environment, science and climate, you don't need to look any further. 

This course leads you through key elements of weather forecasting. You need to study this if you:

  • have any personal interest in understanding weather patterns
  • work in any industry which is impacted by weather
  • need specialist knowledge which supports your business practices 

We can't escape or control weather, therefore it is vital that we learn how to work with it for the best possible outcomes. 

 

 

 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. What to Measure
    • What is Weather Forecasting?
    • Weather Warnings
    • Weather forecasting
    • Impacts to people
    • Impacts for farming
    • Weather factors
    • Cloud cover
    • Minimum temperature
    • Maximum temperature
    • Dry bulb temperature
    • Wet bulb temperature
    • Wind speed
    • Wind direction
    • Precipitation
    • Absolute humidity
    • Relative humidity
    • Dew point
    • Mean sea level pressure
    • Station level pressure
    • Water vapour pressure
    • UV index
  2. Tools for forecasting
    • Equipment
    • Weather stations
    • Weather balloons and drones
    • Satellites
    • Recording, Storing and Processing Data
    • High Performance Computers
    • Numerical Weather Forecasting
    • What should be in a minimal weather station?
  3. Types of Forecasting
    • Persistence Forecasting
    • Climatological Forecasting
    • Use of a Barometer
    • Looking at the Sky
    • Nowcasting
    • Numerical Weather Prediction models
    • Statistical Forecasting
    • Analogue Forecasting
    • Ensemble Forecasting
  4. Weather Models
    • Introduction
    • Weather models data sets and global weather models
    • ECMWF
    • GFS
    • How Weather Models are Built
    • Grid size
    • Problems with the Grid
    • How do parameterisations work?
    • Model Uncertainty
    • Data Assimilation
    • Mesoscale/Regional models
    • The Human Element of Weather Modelling
  5. Predicting Temperature
    • Diurnal temperature variation
    • Forecasting maximum temperature
    • Forecasting minimum temperature
    • Effect of snow cover
    • Severity of frost
    • Forecasting grass minimum temperature
    • Minimum temperature on road surfaces
    • Heat Stress Determination
    • Urban Heat Island
  6. Predicting Rain
    • Introduction
    • Convection and Showers
    • Forecasting convective cloud
    • Forecasting showers
    • Forecasting cumulonimbus and thunderstorms
    • Layer clouds and precipitation
    • Layer cloud formation
    • Condensation trails
    • Orographic rainfall
    • Formation of stratocumulus
    • Precipitation associated with layered clouds
    • Snow
  7. Air Conditions
    • Introduction
    • Air Quality
    • Air Pollution and Its Effect on Climate
    • Carbon Dioxide
    • Methane
    • Airborne Chemicals
    • Air Particles
    • Pollen and Allergies
    • Radon
    • Wind and Turbulence
    • Mechanical Turbulence
    • Thermal Turbulence
    • Frontal Turbulence
    • Wind shear
    • Humidity
    • Visibility
  8. Practical Applications
    • Introduction
    • Severe Weather Alerts
    • Aviation
    • Marine
    • Agriculture
    • Forestry
    • Utility Companies
    • Private Sector
    • Military
    • Medicine and Human Health
    • Waves and surges

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Determine where and when to measure factors affecting weather in order to predict weather conditions with relative and economically viable probability in any designated place.
  • Describe the use of different tools and equipment used to measure and analyse weather conditions.
  • Compare different types of forecasting to select the most appropriate type for situations encountered.
  • Explain how weather models are constructed and what they mean.
  • Explain how temperature ranges might be predicted.
  • Describe how rainfall is predicted in the short, medium, and long term.
  • Predict air conditions including humidity, turbulence, visibility, pollutants,
  • Apply an understanding of weather forecasting in practical ways to different industries.

This course can find practical application in a wide variety of situations, including:

  • Farmers can plan better
  • Urban managers can plan better
  • Gardeners, landscapers, land managers can manage short & long term work better
  • Water and land resources can be better managed
  • Planning and managing events & activities
  • Managing severe conditions
  • Navigation – flying, sailing
  • Anyone enjoying outdoor pursuits and activities 

 

This course will lead to: 

  • your appreciation of the significance of weather forecasting 

  • your understanding of how much value and risk is placed on weather forecasts 

  • your understanding of the implications of probabilities on every day life 

  • your insight into decisions which benefit business or performance 

  • your increased awareness of data modelling 
 
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


How can I start this course?

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If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

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We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

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More information is here

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability.
Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Jon-Paul Dunne

I am a Bioscience postgraduate researcher at Durham university. I have a degree in environmental science and a permaculture design certificate as well as extensive experience in landscape and habitat restoration as well as sustainable food production and self-sufficiency. My key areas of expertise are climate change's causes, impacts and solutions, as well as ecological principles and design.

Gareth Pearce

B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
Gareth has over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in a variety of colleges and universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon at the Universities of Melbourne and Bristol, having previously graduated in Agricultural Science and gained a PhD in Livestock Behaviour and Production. He also has post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation.

Kara Wight

BSc (Applied Bioscience and Zoology), HND (Animal Care), HND (Photography & Imaging)

Kara gained an HND in Animal Care and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Bioscience and Zoology. She has a wide range of experience working with animals such dogs, small pets, birds, zoo animals, British wildlife and reptiles. Kara gained this experience working within animal parks, canine rescue centres and a wildlife hospital. She also managed an animal care training facility for a college. At this training facility she instructed and lectured students within Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing from National Certificate level to Higher National Diploma levels.

Kara also gained an HND in Photography and Imaging and has 5 years’ experience within this sector. She ran a small portraiture and wedding photography business and also exhibited work in art exhibitions. Kara gained more experience photographing sporting and festival events.

Kara currently runs a pet care and training business in the UK and also has entry to undertake her MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law this academic year.

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