Mountain Weather Workshop
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will provide a basic understanding of meteorological principles applied to weather in mountainous areas. Afternoon sessions will focus on using publicly available weather information to create a local forecast. Participants will interact with experienced weather forecasters and work in small groups to generate and present their own forecasts. The workshop is designed for avalanche practitioners and avid recreationalists. Anyone interested in mountain weather phenomena is welcome and no previous meteorological education is required. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop computer with wireless capability for the small group exercises.
This course is intended for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of weather processes and the products available for forecasting. Ski patrol, mountain guides, avalanche forecasters, natural resource managers, avid recreationalists and mountain pilots would all benefit from this course.
Dr. John Snook, Mountain Weather and Avalanche Forecaster, CAIC – Boulder
Dr. Ethan Greene, Director, CAIC
Students receive a mountain weather workbook as a part of the course. We highly recommend bringing a laptop with wireless networking capability.
A commonly practiced weather forecast strategy is to take a systematic approach to organizing forecast information by spatial scale. The approach starts by analyzing large-scale hemispheric information and then working downscale to high-resolution information. The workshop schedule reflects this strategy with a focus on big picture weather basics and phenomena on day one, followed by regional-scale weather on day two, and then mountain-scale weather on day three. Morning sessions will provide an understanding of meteorological systems at these particular scales. Afternoon sessions will apply this understanding to prediction techniques typically used by professional weather forecasters. Participants will gain practical skills through small group forecast preparation exercises at the end of each day.
Specifically, the Mountain Weather curriculum addresses:
• A general approach to weather forecasting
• Basic forecasting strategies and processes
• Meteorology basics
• Observational meteorology components
• Introduction to weather computer models
• Hemispheric to regional to mountain scale weather processes
• Precipitation mechanics
• Interpretation of weather products
Upon completion of the course, students will have had the opportunity to:
• Learn and utilize a framework and checklist for mountain scale weather forecasting
• Access and interpret available weather resources and models in forecasting exercises
• Develop a list of resources and forecasting approach to a specific area(s) of interest