Introduction to Weather and Climate
Weather affects many aspects of our daily lives. But what is weather? And why is it constantly changing? This course aims to provide a basic understanding of how weather is generated, observed and forecast, and how weather might change in the future.
This course will give you the opportunity to understand the drivers of weather systems, what determines and influences the weather on a day-to-day basis, and provide experience at interpreting weather maps and making your own forecasts. We will begin by discussing Earth's weather machine, how the large-scale atmospheric circulation systems are generated and determine the distribution of climatic zones. Measurements of atmospheric conditions using conventional or satellite instruments are fundamental in understanding atmospheric physics and providing accurate initial conditions necessary for predicting the weather. We will discuss mid-latitude weather systems, clouds and climate change in detail before dealing with severe weather and finally discussing UK's distinct climate.
Term Starts: 26th April Half Term:
Recommended Reading Field text (Library Field for Languages):
All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.
There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information.
Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.
To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to do so.
Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.
Course Fee: £170.00
Take this course for CATS Points: £10.00
If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.
If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.
Dr Jon Shonk
TutorJon Shonk works in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading. His work involves investigating climate models and developing methods to improve their predictions.
(2) To enable students to objectively interpret a weather forecast map.
(3) To provide sufficient background to speak knowledgeably about weather and climate, including related topics such as climate change.
Each week consists of a "lecture", which covers the material interactively with plenty of discussion; a summary of last week's weather; then a chance to make forecasts of the weekend's weather in the Weather Game.
By the end of the course students will be expected to:
(1) Identify reasons for differences in weather patterns and climate across the globe and processes involved in the formation of cloud types and precipitation.
(2) Analyse and describe the current weather situation using forecast maps and develop a method to predict weather for Reading and at selected European cities.
(3) Discuss issues relating to weather and climate such as climate change.
(2) The Weather Game: weather predictions for Reading and Europe each week.
(3) A multiple choice quiz to aid understanding of the atmospheric circulation and processes involved in producing cloud and rain.
Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.
Terms and conditions
For applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Find information on the different ways in which we may be able to help to support you financially whilst you are studying with us.
Level and demands
Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.