FREE online weather course: Come Rain or Shine

The Society is delighted to be working together with the University of Reading on a Thames Water sponsored FutureLearn course, called “Come Rain or Shine”.  Recently the course was awarded the EMS Outreach and Communication Award 2018.

This free, 3 week (3 hours per week) online course will be available to participate in for 15 weeks from the 7th October 2019 (with mentoring available for the first 3 weeks), although participants are free to work through it at their own pace – including after the finish date. Based on the one day face-to-face CPD course we offer trainee geography teachers, this course is perfect for any trainee or qualified geography teacher, A level student or anyone else who would like to brush up their understanding of our weather.

During the three week period, participants will benefit from expert online support, as well as peer-to-peer interaction. The course will take around three hours per week, and includes plenty of experiments, practical activities and fieldwork.

Why join the course?

Weather affects our lives almost every day through what we wear, what we eat and what we do. But why is it rainy, windy or sometimes even sunny? Explore some of the physical processes driving UK weather systems and get hands on in the world of weather with practical activities and fieldwork. Try your hand at forecasting and have a go at interpreting weather maps and compare your results to our educator Dr Sylvia Knight’s. You’ll also watch our educators carrying out simple but effective experiments including creating clouds or simulating hot air rising and demonstrating the Coriolis effect.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Describe the weather features associated with depressions, anticyclones and the four main air masses which affect the UK
  • Interpret a synoptic or weather chart to provide details about wind speed and direction, precipitation and cloud cover
  • Describe some of the physical processes which give rise to weather, such as convection, condensation, pressure gradients and the Coriolis force
  • Investigate local weather conditions using readily available instruments
  • Explain some of the processes which transfer energy through the Earth system, including the transient effects of volcanoes and changes in the Earth’s orbit, and how these processes relate to the Earth’s climate
  • Apply their understanding of mid-latitude weather systems to the analysis of weather data and images

Who is the course for?

You don’t need any existing knowledge of meteorology, just an interest in learning about the weather. This might appeal to you if you’re a member of theWeather Club or signed up to Weather Watchers. There should be something for everyone – whether you are coming to the course with a fair amount of previous knowledge, or none at all. If this is the first time you’ve taken a meteorology course you may find some of the content challenging, but don’t worry there will be plenty of help available.

We are still accepting participants for the course currently running. Please sign up by visiting -

Categories: Weather
Tags: Weather Climate MyResearch

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