Description of Wilderness Weather Fundamentals
Weather can make or break any outdoor adventure from a day hike to a multi-day backpacking trek, especially if you’re not prepared for adverse conditions. But with some basic weather knowledge, you can adjust your plans—whether you’re in the field or at home prepping—before you get caught in a storm.
This online education course, taught by meteorologist and adventurer Jamie Yount and BACKPACKER Magazine, goes far beyond informing you how to react to lightning. It answers the fundamental questions of what causes weather and how to read the signs that help you forecast what may come next. This five-part eLearning course will teach any adventurer the ins and outs of weather in an approachable, applicable way.
We know you have a busy schedule, so we’ve designed Wilderness Weather Fundamentals to be taken at your own pace. You’ll learn through a variety of interactive formats, including video instruction, photo descriptions, quizzes, and more. Each lesson builds on the last, and, while we’ve designed the course to be 5 weeks long, you can take it as quickly or slowly as you want. Plus, once you purchase the course, the lessons are yours forever.
At your own pace, you’ll learn the basics of how weather works and how to read changes in the weather that could impact your time in the backcountry. In this five-part eLearning class, meteorologist Jamie Yount will walk you through atmospheric pressure, how temperature and pressure are connected, reading clouds, the ins and outs of warm and cold fronts, and more. You’ll also learn how to anticipate severe and dangerous weather and how to respond to lightning, flash floods, and winter hazards.
Wilderness Weather Fundamentals course syllabus:
- Course Overview
- Meet Jamie Yount
- Course goals
- Climates of North America
- 1. How Weather Works
- What causes weather
- Atmosphere basics
- Global air circulations
- Pressure, temperature, and wind relationships
- 2. Cloud Watching
- Cloud types
- Cloud heights
- Cloud implications
- 3. Storm Anatomy
- Storm systems
- High and low pressure
- Air masses
- Fronts: warm, cold, occluded, and stationary
- 4. Identifying Weather Hazards
- When to bail
- Go/No go forecasting
- Flash floods
- Winter weather
- 5. Forecasting in the Field
- How to make a forecast in the field
- Signs of worsening weather
- Signs of improving weather
- Signs of continued good weather
- Course Wrap-Up
- How to keep practicing
- Resources for further study
About Jamie Yount
Jamie Yount is a Boulder, Colorado-based meteorologist. He’s always had a passion for matching his outdoor adventures with the most perfect possible conditions, which inspired his love for weather forecasting. He has a degree in mountain meteorology from the University of Utah and previously worked as an avalanche forecaster in Jackson Hole for the Wyoming Department of Transportation. Now, he’s the winter operations manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Yount uses his passion for weather to plan epic adventures with perfect conditions. He once skied the Grand Teton, in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, on a perfectly calm, blue-sky powder day—one of his most impressive adventure forecasting achievements. When he’s not teaching weather forecasting and avalanche courses, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, climbing, backpacking, and skiing around the West.
1, Is this Wilderness Weather Fundamentals course relevant for trips outside North America?
Yes. This course focuses on weather in North America but will give you the foundation you need to be able to apply that knowledge out in the field anywhere in the world.
2, What previous weather-reading experience should I have in order to take this Wilderness Weather Fundamentals course?
You don’t need any previous weather-reading experience because we’ll teach you everything you need to know. Come with an eagerness to learn, and we’ll do the rest.
3, What equipment do I need for this Wilderness Weather Fundamentals course?
You don’t need any equipment. Having a barometer (even on your watch) will help, but there’s nothing you need in order to take this course—at least not until you catch the weather bug and want to take your weather reading to another level!
More courses from the same author: Jamie Yount