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Free Online Course on Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather

Harvard University is glad to announce Free Online Course on Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather. This course will explore the science behind weather systems by teaching the observational skills needed to make a forecast without using instruments or computer models.

In this course, you will learn to forecast the weather just by looking out your window. They’ll discuss the physical processes driving weather and the global forces that shape global climate systems.  This course will start on February 20, 2019.

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Course At a Glance

Length: 6 weeks
Effort: 3-5 hours pw
Subject: Science
Institution: Harvard University
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $49USD
Session: February 20, 2019

Providers’ Details

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. Harvard faculties are engaged with teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

About This Course

The weather forecasts we see every day is based on an army of meteorological sensing networks and intensive computer modeling. Before the rise of these technologies, predictions were made by methods like discerning cloud formations and wind directions.

This course will explore the science behind weather systems by teaching the observational skills needed to make a forecast without using instruments or computer models. We’ll discuss the physical processes driving weather and the global forces that shape global climate systems. Finally, we will examine the limits of prediction in both human observations and computer models.

Can the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? Take this course to find out!

Course Syllabus

  • Physical processes in weather systems
  • Winds, weather masses, clouds, fronts in the temperate zones
  • Other weather systems
  • Weather predictions: Linear and non-linear systems

Learning Outcomes

  • The role of air, water, and wind in weather systems
  • How to estimate local wind speed and direction
  • How to avoid being struck by lightning
  • How to identify cloud types and features
  • How to describe the attributes of thunderstorms and tornadoes
  • How to collect and interpret data and observations to predict the next day’s weather
  • The benefits and drawbacks of weather prediction methods
  • The butterfly effect and its application to weather systems

Instructors

John Huth is the Donner Professor of Science in the Physics Department at Harvard.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once the applicant signs up for a course and activates teir account, click on the Log In button on the org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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