ATSC 113    Applied Meteorology
Weather for Sailing, Flying & Snow Sports

Course Info

UBC Calendar Entry

ATSC 113 (3) Applied Meteorology
Atmospheric-science principles elucidated by case studies applied to snow sports, sailing, surfing, soaring, and flying. [3-0-0]

Intended Audience

The course is open to all students of any year and any major.  No prerequisites.  This counts as a 3-credit science course.  You do not need any prior background or experience in sailing, flying or snow sports. 

If you already have expertise in some of these areas, we offer links to advanced info.  But this extra info is not required for this course - - you can still earn full marks without it.

Meeting Times and Places

All the required course material, quizzes, and midterm exams are online (i.e., NO required in-class meetings), except for the final exam. 

Each term we teach two sections:
• one for "normal" on-campus students who can write the final exam on the UBC-Vancouver campus during the normal final exam period [unless special COVID-19 policies require off-campus exams written online]; and
• the other for students who need or want to write the final exam off campus.

These two sections are synchronized (i.e., we teach them as a single online course). 

Syllabus Overview

Theme: Orientation 

: Flying Weather 
1. Clouds, Ceiling, Visibility & Fog
2. Pressure, Temperature, Winds & Wind Shear
3. Turbulence & Icing
4. Thunderstorms & Aviation Weather Services

Theme: Snow-Sports Weather 
5. Winter Weather
6. Winter Mountain Weather
7. Snow Conditions

Theme: Sailing Weather 
8. Winds and Waves
9. Large-Scale Winds
10. Local Wind and Tide Effects
11. Marine Weather Services

Theme Applied Weather 
12. Synthesis of Weather Concepts
13. Create your own ePortfolio of weather concepts (optional)

Textbooks and Required Resources

How to Access the Online Content

We have created a strong relationship between the online content (Meteorological Concepts) and the Learning Goals.  You will be most successful in this course if you understand this relationship.  It works as follows.

For each of the 12 meteorological topics listed above, we have created a set of Learning Goals, labeled a, b, c, d, etc.  For example, Learning Goal 5b refers to the second learning goal under topic 5 on Winter Weather. 

Each Learning Goal (and its label such as 5b) is listed near the top of its own web page, and the Meteorological Concepts that you can study to achieve that Learning Goal are presented underneath it, on the same web page.  To help give you better understanding of the nature and context of the meteorological concepts, we cover more info than required for you to achieve the Learning Goal.  However, the quiz and exam questions are based only on the portion of the content specifically described by the Learning Goals.  This allows you to focus your studies on the most important material.

To make the course more interesting, we have designed case-study Modules around specific weather related events, such as aircraft accidents, skiing situations, and sailing voyages.  As you work through each case-study Module, we provide links to the relevant Learning Goals and their associated Meteorological Concepts, and also provide links to short online quizzes to help you check and improve your understanding of the material.  Each case-study touches only a subset of the Learning Goals.  Initially, you access the Learning Goals this way - - via links from the case-study Modules.  The Schedule web page tells you which modules to work on each week.  You will find the online Modules on the UBC Canvas website for this course.  

At the ends of the flying-weather and snow-sports-weather themes are online midterm exams.  To make your exam review more efficient, we have organized and consolidated all the Learning Goals into tables that you can access from the "Learning Goals" or "Course Goals" links from the course home page. These tables are useful when you review prior to the exams.  The quizzes and exams cover only the meteorological concepts, and not the case-study details that were used to motivate study of the meteorology.

In summary, there are three ways to get to the Learning Goals and their associated Meteorological Concepts: 1) via Modules on UBC Canvas; 2) via links from the Course Goals web page; and 3) via the Learning Goals web page.

One last note:  When we instructors refer to any specific Learning Goal (such as learning goal 5b), we are actually referring to both the Learning Goal -AND- its associated Meteorological Concepts.

Course Sections and Fees

Each term we teach two online sections of this course.  These sections are taught together as a single, unified, online course.  CAUTION: see ** and *** footnotes about fees and final-exam options, before you decide which section to register in. 

If you are currently registered in the course and want to switch sections during the first 7 days of term, just drop the section you don't want and add the other section. 
CAUTION 1: After making this change, any work you have done in Canvas will likely be lost, so you would need to re-do the quizzes in Canvas.
CAUTION 2: After the first 7 days of term you can still drop the course during the normal add/drop period, but you cannot add the course regardless of the "seats available", because we block new enrollments after the 7th calendar day of the term. So if you decide to change sections, please do it before the 7th calendar day of the term.

Section Numbers
"Normal ** " on-campus student.  Will write the final exam at the normal time on UBC-Vancouver campus (except all exams will be online during COVID-19 terms as specified by UBC).
Other students. See *** footnote about final exam options and fees.  These sections are called "Distance Ed" sections.
Fall (September - December) ATSC 113.101
ATSC 113.99A
Spring (January - April) ATSC 113.201 ATSC 113.99C
Summer (May - June)* ATSC 113.971 ATSC 113.98A
* Note that the Summer course is compressed into a 6-week summer term.

In addition to tuition, UBC has other fees (student, program, administration, etc.) that might apply to you:

** Normal Section: If you are a normal UBC-Vancouver on-campus student who pays normal "student and student-society" fees for bus pass, recreation, etc., and who can write the final exam on the UBC-Vancouver campus at the normal time, then register for the "normal on-campus" section.

*** Other-Students Section: The following students should register in the "Other students" (i.e., Distance Ed.) section:
(a) Distance Education students who are off campus;
(b) Students at UBC-Okanagan; 
(c) Students who are NOT normal students (not paying UBC-V student fees for bus pass, recreation), but who CAN write the final exam on the UBC-Vancouver campus at the normal time;
(d) Normal UBC-V students who are NOT able to write the final exam on the UBC-V campus at the normal time.  For example, students who must leave campus early to start a job, and who need to write the final exam off campus.
Caution about fees.  Everyone who registers in a Distance Ed section must pay "Distance Education course administration fees".  In addition, those who apply to write the final exam off-campus must pay an additional administrative fee called "Distance Education special examination fee".   Check the UBC fee schedule (,0,0,0 ) online for details.

UBC ATSC 113 Weather for Sailing, Flying & Snow Sports
Copyright © 2015-2020 by Roland Stull
Last modification: May 2020