Our online course for individuals will give you a broad understanding of the forces that drive our atmosphere and weather. It also goes into detail about how these forces are observed and how these observations are used to make forecast predictions.

The course is structured to help you build your understanding of these larger forces before focusing in on more specialist topics like aviation or specific weather events. These topics are continually updated and expanded on. Any new modules published during the 12 months of your access to the course will be available at no additional charge.

Starting big with global forces

Our online courses starts by introducing the largest things which affect the weather. This includes learning about the interactions between the sun and the Earth.

Next, we cover the means sea level pressure chart (also called a weather map) and the features shown on it. This is called synoptic-scale meteorology.

You'll begin to develop predictive skills by relating synoptic-scale meteorology to the resulting weather. This includes learning about different cloud types, as well as predicting wind direction and speed, temperature, and rainfall. Observation systems such as satellite, radar, and surface observations are explained alongside these weather phenomena.

The first half of the course finishes by going through the forecast process used by Bureau meteorologists and learning how to interpret rain forecasts.

Zooming in on severe weather and climate

The second half of the course focuses on the severe weather you're likely to experience in and around Australia. Topics include:

  • climate principles and drivers
  • what causes thunderstorms
  • how to interpret severe thunderstorm warnings
  • fire weather and the Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS)
  • heatwaves and understanding the heatwave forecast and warning services
  • tropical cyclones and interpretation of cyclone warnings
  • understanding the different types of floods and their warning services.

Return to 'Introduction to Meteorology - course information'.