From the ABC 7 Weather team

Weather training sites, reference books and online courses

June 17, 2011 - 09:26 AM
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Do you want to know more about the weather? Here is a helpful list of training sites, reference books and online courses.

Are you interested in learning about the weather? You can find countless places online with weather information for people of all ages, but I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite sites. These are good for people with a background in meteorology, to the amateur meteorologist, to a person who just loves weather and follows it as their hobby. Even for kids with an interest in weather, at least one of these sites would be good for you to look at. I’ve also listed a few reference books that can be purchased on the cheap and are great for everyone and even some online courses where you can obtain a certificate or degree.

This is operated by The COMET Program from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. The site has hundreds of modules on all kinds of meteorological subjects from Aviation Weather, to Marine Meteorology, to Severe Storms and Winter Weather.

Homepage for Meted

2.) Weather Prediction Education –
This site has links to everything you would ever need to know or want to know about, from a complete novice to a professional meteorologist. It has resources on all kinds of weather, tips on forecasting, all kinds of quizzes, links to real-time weather sites, and more.

3.) Warning Decision Training Branch Courses - on the NOAA website
What a great site this is… Our own Adam Caskey has been reviewing all kinds of material here with courses that range from just 10 minutes to over an hour. This site is for a person with a good background in meteorology and is used by professionals across the country for continued training and education.

There are also many reference books out there about weather and meteorology but I wanted to list my top three that would be of great help to anyone from a beginner to a graduate with a degree in meteorology.

1.) Meteorology Today – Ahrens on Amazon
This book has it all. Everything you want to know about weather is in this book. It is great to have around as a reference and is a must have for all weather nerds out there. My tip: Get the used one for 8 bucks on Amazon, I did that and it’s just like new which saved me about 120 bucks.

2.) Anything by Tim Vasquez -
The Forecaster’s Handbook series is great. No I am not being paid under the table to promote his books (though if he reads this feel free Tim!). I own just about every one of these books, and read most of them while I was still in college to help hone my forecasting skills. The Weather Forecasting Handbook is great, but he also has other books on Storm Chasing and Severe Weather Forecasting, to a book on Weather Map analysis and even Extreme American Weather. These books are perfect for the aspiring meteorologist.

3.) The USA Today Weather Book - see Amazon
I haven’t personally read this book, but I have heard enough about it to add it to the list. If Bob and Devon both endorse it, that’s good enough for me.

If you really want to learn about the weather and gain credit for doing so, there are even online courses you can take through a few institutions.

1.) Penn State’s Certificate in Achievement in Weather Forecasting - more information online
This is a 12 credit certificate program that you can eventually use towards a degree in meteorology. It focuses on the basics of meteorology, forecasting, tropical forecasting, and advanced forecasting topics. It looks very interesting and I know two people that have actually done the program before. The costs are still expensive as you must pay tuition just like any other college program.

2.) Mississippi State’s Operational Meteorology Program - more information online
This program is for a full degree in meteorology and includes 3 full years of coursework with classes in the Spring, Summer and Fall. If you want to pursue a career in meteorology but want to work from home and not go back to college, this is for you.

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