GEOL-G 339: Weather Analysis & Forecasting


Introduction to the Course

How are weather maps created?  How do we interpret the data on these complex maps?  What knowledge of past weather events do we need to use as a guide in forecasting?  Why and how are conditions miles above the Earth's surface related to the "sensible weather" that we experience daily?  These questions and more, answered in G339.

General Details

Class meetings: MWF 1:25 - 2:15 p.m., in Geology 522

Instructor: Dr. Cody Kirkpatrick (

Office hours: time and location to be determined.


Any one of these: GEOL-G122, GEOG-G109, GEOG-G107, or GEOL-G 144.  It's important that you've had a first course related to the atmosphere/climate system; if you don't meet this requirement, please come see me before committing to the course.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the semester, students who actively participate in the course should be able to:

  • Analyze current weather maps (UA and surface)
  • Identify the major synoptic-scale features on those maps
  • Describe conceptual models of certain atmospheric phenomena
  • Use satellite data to help confirm the current local weather at a place
  • Apply conceptual models to describe the “sensible weather” that is occurring
  • Infer the likely weather at a place by using the Skew-T diagram
  • Place a Skew-T into its proper synoptic context, and be able to explain why
  • Diagnose winter and severe weather environments using all the tools we've developed in the course

Course Text

Required:  a PDF packet of notes and maps that is ~400 pages.  You may buy a coil-bound copy for $15, or just download the full PDF from Canvas (available on the first day).  There is no requirement to buy a hard copy if you don't want one.

Required:  your own set of colored pencils (erasable, preferably).  I’d go to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s instead of buying them at the campu$ book$tore.

I will also put multiple copies of two other useful texts on reserve at the Wells Library Reserve Desk.  There you can read, scan, or do whatever you need.

Staying on for G437 in the spring?  Please see this note.


  • 40%    Customary homeworks and in-class quizzes/activities
  • 10%    Team map/case analysis and presentation
  • 10%    Warmup questions and Canvas-based quizzes
  • 25%    Two in-class, hour exams, weighted equally
  • 15%    Comprehensive Final Exam (IU mandated final exam schedule)

Graduate Students

A draft of the materials and learning outcomes for you is available.  (Warning: subject to drastic changes!)

Graduate students may have a different distribution of percentages and/or different assignments than the undergraduate students.

This Website

We will use a combination of Canvas, this website, and email for the course.  If that gets to be too confusing or cumbersome, we can make adjustments.

Last Updated on  August 10th, 2017