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Mountain Weather Course Level 1


May 23/24

Deposit deadline

March 4


Brenda Bouchette 250-317-0358

Course Background

The Canadian Avalanche Association and I have developed a two level weather course that has been taught with huge success in three BC locations this fall and are to become prerequisites for the Avalanche Skills Training courses. I am currently modifying these courses to apply them specifically to spring/summer outdoor enthusiasts and outdoor professionals. The first level will be taught over two days and is a 'soft-prerequisite' to the second level course that is taught over 3 days. The level 2 course builds on knowledge gained in the first course. The courses are heavily biased towards interpretation of internet weather information and will lead to students assessing weather scenarios before they go out in the field for hours or weeks.

Instructor's background

Instructor is Uwe Gramann:
"I obtained my Master's in Atmospheric Sciences in Karsruhe, Germany that contained a thesis performed at UBC in 1993. After that I worked in different research environments to finally land at Environment Canada, where I obtained my 'Meteorologist' degree. I worked as a forecaster for aviation, fire weather, road and public applications and consulted Environment Canada in developing a high-resolution weather model over southern and central British Columbia. I have also worked with the Regional District of Central Okanagan on public education of environmental issues and about two years ago I started my private meteorological consulting firm. I teach aviation courses to pilots and dispatchers, supply automated weather model output to a variety of clients and have developed an avalanche weather course with the Canadian Avalanche Association."

Level 1 course

Aimed at people with some basic understanding of environmental physics but no meteorological knowledge. It is a hands on classroom based course that will use several experiments to guide you to a sound understanding of basic meteorological principles and how to access and interpret weather information on the internet and in the real world. It ends in a 3 hour live exercise of real current weather analysis and interpretation. The exercise can be done by the students in real time at home at any time through a publicly available internet guide to establish your own assessment of real weather for any venture. Even though it is taught in a classroom it will contain tons of practical and 'in the field examples'. One of the strong features of the course is its flexibility to adjust to the knowledge and demands of its students. As such, each course will have the same structure and main contents but vary in detail according to student's feedback. Through the life exercises and personal observations students will be able to include weather into their decision making schemes during outdoor ventures of any length. An array of internet weather links will provide the student with the tools to analyze weather and forecasts on a daily basis.




2 days


$270 for members, and $290 for non-members




Laptop (if you want) and enthusiasm


To be technically minded and an understanding for basic physical principles like: Wind blowing from high to low pressure and ability to read topographical maps etc.


  • Course slide notes
  • Terminology/Dictionary
  • Internet weather link collection
  • several information sheets to decode public weather information
  • Telephone numbers and radio frequencies for public weather information


No tests, but a participation certificate will be handed out.

Contents and goals of the level 1 course:

  • Basic Meteorological principles
  • A vast amount of meteorological terms.
  • Skills in outdoor weather observations.
  • Skills in weather map interpretation.
  • Skills in satellite interpretation.
  • Global circulations
  • Synoptic circulations
  • Basic weather analysis skills.
  • Local and mountain weather phenomena.
  • Using publicly available weather information (heavily biased towards the internet).
  • Hands on exercises and in the field observation interpretation
  • Live internet weather analysis.
  • Reading professionally prepared forecasts, and apply them to your personal goals.

More info: [pdf]