Winter Weather Forecasting

Course Description

2 days or 16 hours 450

This 2 day course is focused on winter weather forecasting for avalanche forecasters, mountain guides, ski patrols, pilots, and others who want to generate a short term forecast in a very dynamic weather season. It will be centered on information that is currently available on the Internet and is broadly applicable to all snow climates.

The course will focus on a systematic approach to understanding weather from surface observations to the upper atmosphere.  There will be a mixture of real-time weather product analysis and forecast exercises that introduce important patterns to recognize.

At the end of the Winter Weather Forecasting course, participants will generate a wind, temperature, and precipitation forecast on their own, using products available on the web.

This course is taught by trained meteorologist Jim Woodmencey.



A basic foundation of weather knowledge.

Recommended Reading

  • Reading Weather, 2000 Jim Woodmencey, Falcon Press. A straightforward discussion of weather forecasting in the field. It does not address internet weather products.
  • The Weather Book: An Easy-To-Understand Guide to the USA’s Weather, second edition, 1997, Jack Williams, Random House. Great illustrations for understanding weather phenomena.
  • Mountain Weather: Backcountry Forecasting and Weather Safety for Hikers, Campers, Climbers, Skiers, and Snowboarders, 2005, Jeff Renner, The Mountaineers. A fairly simple book, but has good discussions on local mountain phenomena by region (Western US and Canada).
  • Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications, C.D. Whiteman. This book is expensive, but is an excellent resource. Used and new copies are available at

There are no scheduled courses at this time.

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