Spring 2021 - GEOG 214 D100

Weather and Climate (3)

Class Number: 2769

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 24, 2021
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 111.



An examination of the basic principles and processes governing the Earth's weather and climate. Topics include: radiation, greenhouse effect, clouds, precipitation, atmospheric circulation, mid-latitude cyclones, tropical storms, climate change. Quantitative.


Description: “Weather and Climate” is an overview of the fundamental principles and processes governing meteorological and climatological phenomena on the Earth. This may include brief forays into other worldly atmospheres (e.g. Mars) as sharp contrasts can be informative. Initial focus will be on meteorological principles, starting with key concepts that are useful to understanding the narratives that, for example, describe the formation of precipitation, the evolution of frontal systems and, moving up spatial scales, the mechanisms behind global weather patterns. Storms will receive special attention given their potential to impact human lives. Given our location, focus will sometimes be on British Columbia and the northeast Pacific Ocean. Discussion also includes climate, including the general circulation, seasons, ocean-atmosphere interactions and global warming. Station models, isoplething and weather maps will also be part of the narrative. Labs provide opportunity for learning how to interpret maps, and apply methods and concepts discussed in lecture. Topics will include:

  • Atmospheric composition and structure
  • Daily and seasonal temperature variation
  • Winds at different spatial scales
  • Thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes
  • Global warming
  • Radiation and energy
  • Atmospheric humidity, clouds and precipitation
  • Air masses, fronts and extratropical (midlatitude) cyclones
  • Extreme weather events
  • Global climates
  • Climate variability
  • Lapse rates and stability

Organization: One 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour lab each week. There will be no lab during the first week of the course.

Asynchronous course components:

  • Labs, handed-out on a weekly to bi-weekly basis.
  • Some lectures may only be provided in recorded format–this is especially true of lectures that are strongly related to the labs.
  • Weather journal assignment, which has a one-month completion window.
  • Lecture slides provided on CANVAS for later review.
  • Recorded lectures provided on CANVAS for later review.

Synchronous course components:

  • Lecture period: Lectures will be given live (e.g. via Zoom) at the regularly scheduled class time. Not that some lectures may only be provided in recorded, and therefore asynchronous format.
  • Instructor/TA will be available for lab/lecture questions during the regularly scheduled lab period.
  • Lab practical exams, to take place during two separate lab periods–the first during the middle of the term and the second near the end.
  • Lecture midterm, to take place during one lecture period.
  • Lecture final exam, to take place during the regularly scheduled timeframe.
  • For students are unable to attend a regularly scheduled lecture, both the slides and a recorded version of the lecture will be available on CANVAS (see asynchronous components above).


  • Laboratory assignments 10%
  • Weather journal 10%
  • Lab practical exam 1 15%
  • Lab practical exam 2 15%
  • Lecture Midterm exam (Synchronous) 20%
  • Lecture Final exam (Synchronous) 25%
  • Participation 5%


Likely Evaluation Scheme



Lab Resources:

  • Labs will be available online, though CANVAS, SFU's learning management system. For doing labs, it is recommended that you have a scientific calculator–spreadsheet programs also work well for this, too. At times, a ruler and writing materials may be needed.

Technical requirements:

  • Internet connected device, preferably a computer for access to lectures (via Zoom), labs/assignments, lecture slides and other resources using CANVAS.
  • A camera may be helpful for some assignments.


Ahrens, C. D, Jackson, P. L. and C. E. J. Jackson, 2016: Meteorology Today: An Introduction to Weather, Climate and the Environment, 2nd Canadian Edition. Nelson Education, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 598 pages.

An eTextbook version of Meteorology Today is available from VitalSource at lower cost than the printed version.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).