Spring 2022 - GEOG 214 D100

Weather and Climate (3)

Class Number: 4743

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Fri, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 19, 2022
    Tue, 12:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Wolf Read
    Office: TBA
    Office Hours: TBA
  • 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
  • Radiation and energy
  • Daily and seasonal temperature variation
  • Atmospheric humidity, clouds and precipitation
  • Winds at different spatial scales
  • Air masses, fronts and extratropical (midlatitude) cyclones
  • Thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes
  • Extreme weather events
  • Global warming
  • 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.

In-class course components:

  • Lecture period: Lectures will be given in-class at the regularly scheduled class time. About 1/3 of lectures will be provided in pre-recorded, and therefore asynchronous format.
  • Lab period: Instructor/TA will be available in-class for lab/lecture questions during the regularly scheduled lab period. A few labs may have an outdoor component on campus grounds.
  • Lecture midterm, to take place during one lecture period.
  • Lecture final exam, to take place during the regularly scheduled timeframe.
  • For students who are unable to attend a regularly scheduled lecture, both the slides and a recorded version of the lecture will be available on CANVAS (see below).

Course components outside of the regularly scheduled lecture and lab periods:

  • Lab assignments: While the lab assignments will be handed out at the start of your lab period, they will not be due for a week, allowing time flexibility for working on the assignment.
  • Lab practical exams: To take place during two separate weeks–the first during the middle of the term and the second near the end. You will have a one-week window to pick the time that you want to take a lab exam through CANVAS, but once you have started an exam, you will have two hours to finish.
  • Some lectures may only be provided in recorded format–this is especially true of lectures that are strongly related to the labs–and can be accessed at any time.
  • 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.

Spring 2022 courses will be delivered in person based on information available at the time of publishing the outline; please note the delivery mode is subject to change following Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and/or SFU recommendations and orders.


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


Likely Evaluation Scheme



Lab Resources:

  • Lab assignments 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 pre-recorded lectures, labs/assignments, exams, lecture slides and other resources using CANVAS. Zoom may be required in some instances.
  • A camera may be helpful for some assignments.
  • iClickers are used during lecture.


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 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.