Spring 2023 - GEOG 214 D100

Weather and Climate (3)

Class Number: 2505

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Mon, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 18, 2023
    Tue, 3:30–6:30 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

·        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.

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 will likely 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.


  • 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.
  • Access to Microsoft Excel.
  • A camera may be helpful for some assignments.
  • iClickers are used during lecture.

Under SFU's Education Site License, SFU students, staff, and researchers may download the following software to home computers for academic use ONLY. This includes teaching and classroom use and research purposes. 

Software available to download/install on home computers

  • Microsoft 365
  • ESRI Applications such as ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, ESRI CityEngine, etc.
  • Matlab with Named User License
  • Adobe CC with Named User License*

* ONLY those who are in SFU payroll are eligible for Adobe CC with Named User License


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. ISBN: 9780176530792, 0176530797.

An eTextbook version of Meteorology Today is available from VitalSource at lower cost than the printed version. Cengage Learning Canada Inc. ISBN: 9780176753733, 0176753737.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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