Intermediate Meteorology
September 10, 2016 9:30 AM   Subscribe

What are some good resources for expanding one's knowledge on meteorology?

Online/interactive resources are preferred, but (non-textbook) book recommendations are great too. Assume I've lived in tornado alley all of my life and have a fairly good foundation, but I'm not looking to go as deep as doing higher-level math.

Bonus question: If you consider yourself a meteorology hobbyist, what does that look like (beyond scout-level keeping a rain gauge/sticking a barometer on your wall)?

If it matters, I currently live in St. Louis, MO but I'm not tied to local knowledge.
posted by Ufez Jones to Science & Nature (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: MetEd for online lessons/courses, your local NWS forecast office for localized storm spotter training.
posted by djb at 10:06 AM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: MU Ag. Extension provides realtime weather observations from Moscow Mills and NOAA explains their reasoning for their forecasts at least daily if you would like a mini-seminar.
posted by ridgerunner at 10:26 AM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I live in the Plains States, so most of the meteorology hobbists I know are storm chasers. Not sure if that is your cup of tea, but if you are interested in that path the StormTrack site is a good jumping off point. MetEd is a great general online resource that can allow you to dig fairly deeply into whatever topic you are most interested in pursuing. The National Severe Storms Lab has quite a few resources listed on their site that are educational. If you already have a rain gauge and are interested in something more, join Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network and you can input the rain and snow at your location into something that is used by operational meteorologists and researchers alike.

If you have any further questions or would like me to dig up some more resources, feel free to memail me.
posted by weathergal at 10:34 AM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Go to, get the forecast for your location using your zip code and the clickable map.

When you have your forecast, look down below the map, and find the link labelled "Forecast Discussion". What you have there is a letter from the hands of a professional meteorologist, explaining the context for the forecast, which is sometimes updated several times a day.

Most of the technical terms in the discussion are clickable links to a relatively complete glossary.

for example, from my area, today:

" of 09:17 AM PDT Saturday...Morning visible
satellite says it all...solid stratus deck over the coastal waters
and inland valleys. Profilers and sodars put the stratus
deck/marine layer right around 1600 feet this morning. Expect the
morning stratus and patchy fog to slowly peel back to the coast
mid-late morning. Temperatures this afternoon will be with in a
few degrees of Friday...more likely a tad on the cooler side.
Highs today 60s at the coast, and 70s-80s inland.

Current forecast looks good and no update is planned for the short

The bigger item of concern is the upper low near Pt Conception.
Latest forecast has a mention of thunder over Monterey and San
Benito and see no reason to remove it as this point. The latest
model guidance continues to show a non-zero chance for convection.
In other words, a very low chance for convection. Based on the
latest guidance the one potential limiting factor will be
moisture, which is only about 50% in the upper levels. Other
parameters, modified total totals, decent lapse rates, SPC
lightning guidance, are present to warrant the small chance. All
of that being said, no change to previous mention of
thunderstorms, but may delay the onset until after 00Z and not
21Z. Will fine tune with the afternoon forecast package."
posted by the Real Dan at 11:22 AM on September 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding the recommendation of reading the "forecast discussion" regularly. Read it, and anything you don't understand, go look it up.
posted by DaveP at 5:00 AM on September 11, 2016

Response by poster: These are fantastic answers and definitely right what I was hoping for. Thanks much, folks!
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:22 PM on September 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

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