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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3700 Practical Weather Forecasting

10 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Juliane Schwendike

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Pre-requisite qualifications for SOEE 3700 are:
SOEE1301 or equivalent including a post A-level module covering partial differential equations.

SOEE1400 or equivalent.


SOEE1301Intermediate Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical S
SOEE1400Intro Meteorology Weather Fore

Module replaces

SOEE3570 Practical Weather ForecastingSOEE3620 Broadcast Meteoroogy

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is a practical course, designed to enable students to run the WRF atmospheric numerical weather prediction model. Participants will run the model for real forecasts and compare results with observed data. There will be a short project to model atmospheric flow in different test cases.Using the model output, and other information sources, to generate a weather forecast for the general public, and presenting this forecast will form part of the course.A short series of lectures describing the science behind the models and how weather forecasts are produced will support the practical sessions.


- to understand and appreciate the dynamical, physical processes which occur in the earth's atmosphere;
- use basic standard methods to analyse the atmosphere and make weather forecasts;
- to gain an understanding of the numerical approximations and limitations of Numerical Weather Prediction Models;
- to gain expertise in the critical analysis and appreciation of data provided from the computer simulations;
- to enable students to run a state of the art NWP model;
- present complex meteorological data and forecasts to users, in written and televised formats.
- understand the value of forecasts to diverse users;
- to provide transferable skills in area of scientific interpretation.

Skills outcomes
Skills Outcomes:
- the ability to use and run a state of the art atmospheric numerical general circulation model;
- to critically evaluate and analyse complex data produced by forecast code and to work to the tight time-pressure required for producing a forecast.
- to be able to use the output data to generate a forecast suitable for the general public, and to provide critical evaluation of quality of the results;
- to improve scientific appreciation of the limitations of advanced numerical codes and the methods of obtaining a numerical solution of the equations;
- to understand the physical processes being represented in the numerical computer model, in terms of the equations being solved for the dynamics, and the parameterisations for unresolved processes.


- Lectures on empirical and NWP techniques used to generate weather forecasts
- Lectures describing the basic science behind the WRF model
- Classwork / practical sessions on running the model and analysis software
- Specific application to test case flows and forecasts
- Critical interpretation sessions of the data produced by the model
- Lectures on the representation of basic physical and thermodynamical processes simulated in general circulation models.
- Lectures on the principles of broadcast meteorology and practical sessions presenting and recording a weather forecast.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours20.00
Private study hours50.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

20 hours independent online learning using the WRF model and running the example cases.

Private study:
- 20 independent study
- 15 hours report writing.
- 15 hours preparing forecast

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored by:
- Course work submissions
- Feedback during practical computer classes
- Peer assessment of progress within groups

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportProject Report 1500 words50.00
Oral Presentation3 minute forecast + 500 word scientific justification50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/05/2022 14:15:15


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