AMS Weather Studies is an introductory meteorology course provided by the American Meteorological Society to undergraduate institutions for local offering. The course is prepared by meteorologists nationally recognized in atmospheric science education. Development for this course was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.

AMS Weather Studies covers the composition and structure of the atmosphere, the flows of energy to, from, and through the atmosphere, and the resulting motions produced from small to planetary scales. The physical principles of atmospheric phenomena are stressed in the understanding of weather’s impact on humans, particularly with severe weather. Methods of analysis are developed through the study of current weather as meteorological data are delivered via the Internet.

At the instructor's option, students are introduced to Earth's atmosphere and the dynamic world of weather:

  • as it happens, by working with current meteorological data delivered via the Internet and coordinated with Current Weather Studies investigations keyed to the day's weather; or
  • via examination of real-world case studies delivered in electronic form

How can the course be implemented?

  • As a NEW institutional course offering.
  • To REVISE an existing course at your institution.
  • To EXPAND an existing course by adding a laboratory component.
  • As the FOCUS of an online course, or as individual directed study.

Who can offer the course?

AMS Weather Studies can be offered by experienced science faculty or those new to teaching meteorology. Collegial assistance is available to all new instructors.

We have large numbers of atmospheric scientists, geographers, geologists, and physicists successfully offering the course, as well as those from disciplines such as engineering and chemistry. During course implementation and instruction, collegial assistance is available from faculty members who have already offered AMS Weather Studies. Also, AMS science educators will answer any questions on all aspects of course delivery and content. This course enables faculty members to expand and/or update their curriculum and join the ranks of colleagues teaching with the latest technology.

What are the course components?

Textbook - The full-color, 15 chapter Weather Studies: Introduction to Atmospheric Science text covers the basic understandings of meteorology. The text is currently available in both print (hardcover) and eBook formats. The textbook contains ten Review and ten Critical Thinking Questions per chapter.

Manual - A set of student learning investigations is coordinated with the text chapters. Each investigation (two per week) contains Introduction and Applications sections. The investigation can be completed using the two sections in the Manual or by using the Introduction section plus Current Weather Studies available on the RealTime Weather Portal. The Manual Applications section and Current Weather Studies are similar in format, topic, and length. Investigations lead the student through analysis and interpretation of real-world weather.

RealTime Weather Portal - The AMS RealTime Weather Portal includes the delivery of Current Weather Studies, weekly Math Skills, current weather maps, visible, infrared, and water vapor satellite imagery, composite radar displays, and surface and upper-air data, plus forecast maps for the U.S. and southern Canada. Meteorological data, formatted and delivered via NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) are updated hourly, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week, year-round.

Current Weather Studies - Challenging lab activities with real-time excitement! - Course investigations are self-contained in the Investigations Manual or may be completed using the Manual introductory section with Current Weather Studies delivered on the RealTime Weather Portal. Current Weather Studies investigations expand on important concepts using current or recent weather data and are delivered on theweekly schedule described below.

Faculty Resources - Available on the faculty website, the Faculty Resources include the faculty guide, PowerPoints, textbook images, and manual questions, textbook chapter questions, as well as and chapter progress and test bank answer keys compatible with learning management systems. The faculty guide describes the course and its components and contains suggestions for course implementation in a variety of classroom settings. Included for each text chapter is an outline, summary, and learning objectives. 

When are the real-time course components delivered?

The real-world case studies in the Applications section of the Investigations Manual allow the combination of Manual and textbook to function as a full course. Many institutions offering the course during fall and spring semesters may choose to use the Introduction section of the Manual investigations with Current Weather Studies on the RealTime Weather Portal to expand on important concepts using current or recent weather data.

Current Weather Studies are delivered on a weekly schedule. Each week's Current Weather Studies "A" investigation is posted about Monday noon Eastern Time. The "B" investigation is posted about Wednesday noon ET. During fall and spring semesters, Current Weather Studies files accumulate in the "Archives" section of the RealTime Weather Portal as the semester progresses. Current Weather Studies activities for Chapter 13, 14, and 15, designed for use at any point during the course, are updated at the beginning of each fall semester and available year-round. Current Weather Studies answer keys and Respondus-compatible files will be posted to the faculty website on the same schedule.

View the real-time course delivery schedule.

How do I integrate this course with my Course Management System?

The Manual, Current Weather Studies learning investigations, and test banks can be ported into your system’s quizzing function for automated scoring and immediate student feedback. This feature allows for full integration into an e-learning environment. We provide course management system-compatible files in Respondus format, software for which many campuses are licensed.

Go to the Course Management System Integration page to learn about the easy three step process for porting our files into your system.

How do I host this course at my college?

If you would like to use the entire AMS Weather Studies course package, which includes the eTextbook, eManual, and instructor access to the RealTime Weather Portal and Faculty Website, your college will need to have an active Course License on file with the AMS Education Program. The Course License fee (from August 15th to August 14th) is $149 per institution, regardless of number of sections or number of students.

With an AMS Weather Studies license, your college receives:

  • AMS Weather Studies full course use for academic year
  • Faculty Resource Material, eTextbook and eManual
  • Instructor Access to AMS RealTime Weather Portal
  • Instructor Access to AMS Weather Studies Faculty Website
  • Files Compatible with Course Management Systems

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us at onlinewx@ametsoc.org or 1-800-824-0405.