ATSC 113 (3 cr): Applied Meteorology: Weather for Sailing, Flying and Snow Sports


Course Description

ATSC 113 is designed to be a fun way to learn more about the weather, as applied to case-studies in sailing, flying, and snow sports. Each week we explore a new case study where we put you in the virtual “drivers seat” as the skipper, pilot, or snow-boarder. Via individual and group activities online, you decide on the best course of action for each case-study event (a difficult sailing, an aircraft accident, a snowboard hazard). Most of the case studies are for southwestern Canada near Vancouver, with a few elsewhere in North America. You can find more info about this course at

This course will use Proctorio (an online remote proctoring service) for invigilation of the final exam for ONLY those Distance Education students who are unable to write the exam on the UBC-Vancouver campus. All other Distance Education students will write the normal paper exam on campus as scheduled with students from the other section(s) of this course.

Proctorio will record your webcam, computer screen, or other actions during the exam session and share that information with your instructor. The recorded information meets British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In order to use Proctorio, you are required to have access to a regular computer (Windows/Mac desktop or laptop). You cannot take the exams from mobile devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Android device, tablet, etc). You need a working webcam and microphone and you will need to install both the Google Chrome web browser & Proctorio’s Chrome extension.

Intended Student

This course is open to all students of any year and any major. No prerequisites. This counts as a science course. Students do not need any prior background or experience in sailing, flying or snow sports.

For those students who already have expertise in some of these areas, we offer links to advanced info. But this extra info is not required for this course – – you can still earn full marks without it.

Available Course Sections

September term: ATSC 113.99A (online) and ATSC 113.101 (online)
January term: ATSC 113.99C (online) and ATSC 113.201 (online)
Summer term: ATSC 113.98A (online) and ATSC 113.971 (online)

Topics to be Covered – Syllabus Overview

Theme: Flying Weather
1. Clouds, Ceiling, Visibility & Fog
2. Pressure, Temperature, Winds & Wind Shear
3. Turbulence & Icing
4. Thunderstorms & Aviation Weather Services

Theme: Snowsports Weather
5. Winter Weather
6. Winter Mountain Weather
7. Snow Conditions

Theme: Sailing Weather
8. Winds & Waves
9. Large-Scale Winds
10. Local Winds & Gusts
11. Marine Weather Services

Theme: Applied Weather
12. Synthesis of Weather Concepts
13. Create your own ePortfolio of weather concepts


  • Online activities each week are worth marks.
  • Online open-book quizzes each week to “Check your Understanding” of weather concepts.
  • Two online open-book midterm exams, one each for: flying and snow-sports weather.  (Sailing weather is covered in the final exam).
  • Final exam with an individual component and a group/team component.  [Note, those students registered in one of the distance education sections (99A, 99C, 98A) are allowed to apply for a final exam off-campus.]

To pass the course, you must pass the individual portion of the final exam (i.e., earn a grade of at least 50%), as well as earning an overall course grade of at least 50%.

Course Materials

  • All information is available free online. You do not need to buy any textbooks.
  • Within each online Learning Module we give you links to appropriate online resources.
  • You will need access to a computer or electronic pad/tablet to do the online readings and assignments.