Weather is the one factor that can make or break a trip into the mountains. Understanding how the weather works, and being able to make your own weather forecast, will not only help you plan your excursions, but will also dramatically increase your margin of safety. Understanding the atmosphere, along with the ability to read and interpret the myriad of weather products, will minimize your chances of ever being “surprised” by the weather again.
While the main focus of this course is on forecasting winter weather in the mountains of Alaska, the principles and techniques taught in this course will be applicable to almost any geographic area, anytime of year. This course begins with some basic meteorology and an understanding of how the atmosphere works. Students will learn how to read and interpret all the weather maps and computer models necessary to make their own forecast. There will be map reading and forecasting exercises each day, to provide as much hands-on experience as possible. By the end of this course students should feel comfortable interpreting most weather maps and making a forecast for their local mountain area.
Jim Woodmencey has a B.S. degree in Meteorology from Montana State University. Formerly an avalanche forecaster and meteorologist for the Alaska Avalanche Forecast Center in Anchorage, Jim then worked as the avalanche and weather forecaster, as well as the lead guide, for High Mountain Heli-Skiing in Jackson, WY for 20 years. Jim has been forecasting weather for Jackson Hole & the Teton Mountain Range since 1991. Besides forecasting locally, Jim has experience forecasting for climbs, expeditions, and SAR missions throughout the Western U.S., Alaska, the Karakoram & Himalaya. Jim is the author of two books, Reading Weather and Weather in the Southwest.
Venue Website: https://www.alaskapacific.edu/visit/facilities/grant-hall/
Classroom is at APU’s Grant Hall 315