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Harvard University

Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather

Harvard University via edX


The weather forecasts we see every day are based on an army of meteorological sensing networks and intensive computer modeling. Before the rise of these technologies, predictions were made by methods like discerning cloud formations and wind directions.

This course will explore the science behind weather systems by teaching the observational skills needed to make a forecast without using instruments or computer models. We'll discuss the physical processes driving weather and the global forces that shape global climate systems. Finally, we will examine the limits of prediction in both human observations and computer models.

Can the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? Take this course to find out!


  • Physical processes in weather systems
  • Winds, weather masses, clouds, fronts in the temperate zones
  • Other weather systems
  • Weather predictions: Linear and non-linear systems

Taught by

John Huth


3.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at edX based on 24 ratings

Start your review of Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather

  • While this course is interesting and touches all the important topics, it really lacks in depth. Being taught by a physicist, I was expecting that the underlying processes will be explained in terms of scientific laws which govern gases, and matter…
  • This course is great for beginners, its not easy and not to hard. I've been in love in meteorology since I was born. I learned so much just in the first slide. recommend this course for people who want to know more
  • Anonymous
    Cursory. Major areas glossed over with one or two sentences. To get anything out of this class, you have to spend time on YouTube researching essential background and detail. Otherwise, you learn very little. I think my grandson might be bored with this class. I was.

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