Mountain Weather

Introduction to Weather

Intro Weather

This introductory course is the first of two courses that focus on fundamental weather theory essential to understanding basic forecasts and internet-based weather resources. Taught by leading forecasters and avalanche practitioners in Canada, this course is designed for anyone interested in knowing more about weather, its behaviour in mountainous regions, and its connection with snow and avalanche conditions. It is also useful for students who wish to firm up their current knowledge.

Skills and knowledge will be taught to provide the base of knowledge essential for the Advanced Weather Skills course that focuses on the CAA's weather services for industry and specifically how to localize large-scale regional forecasts to make them more meaningful in an operational context. Students are introduced to publicly available tools and methods that help to assess any weather scenario over the mountains of western BC.

The majority of this two day course will take place in a classroom starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at approximately 5:00 p.m. Refer to the Sample Schedule under "Related Links" for details.

Note: For the 2013/2014 avalanche season, the Introduction to Weather will become a prerequisite course to CAA’s Avalanche Operations Level 2 course (Level 2). Students must either enroll or have completed the Introduction to Weather course prior to applying and participating in Level 2 Module 2 or have completed a Prior Learning Assessment for waiving of this prerequisite (PLA). For more information on the PLA process, refer to the PLA form under the Student Resources tab or contact our office for more information. 

Program Goals

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Define common weather terms and give examples;
  • Describe basic weather principles and observations;
  • Describe basic weather patterns in the global, synoptic, and regional scale;
  • Interpret weather resources;
  • Explain how weather conditions affect avalanche hazard.


Participants must be 19 years of age or older.

Recommended Courses

  • CAA Avalanche Operations Level 1


On-line registration opens in early July. To register, click on the “Register now!” button in the right sidebar. Note that full payment will be taken at the time of on-line registration. Course dates and locations are posted in May.

NEW: You will be required to upload a scan of the following document during your registration process. Without it you will be unable to complete your registration. A scan can be a legible digital photo of the required document. A scan is needed of:

  • Proof of 19 years of age or older. Example: A copy of your Driver's License


Tuition price $395

An additional $100 registration fee is applied to International Students.

Course Evaluation

There is an evaluation component to the course. A passing mark of 71% or over on the final exam must be obtained to complete the course successfully.

Course Equipment & Materials

Students are required to bring a laptop computer to the course. Student manuals will be sent to you prior to the course start date. Any pre-course materials must be completed prior to starting the course.

related links

course dates

If courses are full, contact the CAA to be put on a waiting list ( and a general e-mail will be sent out to those on the waitlist when a spot becomes open.