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Come Rain or Shine: Understanding the Weather


University of Reading

Project Team

University of Reading


Future Learn





Key Contact



MOOC, online course, weather, climate




Weather is all around us. It affects our lives almost every day – through what we wear, what we eat and what we do. It also affects most industries and leisure activities. In the UK we are well known for talking, and complaining, about the weather. But what brings us such variable weather? What makes it rainy, windy or sometimes even sunny?

Understand the physical processes behind the weather

This course provides an overview of some of the physical processes underlying the weather systems which impact on many aspects of our lives. Together, we’ll start by looking at the UK’s characteristic weather patterns; for example the low pressure weather systems or depressions which bring us most of our rain, wind and storms.

Explore weather phenomena from global to local, big to small

On this course you will examine the larger scale processes which control the weather and climate globally, as well as weather phenomena in other parts of the world. The weather is always in the news – and we’ll be exploring some of the more recent notable weather events.

We’ll also investigate everyday weather processes, which determine whether or not you need to take your umbrella with you. This course offers an ideal opportunity to discuss both the daily and more exceptional weather events with learners worldwide.

Learn from experts about the basics of forecasting the weather

The course features interviews with experts from the University of Reading’s Meteorology Department and the Royal Meteorological Society; two leading organisations in the field of meteorology.

Each week you’ll learn from a mix of background articles, case studies and practical, video demonstrations – some of which you can try at home. We will also invite you to complete some fieldwork of your own; investigate your local microclimate and try your hand at our forecasting activity! We’ll equip you with the knowledge you need to help you make an educated guess each week about the following weekend’s weather and invite you to share your predictions on the RMetS website. Pit yours skills against your fellow learners and see how you get on. Will your scores improve every week?

Register here