Introduction to 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, the 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 weather knowledge.


Students are introduced to publicly available tools and methods that help to assess any weather scenario over the mountains of western BC. Skills 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. 
The majority of this two-day course will take place in a classroom, starting at 8:00 and ending at approximately 17:00. Refer to the sample schedule for details. A significant amount of pre-course reading must be completed before course start.
Visit the course calendar for course dates, locations and registration. Full payment is taken at registration. Course dates for the following year are updated in the spring. Online registration opens in June for the following season. For 2017 online registration will open July 3.

Program Goals

For each course the Canadian Avalanche Association creates specific course goals and learning objectives. These reflect industry standards and current best practices and are updated accordingly. The Introduction to Weather course goals and objectives are displayed in the Introduction to Weather DACUM. If you are unfamiliar with DACUMs please read the document "Learn what a DACUM is and why it is important".


Participants must be 19 years of age or older. You will be required to upload a scan or legible photo of proof of age during your registration. Example: a copy of your driver's license.


Recommended Courses and Experience:

Application/Registration Process

If you have met the prerequisites listed above then you may register online for the course of your choice (if available). Course locations and dates are posted every spring for the following year. Online registration opens in May/June. Visit the course calendar for the exact registration opening dates. For 2017 registration will open July 3.


Full payment for the Introduction to Weather course will be taken at time of registration.


You will be required to upload a scan or JPEG of the following document during your registration process. Without them you will be unable to complete your registration.

  • Proof of 19 years of age or older. Example: a copy of your driver's license.

Course Fees and Funding Opportunities

****The following are 2017-18 course fees. Note that prices are now location-specific to reflect ACTUAL costs associated with course locations****  


Revelstoke: $459

Canmore: $432

Squamish: $491

Ste Anne des Monts (Qc): $456


An additional $100 registration fee is applied to international students to account for shipping costs.


Full payment is due at time of registration.



The Avalanche Canada Foundation yearly offers scholarships for students for a variety of courses. There is also an Alberta job grant. Many local employment centres and/or SAR groups can also help with local funding opportunities.

Course Equipment and Materials

Upon registration all students will receive a confirmation e-mail that contains links to the course's logistical information. Alternatively you can click on the course's title in the course calendar to view logistical details.


Students will be mailed a program package1 that includes:

  • An Introduction to Weather  Student Manual & readings.
  • A CD with further resources.

1 It is the student's responsibility to contact the CAA office if they have not received this package 1 month prior to course start. The package will be mailed to the address you provided during your online registration.


Pre-course readings and questions take time, 20+ hours, and must be completed prior to starting the course.


Introduction to Weather is a classroom based course. There will be a venue specific equipment list, in your digital logistical letter you receive with registration, for what to bring to course. Students are required to bring a laptop computer to the course.


Use the sample course schedule to help anticipate daily needs.

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. A passing grade results in the CAA Introduction to Weather certificate of completion being granted to the student.

Box 2759, 110 MacKenzie Ave
Revelstoke, BC Canada, V0E 2S0
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Tel 250-837-2435
Fax 866-366-2094
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