BSc Geography and Geology
Year of entry: 2018
Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||School of Earth and Environmental Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
Develop practical skills in analyzing and interpreting weather charts and data. Learn how the dynamics of the atmosphere produces the jet stream, low-pressure systems, fronts, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Find out how clouds and precipitation are formed.
The course is open to environmental scientists, geographers, Earth and planetary scientists, and others interested in developing practical knowledge of weather phenomena.
What Skills I Hope You Will Learn:
Obtaining a basic understanding of how weather happens.
Understanding how environmental predictions are made, specifically weather forecasts.
Developing the ability to read and interpret weather data and maps.
After successful completion of this course unit, students will have an understanding of:
• The driving factors for weather patterns across the Earth,
• How to read and interpret standard weather charts, such as those available on the Internet,
• The circulations and weather phenomena that occur when the atmosphere responds to unequal distributions of energy, momentum, and moisture,
• How a weather forecast is made.
Tentative Lecture Schedule
Week 1: Introduction to meteorology and forecasting, weather observations
Week 2: How numerical weather prediction works and how to use the Manunicast.com portal
Week 3: Air masses, fronts and cyclones 1
Week 4: Air masses, fronts, and cyclones 2, Test 1
Week 5: Convective storms 1
Week 6: READING WEEK (NO CLASS.)
Week 7: Convective storms 2
Week 8: Numerical weather forecasting 1, Test 2
Week 9: Numerical weather forecasting 2
Week 10: Environmental prediction, air-quality forecasting
Week 11: Communicating uncertainty, Test 3
¿ You will be given the following forms of feedback over the duration of the course.
¿ Also, you may ask the instructor at any time for the status of your grades and how you
¿ are progressing in the course. Meetings may be scheduled for individual feedback.
¿ 1. Returned tests and comments, including answer key available in the Student
¿ Support Office, Williamson 1.42.
¿ 2. Written comments on the homework.
¿ 3. Weather forecasts scored by the next week and posted on Metcast.
¿ Ackerman and Knox (2006): Meteorology: Understanding the Atmosphere, 2nd/3rd/4th ed.
¿ Supplementary animations and applets:
Other Useful Resources:
¿ • Any introductory meteorology textbook by Donald Ahrens in the library.
¿ • Wallace and Hobbs (2006): Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey, 2nd ed.
¿ • Markowski and Richardson (2009): Mesoscale Meteorology in Midlatitudes.
¿ • Inness and Dorling (2013): Operational Weather Forecasting.
¿ • COMET Modules- Located at https://www.meted.ucar.edu/
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|David Schultz||Unit coordinator|