ATM S 370, Winter 1999

Atmospheric Structure and Analysis

Instructors: Professor Clifford F. Mass
612 Atmospheric Sciences Bldg., 685-0910


Dr. Lynn McMurdie
624 Atmospheric Sciences Bldg., 685-9405

Lectures: MW, 1:30-4:20 PM; F 1:30-3:20 PM, 610 ATG. Generally: first hour lecture, second and third hours map discussion and lab.

Office Hours: Drop in or by appointment.

Textbook: Atmospheric Sciences: An Introductory Survey, by J.M. Wallace and P.V. Hobbs (Academic Press, 1977). Also supplementary handouts.

Evaluation: Quizes and Midterm exams 33%; Laboratory work 33%; Final Exam 33%.

Equipment: 3 #2 pencils; red, blue, green and purple colored pencils; rule

Class WEB Site:

Course Outline

1. Hypsometric Equation. Altimeter Setting. Reduction of pressure to sea level. Lab: Sounding and pressure reduction exercises. Introduction to the map room.

2. Scalar Analysis. Geostrophic, gradient and ageostrophic wind relationships. Station models and aviation reports. Lab: Station model and aviation report (Metar) interpretation, 500 mb and 850 mb analyses.

3. Norwegian Conceptual Model of cyclones and fronts. Isobaric and frontal analysis. Problems with traditional frontal analysis. Lab: Surface analysis.

4. Clouds and precipitation and their relationship with synoptic systems. Boundary-layer clouds. Introduction to radar meteorology. Mesoscale precipitation structures. Lab: 700 mb analysis and radar interpretation exercises.

5. Thickness, thermal wind, and jet streams. Lab: 300 and 200 mb maps. Thickness analysis. Thermal wind lab. Cross section analysis.

6. Modern ideas on synoptic structure and development. Shapiro and Keyser, conveyor belt and other new conceptual models. Three dimensional airflow in cyclones. Numerical simulations of cyclone/frontal evolution. Lab: Gempak and trajectory analyses using model data.

7. Weather Satellites. Hardware description. Basic concepts. Enhancement curves. Interpretation of visible, infrared, microwave, and moisture imagery. Lab: Satellite book. Analysis of satellite imagery. Electronic satellite interpolation exercises.

8. Tropical meteorology. Basic characteristics and comparison to midlatitudes. Easterly waves and tropical storms. Lab: Streamline and isotach analysis.

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