Web materials shown in class

Plus other related items of potential interest

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June 23 Lecture

Atmospheric gases near Earth's surface

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations measured at Mauna Loa
http://www.ec.gc.ca/soer-ree/English/Indicators/ Issues/Climate/Tech_Sup/ccsup06_e.cfm

Vertical pressure/density profiles of atmosphere

June 24 Lecture

Vertical temperature profile of atmosphere

A very brief history of the science of meteorology

Class webpage of weather maps, data, and forecasts

Radiosonde network
Global map of one-time release locations: http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/cards/cards_map_act.html
North America map of release locations: http://weather.uwyo.edu/upperair/sounding.html
Future supplement to radiosondes from satellites:

Most recent sounding from Quillayute

June 25 Lecture

Energy required to heat water and change its phase

Water molecules and hydrogen bonds
Animation (.mpg) of two water molecules (0.3Mb)
Animation (.mpg) of many water molecules (1.5Mb)
More details on water molecules
Water in general

June 26 Lecture

Table of thermal conductivities

Electromagnetic radiation
Electromagnetic spectrum
Another look at the EM spectrum
One more take on EM radiation
Energy emitted by Sun and Earth (Figure 2.2.2) - differences in wavelength and amount

Global map of land albedo
Albedos of various surfaces

Using satellites to detect fires from space
Global map from 2002/07/11 - .jpg (0.7Mb)  |  .tif (10.8Mb)
Related press release

June 27 Quiz section

Washington state topographic map
View national US topographic maps

June 30 Lecture

Energy balance
Latitudinal and annual average energy received from sun and emitted by earth
Global map of December-February average incoming solar radiation minus outgoing IR radiation
Global map of June-August average incoming solar radiation minus outgoing IR radiation
Global map of annual average incoming solar radiation minus outgoing IR radiation
More figures and animations of global energy balance

Atmospheric greenhouse effect
Another figure comparing energy emission by the Earth and Sun
Absorption of radiation by atmospheric gases: Better horizontal axis/not as pretty  |  Prettier picture/not as clear axis
Simplistic summary figure

July 1 Lecture

Basic explanation and the role of sun angle
Few tidbits along with many other early discoveries involving Earth and sky
Step-by-step tutorial with some simple animations
Java applet showing sun angle varying with season (depending on your browser, may have problems with persisting images)
Length of day (shown by area in sunlight) - June solstice (0.5Mb) | Decemeber solstice (0.5Mb) | September equinox (0.5Mb) - Around a latitude band, the more white (or black), the longer the day (or night) at that latitude on that day.

July 2 Lecture

Temperature Scales
Comparison of Kelvin, Celsius, and Fahrenheit
Why Fahrenheit and Celsius scales are what they are

Slight improvement on EOM Fig. 3.2

July 3 Lecture

Maps of global surface temperatures
January average | July average

Wind chill
Javascript wind chill calculator giving both old and revised values
Several more javascript calculators (wind chill, relative humidity, heat index)

July 7 Lecture

Water barometer demonstration

Ideal gas law demonstrators
Simpler version (Ignore any message about Chinese language characters)
Fancier version that requires Internet Explorer (or at least does not work in Netscape)
These may not work properly if you do not have Java, which is not standard in Windows XP

July 8 Lecture

Hydrologic cycle diagram

Saturation, Evaporation, and Boiling

July 9 Lecture

Saturation vapor pressure dependence on temperature
Temperatures below freezing, over water and ice surfaces
Temperatures found in the troposphere (-80°C to 50°C)
Temperatures up to 100°C
Note: These graphs showing saturation vapor pressure versus temperature can also be considered graphs of actual vapor pressure versus dew point temperature.

Table of humidity quantities

Heat index
Calculator (near bottom of page)
Graph and information

July 10 Lecture

Evaporation (mixing) fog - why you can sometimes see your breath

July 11 Quiz section

Pressure (can-crushing) demonstration

July 14 Lecture

Cloud types

Cloud atlas illustrating various types

July 15 Lecture

Ice in clouds

July 16 Lecture

Illustrations of atmospheric stability
Early morning and afternoon soundings from Boise on July 11, 2003
Cumulus cloud forming over a fire: The surface heating of the fire destabilizes the column, air (a "parcel") from the surface rises, it remains warmer than the surrounding air and keeps rising, then it reaches its condensation level where it has cooled to its dew point temperature and is thus saturated, the cumulus cloud begins forming, but the air since now saturated is cooling at the moist adiabatic lapse rate rather than the dry adiabatic lapse rate, but it continues rising because it remains warmer than its surrounding, thus the cloud grows vertically.

July 17 Lecture

Maps of precipitation by US state
Washington - http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/WA/wa.gif
To see the map of any state, use the web address above for WA, but substitute the appropriate two-letter state abbreviation first in all CAPS, then in lower-case as is done for Washington. Note that the color changes with each state - a red or blue color on one state map does not necessarily correspond to the same annual precipitation amount on another state map.

Historical climate information for western states and comparisons among the locations with states

Boeing Field temperature and precipitation probability climatology

Sea-Tac Airport temperature and precipitation climatology

Compare observed rain (red) at SeaTac from mid-April to mid-July with average (blue) for the period

June 2003 - How it compared historically in terms of state-by-state precipitation and temperature {see many other such maps and graphs}

Types of winter precipitation

Snow crystals

July 18 Quiz section

Cloud in a jar demonstrations

"Fake" latent heat and supersaturation

July 23 Lecture

Weather maps with station winds shown by winds barbs
Surface analysis
500-mb analysis

Rotating reference frame
Animation (.mpg) of apparent forces in rolling a ball on a spinning merry-go-round (~2Mb)
Note: This is an example like it, but is not really a Coriolis force demonstration.

Coriolis force (or "Coriolis effect")
Where the Coriolis force matters and where it doesn't (the author seems a little condescending, but only to those who get it wrong)

July 24 Lecture

Geostrophic wind and geostrophic balance
Animation (.mpg) of an air parcel at rest adjusting into geostrophic balance (~2Mb)
Note: Air parcels aloft are generally already in motion and thus nearly in geostrophic balance rather than starting at rest and being then put into motion. Also, notice that the pressure values around 1000mb are consistent with surface readings, and surface winds are in geostrophic balance.

July 29 Lecture

Local and regional circulations
Puget Sound Convergence Zone - Example of a mechanical circulation

Thermal circulations
Sea breezes and land breezes
Santa Ana winds

Brief summaries of various thermal circulations

Explanation for dust devils
They're a little mechanical and a little thermal but not just little tornadoes!

Information from KOMO4 on interesting local summer weather conditions
Marine push (onshore flow)
Visible satellite picture of conditions like a marine push but probably not really one (looks more like organized weather system moving onshore). Note that the clouds are low as shown by the lowlands and valleys being cloudy but the Olympic and Cascade peaks not.
Offshore flow
Thermal trough (heat low)
Simple rule of thumb forecasting for Seattle in summer, based on pressure gradients

July 30 Lecture

Maps of global sea level pressure and surface winds
January average (800x600) or (1800x1350)
July average (800x600) or (1800x1350)

General circulation
Zonally (east/west) averaged horizontal and vertical winds - Shading is zonal wind (positive means westerly, moving out of screen) and arrows denote meridional (north/south) and vertical winds.

Overview of the general circulation with lots of pretty pictures
Overview of the general circulation with links to pretty pictures (many of which are from EOM)

August 4 Lecture

Surface ocean currents
Pattern largely determined by direction of winds which drag surface water along
But details are more complex (though we will not worry about much of this, except that Coriolis deflection can transport water at an angle different from the wind direction)

Coastal upwelling
Importance for sea life (note the picture is a Southern Hemisphere case even though the heading above it says "California")
Diagrams for both upwelling and downwelling in Northern Hemisphere along a west coast such as California coast
Upwelling bringing colder water to surface near coast then moving away
Picture showing microscopic sea life off CA coast - the redder the color, the more life

ENSO - El Niño Southern Oscillation
Theme page with answers to all sorts of El Niño and La Niña questions and lots of links
Global maps of anomalies (deviations from average) of January sea level pressure, surface winds, and 500-mb heights during El Niño episodes and La Niña episodes

Influence of teleconnection patterns (like those associated with ENSO) on extreme winter weather events in Everett, WA or any of many other US stations and Canadian stations
Learn about the NAM (also called NAO) and the PNA. They are like ENSO in that they vary between sort of opposite states with fairly regular features that influence weather patterns over broad areas, and they can be measured with relatively simple indices. Quite simply as defined here positive NAM corresponds to stronger than average mid-latitude westerlies and negative NAM corresponds to weaker than average mid-latitude westerlies, while positive PNA corresponds to a stronger than average Aleutian low and negative PNA corresponds to a weaker than average Aleutian low.

August 5 Lecture

Surface weather map with each type of front shown

Air masses and fronts

Cloud formation at fronts: Cold front and Warm front

August 6 Lecture

More pictures for air masses and fronts plus development of mid-latitude cyclones

Schematic of weather patterns associated with typical developing mid-latitude cyclone

Example of idealized development of middle latitude cyclone
From November 9-12, 1998 - Large GIF animations (3-6Mb) of various weather maps spaced 12 hours apart

Example of mature middle latitude cyclone over central US, which is formed on the tail end of another system
From April 16, 2003 - surface weather map, satellite images, and very short-range forecasts (approximately observations)

August 11 Lecture

Pacific Northwest MM5 - a regional weather forecasting model run at UW

August 12 Lecture

Excellent National Weather Service introduction to thunderstorms
Basics on thunderstorms and tornadoes
Page on thunderstorms including simple animation of single-cell life cycle
Assorted little severe weather figures

August 14 Lecture

Lecture overview of thunderstorm types

Global distribution of lightning from National Space Science and Technology Center - Annual average | Annual cycle (mpg, 1.7Mb)

Maps of tornado occurrences and many links from NCDC
Why not to seek shelter from a tornado under an overpass

Doppler radar and how it indicates severe weather

Lecture overview of tornadoes

August 18 Lecture

Basics on hurricanes

Lecture overview of hurricanes

August 19 Lecture




August 20 Lecture


Climate change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change