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Atmospheric Sciences 441/503 Fall 2008
Atmospheric Motions I


Instructor: Professor Cecilia Bitz
Phone: (206) 543-1339
Office:  ATG 502
Office hours: Monday and Tuesdays 1:30-2:30, or by appointment.

Class Meeting Times and Location

Lectures: MWF 10:30-11:20 in  Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysics Hall (ATG) 610

Course Description
The purpose of the course is to introduce principles of fluid dynamics applied to the behavior of large-scale mid-latitude weather systems. Students will learn why upper-level winds tend to blow parallel to the isobars and why troughs, instead of ridges, tend to bring unsettled weather.

Textbook:  Holton, J.R., 2004: Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, 4th Edition. Elsevier.  The first four chapters and parts of chapter six will be covered. Textbook errata are available on-line.

Grading policy

    Midterms15% (Fridays Oct 17 and Nov 14)
    Comprehensive Final Exam 30% (Monday 8:30-10:30 or possibly take home)
    Homework, Worksheets, and Projects 40%
    Extra Credit 5% max
Makeup test by prior arrangement only. Homework is due in class on Wednesdays, unless noted on the schedule. Late homework may be allowed one time with instructor approval prior to its due date.

Strategies for Success
Read the textbook and derive the equations on your own as you read. Use lecture notes handed out in class and also available on the schedule as a supplement to the text.

Attend lectures. The lectures indicate the topics the instructor believes are most challenging and important. Valuable example problems will be worked in class and in small groups. Animations and computer exercises will be shown during lecture that may be part of future exams. Lecture notes cannot possibly contain everything important that the instructor says and make no attempt to repeat material that is covered comprehensively in the textbook. Occasionally material will be given in lecture that is not in the textbook or lecture notes and you will be expected to know it. Bring the lecture notes to class and write on them.

Workplace problems rarely present an obvious approach. This class will exercise your ability to solve such problems. An excellent source on how to solve  problems in physics (or meteorology) by Dan Styer may offer some help. We will work problems together in class and during office hours for practice.

Hash out questions with your classmates outside of class. Work in groups on homework but every student must write up answers on their own. Occasional random quizzes will test your ability to work independently on homework problems that were assigned. Go to office hours or email the instructor when you need help. Don't be afraid to ask questions in class.  Use anonymous email if you feel uncomfortable asking a question or wish to anonymously communicate some helpful feedback to the instructor.