ATSC 201 · Meteorology of Storms
Characteristics and physical processes of thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, hail, hurricanes, blizzards, cyclones and other storms. [3-0-0] Prerequisite: Completion of first-year science.
Course Availability & Schedule
- This is a course on practical meteorology.
- It is designed for students and professionals in science and engineering who want to understand and use basic concepts, but who don't need to derive the equations.
- These concepts are demonstrated in the context of storms.
- This course serves both as a terminal meteorology course for science & engineering students, and as an entry course for atmospheric-science (ATSC) majors.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
- Enjoy the beauty and power of storms without fear.(Affective)
- Describe the characteristics and evolution of:(Cognitive)
- thunderstorms (lightning, thunder, tornadoes, hail, rain, downbursts, gust fronts)
- mid-latitude cyclones (lows, fronts, air masses)
- general circulation (global climate, jet streams, Rossby waves)
- Use the following meteorological tools skillfully to diagnose the atmospheric condition: (Psychomotor)
- radar images
- satellite images
- weather maps
- thermo diagrams (for temperature soundings & stability)
- hodographs (for wind soundings)
- Excel (for calculations and graphs)
- Forecast your local weather by looking at the sky, identifying the clouds, and using the meteorological tools. (Psychomotor)
- Explain the role of dynamics (forces and winds) and thermodynamics (heat and moisture) in atmospheric processes and phenomena.(Cognitive)
- Relate atmospheric phenomena to the equations that describe them.(Cognitive)
- Reliably compute numerical answers in the face of missing data and mismatched units, and to qualitatively interpret the result.(Psychomotor & Cognitive)
- Defend and criticize meteorological issues (such as why perfect forecast skill is impossible for a chaotic fluid like the atmosphere).(Cognitive)
- There will be lots of interaction with your classmates during the class meetings -- an approach called "peer instruction."
- Also, based on a couple warm-up exercises that you do online the day before each class, I will learn which topics you are having difficulty with, and will focus my lectures on those topics -- an approach called "just-in-time teaching."
This course is part of EOS-SEI, the EOS Science Education Initiative.
Prof. Roland Stull
Required are the FREE online textbook and the FREE "iClicker Student" app for your cell phone or iPad:
- Textbook: Stull, 2018: "Practical Meteorology: An Algebra-based Survey of Atmospheric Science". https://www.eoas.ubc.ca/books/Practical_Meteorology/
- i-clicker: The "i-clicker" brand of personal response system has been adopted UBC-wide. We will use it extensively during each lecture. (We use the free app for your cell phone or electronic pad. We don't use the old iClicker handheld transmitter.)
|1||Introduction; meteorological conventions & fundamentals; tools such as Excel|
|2||Basic heat and pressure relationships, Thunderstorm types; weather radar|
|3||Interpreting radar images; atmospheric radiation; forces acting on the air|
|4||Hodograph; winds; continuity; vorticity|
|5||Tornadoes; helicity; lightning & thunder|
|6||More lightning & thunder; Lagrangian & Eulerian heat budgets|
|7||Moisture: saturation & variables; moisture budets: Lagrangian & Eulerian; hail|
|8||Thermo diagrams: components, types, thermodynamic state, applications; soundings; static stability, CAPE|
|9||Downbursts & gust fronts; global circulation|
|10||Cloud identification; Fall break.|
|11||Satellite image interpretation, global circulation - characteristics and forcings; jet stream; Rossby waves, airmasses & fronts|
|12||Synoptic weather maps, isoplething, more fronts, extratropical cyclone evolution & cyclogenesis|
|13||West-coast weather, Hurricanes: characteristics, evolution, thermodynamics, dynamics.|
|14||Hurricane models, climatology, hazards & forecasting. Review.|