ATSC 113    Applied Meteorology
Weather for Sailing, Flying & Snow Sports

Theme: Applied Weather


  Learning Goals

12. Synthesis
      By the end of this module, you will be able to:
Identify the time and spatial scales of various weather phenomena.  (see figures below)
Make connections between weather characteristics that are common to flying, snow-sports, & sailing. 
Synthesize a coherent picture of the weather. 

13. ePortfolio (optional)
     By the end of this module, you will have created:
Your own weather webpage on Canvas with links and info that are relevant to your own sports, activities or interests.

• You will be able to continue to access and use your ePortfolio after the course ends.

• Here is a sample of a simple weather ePortfolio. )

• If you go to Canvas / Modules and look in the ePortfolios Module (just after the Flying-weather Midterm module), then select the Instructions page, you can find a link to some of our favorite ePortfolios from previous terms.  Those students gave us their permission to allow you to see their  names and ePortfolios.

Instead of providing web links for the learning goals in theme 12, we provide the content below. 

Learning Goals 12a, b, c:  Spatial and Temporal Scales of Weather Phenomena

Surprisingly, small horizontal-size phenomena in the atmosphere are often short lived.  Larger-size phonemona often last longer.  The net result is that most of our weather phenomena fall along a diagonal line in the first figure below.  Every weather phenomenon that we discussed in the flying, snow-sports, and sailing weather themes can be found at some location on the first figure below. 

Even if you don't see the name of a phenomenon in the first figure below, often you know either the horizontal or temporal scale of the phemonenon from the learning-goal content under the flying, snow-sports, and sailing weather themes.  This knowledge would allow you to figure out where it should go, so you could create a new box for it on that first figure.

scales of atmospheric motions
Figure above: A log-log plot of time duration vs. horizontal size of many weather phenomena.  (Stull, 2017) 

Generic names are given to the horizontal size of weather phenomena, as shown in Table 10-6 below.  For example, the highs and lows that you see on weather maps are synoptic (macro-beta) scale.  The largest turbulent wind swirls or eddies that form in the wake of a building are often roughly the same size as the building, perhaps micro-gamma scale.

  atmospheric scale names

By considering how weather phenomena can be grouped by scale or by other shared characteristics (e.g., cloudiness, fogginess, destructiveness, visibility, etc.), we can help organize how we think about these phenomena.  This can improve our understanding, and can allow us to make better weather-related decisions.

UBC ATSC 113 Weather for Sailing, Flying & Snow Sports
Copyright © 2015 - 2019 by Roland Stull
Last modification: Oct 2019