In the News & Notes link above, you will find important Tips to make the start of term easier for you.
How to create a spreadsheet to calculate a table of numbers, plot them
in a graph, switch which variables are plotted on the horizontal and
vertical axes, and change the vertical axis to a flipped pressure scale
in log coordinates with the largest pressure at the bottom of the graph.
- Printed notes with instructions (pdf file, 2.1 MB)
- HD video (mp4, 530 MB. Could take several minutes to download, so wait before you try to play it.)
- same video, but low resolution (mp4, 150 MB) . Could take several minutes to download, so wait before you try to play it.)
Example of plotting multiple curves on the same graph, using trig
functions, and more tips for debugging your work to get the correct
answer. Shows how to calculate solar elevation angle vs local
time, from Chapter 2 of Practical Meteorology.
Because this video is long and has large file sizes, I split it into two parts: (a) and (b).
- HD video of part a (mp4, 406 MB. Could take several minutes to download, so wait before you try to play it.)
- HD video of part b (mp4, 338 MB. Could take several minutes to download, so wait before you try to play it.)
And here are the same videos, but at lower resolutions:
- low-res part a (mp4, 157 MB. Could still take several minutes to download, so wait before you try to play it.)
- low-res part b (mp4, 127 MB. Wait until it fully downloads before you try to play it.)
Tips for Debugging Excel
Here are some common mistakes that you can be on guard for:
- incorrect units. (To help catch these errors, always write the units in an adjacent cell in Excel.)
failure to use cell absolute addresses where needed. (where both row and column are held fixed)
- temperature often must be in Kelvin
- angles must be in radians
- sometimes one unit (e.g., kPa), must be converted to other
units (e.g., kg/m/s2). See Table A-2 in Appendix A of Practical
Meteorology for units commonly used in meteorology. Also, page 871 in
Appendix A gives tips on how to do unit conversion.
failure to select the "x-y scatter" chart when making graphs,
even if you want points to be connected by lines. (Never use the "line"
- also, failure to use cell partial absolute addresses, where only the row or column are held fixed.
As was shown in the videos, if the equation in a cell is giving a bad
result, click once in the cell, and then click in the formula
bar. This will cause the cells in the spreadsheet to be color
coded to match the colors of terms in the formula bar. This way,
you can check to see if your formula is pointing to the correct
cells. You can fix bad cells by typing in the correct row and
column ID for the cell, and adding dollar signs ($) if needed to make
it an absolute reference.
Online Guides for Students: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10701
UBC ITSC Helpdesk: https://it.ubc.ca/got-question-about-it-products-and-support#helpdesk
There is a drop-in Help room in Koerner Library, or you can open a ticket online or by phone.
Key Web pages for this course
1) The overall course website is
2) From that site, if you click on the assignments tab, it takes you to
3) Then click on the link for the current Week. Such as Week
1. This takes you to the detailed schedule for the whole week:
A legend at the bottom of this page explains the abbreviations that I use for the exercises.
4) The textbook is
The homework exercises are at the end of each chapter.
5) For the Warm-up Exercises on "UBC Canvas" find it at
This Canvas web site also has the online Discussion Board for this
course, where you can ask and answer questions with your fellow
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Many students made similar mistakes in Homework 2. Some tips:
- Don't confuse Pa with kPa.
for example: 30 kPa = 30,000 Pa (not equal to 30 Pa).
- Don't confuse km with m. Always check your units.
- 1 x 10^-4 is NOT equal to 0.001. It is equal to 0.0001.
Tips for Getting the Right Answer:
- For any equation, find the solved example (Sample Application) in the book, and
do it on your own. It helps if you recreate the solved example on
your own spreadsheet, because then you can check your spreadsheet
answer with the answer in the book. After you have debugged your
spreadsheet, then ...
- Then, for most exercises, all you need to do is change a few numbers in the spreadsheet for the exercise that was assigned.
- But don't forget,
when you do your actual exercise, carry your units along in a separate
spreadsheet cell next to each number ... don't just add them at the end
and hope they come out right.
- If you got the wrong answer or units, but claim that you checked them
and they were OK, then you get double marks off for that part of the
- For your Discussion or Exposition, you will need to write your own. Do not copy the one from the textbook.
Grades on Homework:
have a question about how your homework was marked, please
contact Prof. Stull directly. My room, phone, and email are listed
in the Home page for this course.
Because I want you to earn the highest grade possible in ALL
courses, I have included some flexibility in the marking scheme.
As you can see in the Evaluation link under the Home
you don't need to complete all of the Homework, Warm-up Questions, and
Clicker Participation to earn full marks. Also, there are
marks for the course. That way, if you have an important term
paper or exam in some other course, you can skip an assignment in my
course to help you budget your time better. But be careful
you do this, because you will still be responsible for understanding
all the topics for the midterm and final exams. Any
turned in late will not be marked, and will count as one of the
"skipped" assignments. So if you are planning to do an
assignment, please turn it in on time. If you haven't
all of the assignment, turn in the portion that you have finished to get partial marks, and to get feedback from the marker.