ATMO 200: Fall 2017

Atmospheric Processes and Phenomenon

Learning Objective: Upon completion of this course, students will have a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the primary processes that control the state of the atmosphere, weather, and climate. Students will practice observing, connecting physical processes with their governing equations, and will be able to apply what they learn to understand the weather here in Hawaii.

Topics: Atmospheric variables (temperature, pressure, density, humidity etc.), gas laws, radiation balance and processes, thermodynamics, conservation laws, laws of motion, clouds and precipitation, convection, atmospheric circulations, mid-latitude and tropical weather systems, severe weather, forecasting, and climate.



“Practical Meteorology: An algebra-based survey of atmospheric science” by Roland Stull:

ATMO 200 OER Chapters:

Note that at the current time, these chapters are only accessible to those with a Univ. of Hawaii account.

Visuals shown in Class:

NWS skywatcher chart:

NASA Aerosols:

This page will be updated throughout the Fall 2017 semester as the course progresses.



Week 1 (8.21, 8.23, 8.25): Chapter 2

M: Course Overview, Solar Eclipse, PSet 1 assigned

W: The Earth as a part of the solar system, retaining an atmosphere

F: Intro to radiation laws, and Earth's steady-state temperature

Week 2 (8.28, 8.30, 9.1): Chapter 2, and Chapter 1

M: Earth's equilibrium temperature, SI units, scientific notation, and sig figs

W: Habitability, steady state, greenhouse effect & gases

F: Ideal gas law, PSet 1 due, PSet 2 assigned

Week 3 (labor day, 9.6, 9.8): Chapter 1

W: Buoyancy, Atmospheric pressure and density

F: Atmospheric temperature structure, PSet 2 due

Week 4 (9.11, 9.13, 9.15): Chapter 3, and start Chapter 4

M: Hydrostatic balance, PSet 3 assigned

W: Mixing and Lape Rate

F: Atmospheric Stability

Week 5 (9.18, 9.20, 9.22): Chapter 4, Chapters 6 and 7

M: Moisture in the atmosphere, PSet 3 due

W: Moisture & Clouds Cont.

F: Learning Assessment 1, PSet 4 assigned

Week 6 (9.25, 9.27, 9.29): Chapters 4, 6, and 7

M: Clouds Cont.

W: LA1 Returned, Latent Heating, Convection

F: Skew-Ts and Moist Stability, PSet 4 Due, PSet 5 assigned

Week 7 (10.2, 10.4, 10.6): Chapters 5 and 7

M: Cloud formation, Skew-T practice

W: Visibility, Particle sizes, Interaction with light / waves

F: Precipitation formation, PSet 5 due, PSet 6 assigned

Week 8 (10.9, 10.11, 10.13):

M: No Class, make up next week

W: (Sub Today) Precipitation & Global Circulation

F: Precipitation Types, PSet 6 Due


Week 9 (10.16, 10.18, 10.20):

M: Applications, Research related to class topics

T: Make-up Class, and LA2 Review

W: Learning Assessment 2

F: No Class, SOEST Open House

Week 10 (10.23, 10.25, 10.27):

M: LA2 Review, Uneven heating

W: Global circulation

F: Geostrophic Winds and the coriolis force, PSet 7 Assigned


Week 11 (10.30, 11.1, 11.3):

M: More geostrophy and synoptic maps

W: Air masses and fronts

F: Mid-latitude frontal cyclones, PSet 7 Due, PSet 8 Assigned

Week 12 (11.6, 11.8, veterans day):

M: Convective storms I

W: Convective storms II

F: No Class, Veterans Day, PSet 8 Due, PSet 9 Assigned

Week 13 (11.13, 11.15, 11.17):

M: Convective Storms III

W: Convective Storms IV

F: Hawaiian weather I, PSet 9 Due

Week 14 (11.20, 11.22, thanksgiving):

M: Hawaiian weather II

W: Learning Assessment 3

F: No Class, Thanksgiving!

Week 15 (11.27, 11.29, 12.1):

M: Climate

W: Climate, PSet 10 Assigned

F: Climate

Week 16 (12.4, 12.6):

M: Climate

W: Climate, PSet 10 Due

Final Exam Date: Friday December 15th, 12-2 PM set by the University calendar.