ATMO 200: Fall 2019

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.

Syllabus

Resources:

Atmospheric Science: ATMO 200 Companion Text edited by Alison Nugent:

http://pressbooks-dev.oer.hawaii.edu/atmo/

Practical Meteorology: An Algebra-Based Survey of Atmospheric Science by Roland Stull:

https://www.eoas.ubc.ca/books/Practical_Meteorology/

Visuals shown in Class:

NWS skywatcher chart: https://forecast.weather.gov/jetstream/synoptic/clouds_max.htm

NASA Aerosols: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRsY_UviBPE

This page will be updated throughout the Fall 2019 semester as the course progresses.

Week 1 (8.26, 8.28, 8.30): Chapter 1

M: Course Overview, PSet 1 assigned

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

F: SI Units, Atmospheric pressure and density, Ideal Gas Law

Week 2 (9.2, 9.4, 9.6): Chapter 1

M:  -- No Class, Labor Day --

W: Buoyancy

F: Hydrostatic balance, PSet 2 assigned

Week 3 (9.9, 9.11, 9.13): Chapter 3, and Chapter 5

M: Atmospheric temperature structure, PSet 1 Due

W: Lapse Rates & Stability

F: Inversions, Diurnal changes in Stability, PSet 2 due, PSet 3 assigned

Week 4 (9.16, 9.18, 9.20): Chapter 4

M: Moisture in the atmosphere I 

W: Moisture in the atmosphere II

F: Moisture & Saturation, PSet 3 due

Week 5 (9.23, 9.25, 9.27): Chapter 4, and Chapter 5

M: Exam Review

W: Exam 1 covering 1st 4 weeks of class, and PSets 1-3

F: Latent Heating, Moist Adiabatic Lapse Rate, Moist Stability, PSet 4 assigned

Week 6 (9.30, 10.2, 10.4): Chapters 4, 5, and 6

M: Exam 1 Returned, LCL, Skew-Ts

W: Cloud Types, Identifying Clouds & Tropopause in a Skew-T, Aerosols/CCN

F: Cloud Microphysics, PSet 4 Due, PSet 5 assigned

Week 7 (10.7, 10.9, 10.11): Chapters 5 and 7

M: Atmospheric Optics, Particle Scattering

W: Precipitation Processes

F: Wrap up, from raindrop shapes to cloud seeding, PSet 5 due, PSet 6 assigned

Week 8 (10.14, 10.16, 10.18): Chapter 2 and 11

M: Earth's energy budget

W: Black body radiation, Stefan-Boltzman Law

F: Coriolis Force, Global Circulation, PSet 6 Due

Week 9 (10.21, 10.23, 10.25): Chapter 2 and 11

M: Global Circulation Patterns

W: Exam 2 covering PSets 4-6

F: SOEST Open House, No Class, PSet 7 Assigned

Week 10 (10.28, 10.30, 11.1): Chapters 9 and 10

M: Connecting global circulation to global climates

W: Geostrophic Wind, synoptic charts

F: Wind force balances, cyclones, anti-cyclones, PSet 7 Due, PSet 8 Assigned

 

Week 11 (11.4, 11.6, 11.8): Chapters 12 and 13

M: Air Masses and Fronts

W: Fronts and Storms

F: Mid-latitude frontal cyclones and air mass thunderstorms, PSet 8 Due, PSet 9 Assigned

Week 12 (11.11, 11.13, 11.15):

M: Veterans Day, No Class

W: Convective Storms, synoptic charts, meteograms

F: From airmass thunderstorms to severe, PSet 9 Due, PSet 10 Assigned

Week 13 (11.18, 11.20, 11.22):

M: LFC & EL, Stability & Buoyancy, Tropical cyclones

W: Hawaiian weather phenomenon

F: Balloon Launch!, PSet 10 Due

Week 14 (11.25, 11.27, thanksgiving):

M: Exam 3 covering PSets 7-9

W: Intro to climate, PSet 11 Assigned

F: No Class, Thanksgiving!

Week 15 (12.2, 12.4, 12.6):

M: ENSO

W: Greenhouse gases, atmospheric window

F:  One layer atmosphere and climate feedbacks, PSet 11 Due, PSet 12 Assigned

Week 16 (12.9, 12.11):

M: Climate feedbacks, climate regulators

W: Climate game, PSet 12 Due

Final Exam Date: Friday December 20th, 12-2 set by the University calendar.

© Updated August 2019

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