Atmospheric Structure and Analysis

Course Outline

1.   Weather Observations
Labs:   METAR exercises.  Introduction to online data and analysis resources. 

2.  Hypsometric Equation Applications

Lectures:  Brief hypsometric equation.  Vertical integration.  Altimeter setting and sea level pressure. 
Labs:Pressure reduction exercises.  Station model review. 

3.  Introduction to Synoptic Analysis

Lectures:  Scalar analysis.  Upper atmospheric analysis.  Rapid review of geostrophic, gradient and ageostrophic wind relationships and their application in synoptic analysis.
Labs:  500 mb and 850 mb analyses.  Instruction on online analysis tools (garp).  Meted:  Thermal Wind

4.  Atmospheric Structure

Lectures:  Thickness, thermal wind, and jet streams.  Frontogenesis.  Upper level fronts.  Vorticity and potential vorticity.
Labs: 300 and 200 mb analyses.  Thermal wind lab.  Meted:  Jet Streams

5.  Basic Conceptual Models of Cyclones and Fronts

Lectures: Norwegian conceptual model.  Isobaric and frontal analysis. Cyclone structure, including clouds.
Labs: Surface analysis.   Cross sectional analyses.

6. Weather Forecasting Boot Camp

Lectures:  Major steps in weather prediction.  Numerical weather prediction and models.  Forecast postprocessing.  Approaches to prediction. 
Labs:  Comparisons of weather prediction model forecasts, forecast exercises.  Meted:  How Mesoscale Models Work. 

7.  Introduction to Weather Satellites and their Imagery

Lectures:  Hardware description.  Basic concepts.  Interpretation of visible, infrared, microwave, and moisture imagery.
Labs: Analysis of satellite imagery. 

8.  Modern Ideas on Synoptic Structure and Development.

Lecture:  Shapiro and Keyser model, conveyor belt conceptual models.  Split fronts and cold fronts aloft.  Three dimensional airflow in cyclones.  Numerical simulations of cyclone/frontal evolution.
Labs: GARP analysis of three-dimensional structures, trajectory analyses using model data.

9. Tropical Meteorology. 

Lectures: Basic characteristics and comparison to midlatitudes. Easterly waves and tropical storms.
Labs: Streamline and isotach analysis.