ATM S 370, Winter 2004
Atmospheric Structure and Analysis
Course Outline

1. Observing Systems

Lectures:  Surface observations-ASOS and other networks.  Alitimeter setting and sea level pressure.  Upper air observations-radiosondes, profilers, ACARS.  Calculation of geopotential heights. Radar and satellite observations. Lightning detection networks.

Labs: Geopotential and pressure reduction exercises.  Introduction to online data and analysis resources.  Map room.

2.  Map Analysis and Basic Wind Relationships

Lectures:  Scalar analysis. Station models and aviation, buoy, and ship reports. Geostrophic, gradient and ageostrophic wind relationships. Upper atmospheric analysis.

Labs: Station model and aviation report exercises; 500 mb and 850 mb analyses. Instruction on online analysis tools (ntrans, garp, department commands).

3.  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. GARP analysis.

4.  Conceptual Models of Cyclones and Fronts

Lectures: Norwegian conceptual model . Isobaric and frontal analysis. Problems with traditional frontal analysis.
Labs: Surface analysis.  Electronic labs.  Cross sectional analyses.

6  Clouds and Precipitation and Their Relationship to Synoptic Systems.

Lectures: Frontal and boundary-layer clouds and their relationship to synoptic structures. Mesoscale precipitation structures.
Labs:  Introduction to weather forecasting

7.  Introduction to Weather Radar

    Lectures: Basic technology and interpretation.  NWS radar network.
    Labs: Radar interpretation exercises.

8.  Introduction to Weather Satellites and their Imagery

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

9.  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.

10. Tropical Meteorology.

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