ATM S 101, Winter Quarter 2001


Professor Clifford F. Mass
612 Atmospheric Sciences Bldg., Telephone: 685-0910

Teaching Assistants:
Matt Garvert
Telephone: 543-7643,
Dan Kirshbaum
Telephone: 545-9303,
Ricky Sinha
Telephone: 543-7238,

Important Class Announcements

Lectures: MTWTH, 10:30-11:20 AM; Kane 110

Quiz Sections:

AA F          9:30 - 10:20 JHN 437
AB TH       10:30 - 1:20 JHN 437
AC F         12:30 - 1:20 JHN 437
AD TH       1:30 - 2:20 JHN 119
AE F           1:30 - 2:20 JHN 437
AF TH         2:30 - 3:20 JHN 119

JHN= Johnson Hall

Quiz Sections will alternate between homework review/remedial (HR) sections (optional but advised) and lab/additional material (LA) sections (mandatory). Sections schedule: (HR) weeks 2,4,6,8,10; (LA) weeks 1,3,5,7,9.

Office Hours:

Prof. Mass: By appointment.
TA Office: 420 Atmospheric Sciences Bldg. Telephone:  543-6627.  Office Hours:
Additional Hours by appointment.


    All students in 101 need to provide an email address for important messages.  Email will serve as an important conduit of information between the instructor and students.  It is expect that students will check their emails regularly (at least once a week).  To get on the class email list, use your browser to go to

and fill in the required information (name and email).  Make "subscribe" is darkened and then hit "next"

Textbook: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere, by C. Donald Ahrens, 2001 , 3rd Edition. (a copy is on 6-h reserve at the undergraduate library)


There will be five homework assignments--the lowest grade will be dropped. Homework will be handed out Wednesday and is due Tuesday of the next week at the beginning of class. No late homework will be accepted.

Enhancement Sections:

    For those students who want to learn more, we will be having some extra sessions during the quarter.  Times will vary to fit with varying schedules.  One session will include a visit to the department map room and to view the sensors on the atmospheric sciences roof.  Others will give more background on the forecasting process, weather radar, and weather satellites.

Exam Schedule

First Mid-Term Exam:  25 January (this day may change)
Second Mid-Term Exam: 22 February (this day may change)
Final Exam:  12 March, 8:30 AM-10:20 AM


2 midterms, 50%; Homework/Labs, 20%; Final exam, 30%. Extra credit available for those in the forecast competition (maximum of 15 points additional points on the final, depending on your performance).

Course Outline:

The readings in Ahrens is shown in parentheses.

Quick Start Mini-Course

Introduction. Temperature and its measurement  (53-71)
Pressure and its measurement (139-147)
Wind and humidity (158-161)
Surface weather map
Identifying clouds (93-105)
Fronts and cyclones. Upper air observations
Upper air charts. Weather satellite imagery
Weather radar

The  Basics

Composition and origin of the atmosphere (1-7)
Vertical structure of the atmosphere (8-21)
Gas laws. Adiabatic warming and cooling
Moisture and its measurement (75-81)
Condensation, evaporation, and latent heat (27-30, 82-92)
Dew, frost, and fog
Stability and instability (109-117)
Cloud development (118-125)
Precipitation mechanisms and weather modification (126-135)
Force and motion. Coriolis and pressure gradient forces (147-157)
Geostrophic balance. Effects of friction and topography
Radiation laws.  Solar and terrestrial (infrared) radiation (31-50)
Greenhouse effect and global warming (387-395)
Optical phenomena (399-416)

Storms and Weather Systems

Global wind systems (178-192)
Air masses and fronts (197-208)
Midlatitude cyclones and their development (209-223)
Local winds (sea breezes, mountain/valley winds) (166-177)
Thunderstorms (253-267)
Tornadoes  (268-285)
Hurricanes and tropical meteorology (289-309)

Northwest Weather

Weather of the Pacific Northwest:  an overview
Northwest windstorms and snowstorms

Weather Forecasting

Weather forecasting (227-237)
Personal weather forecasting; how to find reliable weather data on the net. (238-249)

Additional Topics

El Nino/ENSO and it local/global effects (190-193)
Air pollution and the ozone hole  (313-336)

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