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METEO Course Descriptions
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University of Utah

General Catalog Spring 2009
Posted Sep 30, 2008

Disclaimer: The course information below is current as of Sep 30, 2008, is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute a legal contract between the University of Utah and any person or entity.

This Web document is updated twice a year, on or about the first day of registration for Fall and Spring semesters.


1010  Severe and Unusual Weather (3) Fulfills Physical/Life Science Exploration.
   Survey of the fundamentals of atmospheric science with an emphasis on severe and hazardous weather including hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash floods, and snowstorms.

1020  Climate Change (3) Fulfills Physical/Life Science Exploration.
   Surveys the natural and human induced variations in the Earth's climate. Topics include monitoring climate variations, global warming and the greenhouse effect, air-sea climate variations, the climatic effects of volcanic eruptions, and depletion of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

2810  Undergraduate Seminar (1)
   For students majoring in meteorology or for those students interested in finding out about employment opportunities in the atmospheric sciences. Invited speakers describe how they apply meteorology in their careers. Discussions of the current weather are also presented. Repeatable for up to 2 credit hours.

3000  Mountain Weather and Climate (3) Cross listed as GEOG 3280.
   Influence of terrain upon typical and severe weather, including local wind circulations and mountain snowstorms. Applications of mountain meteorology to related fields (air pollution, fire weather, road weather) and physiological responses to cold weather and altitude.

3100  Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution (3) Prerequisite: CHEM 1210, MATH 1220, and PHYS 2210, or Instructor's consent.
   The course will apply basic principles of physics and chemistry to quantitatively describe the processes that control the chemical composition and evolution of the Earth's atmosphere. Special topics include acid rain, the ozone hole, and photochemical smog production.

3110  Introduction to Atmospheric Science (3) Prerequisite: MATH 1220; PHYS 2210. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   A survey of the atmosphere for physical science and engineering majors. Topics include the structure of the atmosphere, atmospheric thermodynamics, cloud physics, radiative transfer, and atmospheric dynamics.

3410  Meteorological Instrumentation and Computing (3) Prerequisite: MATH 1220; PHYS 2210. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   Introduction to the theory and practice of making weather observations using meteorological instrumentation. Development of basic computer programming skills using MATLAB.

3510  Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Boundary Layer Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: METEO 3110. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   Thermodynamics of dry and moist air, including adiabatic processes, parcel theory, and thermodynamic diagrams; boundary layer structure and processes, including turbulence, surface fluxes, diurnal cycle, boundary layer clouds, and pollutant dispersion.

3910  Special Topics (1 to 12)
   Intensive work related to a specific area in meteorology for undergraduates.

4999  Honors Thesis/Project (3)
   Restricted to students in the Honors Program working on their Honors degree.

5110  Dynamic Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: METEO 3110. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   Introduction to atmospheric fluid dynamics, including conservation laws, fundamental forces, governing equations, circulation and vorticity; and development of quasi-geostrophic theory.

5120  Applied Mathematics and Statistics for Environmental Scientists (3) Prerequisite: METEO 5110 or Instructor's consent. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   Numerical techniques used in atmospheric modeling. Statistical methods in environmental sciences including time series analysis, multivariate data analysis, statistical forecasting, forecast verification, and hypothesis testing.

5140  Mesoscale and Radar Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: METEO 5110 or Instructor's consent. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   Fundamentals of radar meteorology. Quantitative description of cumulus convection, multicell and supercell storms, mesoscale convective systems, tropical cyclones, planetary boundary layer, local circulations (thermal/terrain forcing), downslope windstorms. Emphasis is placed on using observed characteristics to develop physical and dynamical understanding of phenomena over a range of scales.

5210  Physical Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: Upper-division Undergraduate student or Instructor's consent. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   Atmospheric thermodynamics, aerosol production and removal, cloud and precipitation formation, mixing and turbulence, solar and infrared radiative transfer in the atmosphere, and the greenhouse effect.

5260  Snow Dynamics and Avalanche Studies (4) Cross listed as GEOG 5260.
   Field sessions require clothing and equipment that allow students to participate in outdoor activities. Students must be able to ski or snowshoe, climb steep terrain, and safely ski back down. Two lectures or discussions weekly combined with one full afternoon in field. Second lecture meets at Alta Town Library before field session. Provides thorough background in technical avalanche forecasting procedures. Study of conditions leading to snow avalanches, broader aspects of snow in all its phases.

5410  Remote Sensing of the Environment (3) Prerequisite: Upper-division Undergraduate student or Instructor's consent. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   A quantitative overview of atmospheric remote sensing concentrating on tropospheric phenomena. Emphasis is placed on developing a basic theoretical foundation as well as detailed examination of selected contemporary problems in this rapidly evolving field.

5495  Biophysical Ecology (4) Cross listed as GEO 5495, BIOL 5495. Prerequisite: BIOL 2010, CHEM 1220, MATH 1220, PHYS 2010, 2110, or 2210 Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   This quantitative-intensive lecture and laboratory course will examine the physical environment (light, wind, temperature, humidity) in which plants, animals, and soil organisms live, how the physical environment affects their physiological function, and how organisms in turn affect their physical environment.

5530  Synoptic Meteorology I (3) Prerequisite: METEO 5110 or Instructor's consent. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   Applications of barotropic and quasi- geostrophic theory to synoptic meteorology. Jet stream and frontal dynamics.

5540  Synoptic Meteorology II (3) Prerequisite: METEO 5530 or Instructor's consent. Fulfills Quantitative Intensive BS.
   Three-dimensional structure of baroclinic weather systems; characteristics of operational numerical weather prediction models; operational forecasting.

5550  Mountain Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: Upper-division Undergraduate student or Instructor's consent.
   Synoptic and mesoscale meteorology in complex terrain including orographically-modified cyclone evolution, frontal interaction with topography, terrain- and thermally-driven circulations, mountain waves, downslope winds, gap winds, and orographic precipitation.

5810  Weather Discussion (1) Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in METEO 5530 or 5540 or Instructor's consent.
   Students prepare and present weather briefings on the current weather situation. Repetitive for up to 2 credit hours.

5910  Special Topics (1 to 12)

6010  Fundamentals of Dynamic Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Introduction into dynamic meteorology, including the primitive equations, scale analysis, rotational effects, boundary layers, quasi-geostrophy, and atmospheric waves..

6020  Fundamentals of Physical Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Overview of fundamental physical processes in the atmospheric sciences. Topics include thermodynamics, radiative transfer, and cloud microphysics.

6030  Earth Climate System (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Analysis of the Earth climate system consisting of the atmosphere, the oceans, and the land surfaces. Topics include the global energy balance, the hydrological cycle, the general circulation, atmospheric radiative transfer, and natural and anthropogenic climate change.

6120  Applied Mathematics and Statistics for Environmental Scientists (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Numerical techniques used in atmospheric modeling. Statistical methods in environmental sciences including time series analysis, multivariate data analysis, statistical forecasting, forecast verification, and hypothesis testing.

6130  Numerical Weather Prediction (3) Prerequisite: METEO 6010 or Instructor's consent.
   Introduction to modern numerical weather forecasting techniques, concentrating on basic concepts of atmospheric modeling, data assimilation, and predictability.

6140  Mesoscale and Radar Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Fundamentals of radar meteorology. Quantitative description of cumulus convection, multicell and supercell storms, mesoscale convective systems, tropical cyclones, planetary boundary layer, local circulations (thermal/terrain forcing), downslope windstorms. Emphasis is placed on using observed characteristics to develop physical and dynamical understanding of phenomena over a range of scales.

6150  Cloud System Modeling (3) Prerequisite: METEO 6010 and 6020 or instructor's consent.
   Numerical modeling of turbulent, convective, and mesoscale motions associated with cloud systems. Formulation of physical processes in cloud-resolving models. Role of modeling efforts in understanding the structure and behavior of cloud systems. Representation of clouds and cloud processes in numerical weather prediction and climate models.

6160  Boundary Layer Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: METEO 6010 and 6020 or instructor's consent.
   Boundary layer characteristics; Reynolds averaging; equations for turbulent flow; turbulence kinetic energy, stability, and scaling; turbulence closure; boundary conditions; convective mixed layer; stable boundary layer; cloud-topped boundary layer; boundary layer modeling.

6210  Advanced Dynamic Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: METEO 6010 or Instructor's consent.
   Advanced topics in atmospheric dynamics, including atmospheric waves, baroclinic instability, the general circulation, tropical dynamics, and middle atmospheric dynamics.

6310  Tropical Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Survey of small scale and large scale processes in the tropics. Special topics such as tropical cyclones, ENSO, interactions between convective, mesoscale, and large-scale circulations, applications of remote sensing, and field programs. Students will undertake evaluation of recent literature or an independent research paper.

6410  Remote Sensing of the Environment (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   A quantitative overview of atmospheric remote sensing concentrating on tropospheric phenomena. Emphasis is placed on developing a basic theoretical foundation as well as detailed examination of selected contemporary problems in this rapidly evolving field.

6510  Advanced Cloud Physics (3) Prerequisite: METEO 6020 or Instructor's consent.
   Nucleation and growth of water and ice particles in clouds; precipitation production; aerosol-cloud-climate interactions; dynamics of stratiform and cumuliform clouds.

6530  Synoptic Meteorology I (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Applications of barotropic and quasi- geostrophic theory to synoptic meteorology; jet stream and frontal dynamics.

6540  Synoptic Meteorology II (3) Prerequisite: METEO 6530 or Instructor's consent.
   Three-dimensional structure of baroclinic weather systems; characteristics of operational numerical weather prediction models.

6550  Mountain Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Synoptic and mesoscale meteorology in complex terrain including orographically-modified cyclone evolution, frontal interaction with topography, terrain- and thermally-driven circulations, mountain waves, downslope winds, gap winds, and orographic precipitation.

6680  Atmospheric Radiation (3) Prerequisite: METEO 6030 or Instructor's Consent.
   Theory of solar and infrared radiation; fundamentals of energy balance and climate models; parameterization of infrared and solar-flux transfer in clear, aerosol, and cloudy atmospheres; climate perturbations due to greenhouse gases, aerosols and clouds.

6810  Weather Discussion (1) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Students prepare and present weather briefings on the current weather situation. Repeatable up to 2 credit hours.

6840  Atmospheric Chemistry (3) Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor's consent.
   Introduction to the physical and chemical processes affecting the dynamics and fate of air pollutants at the local, regional, and global scales. Particular emphasis is on tropospheric pollutant chemistry and transport, photochemistry of ozone, smog formation, aqueous-phase chemistry, and acid rain.

6910  Graduate Special Topics (1 to 12) Prerequisite: Graduate standing required.
   Intensive work in a specific area of meteorology.

6960  Non-thesis Research: Master's (1 to 12) Prerequisite: Graduate standing required.
   To provide a course with research credit for the non-thesis Master's degree student.

6970  Thesis Research: Master's (1 to 12) Prerequisite: Graduate standing required.

6980  Faculty Consultation: Master's (1 to 12) Prerequisite: Graduate standing required.

7810  Graduate Seminar (1) Prerequisite: Graduate standing required.
   Presentation of scholarly works of faculty, graduate students, and external scientists. Repeatable for up to 10 credit hours.

7970  Thesis Research: Ph.D. (1 to 12) Prerequisite: Graduate standing required.

7980  Faculty Consultation: Ph.D. (1 to 12) Prerequisite: Graduate standing required.

7990  Continuing Registration: Ph.D. (0) Prerequisite: Graduate standing required.
   Continuing registration needed for PhD students.


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