METR 4433, Mesoscale Meteorology
Instructor Dr. Steven E. Koch (firstname.lastname@example.org or Steven.Koch@noaa.gov)
Office: 2405 National Weather Center (325-6904)
Office Hours: 4:00 pm Wednesdays
Room/Time Room 5600, National Weather Center
Tues and Thurs, 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Final Exam Room 5600, National Weather Center
May 11, 2018, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
TA/grader Noah Brauer (email@example.com)
Office: National Weather Center, 5110 NWC
Office Hours: To be announced
Required Text Markowski, P. and Y. Richardson, 2010: Mesoscale Meteorology in Midlatitudes. Wiley-Blackwell, 407 pp.
Supplemental Carlson, T., 1998: Mid-Latitude Weather Systems, 2nd Edition, Routledge, 535pp.
Trapp, R.J., 2013: Mesoscale-Convective Processes in the Atmosphere. Cambridge University
Press, 346 pp.
Prerequisites Grade of C or better in METR 4133, METR 4424.
Students should have a good understanding of the structure, dynamics, physics and thermodynamics of the atmosphere prior to starting this course. They should be familiar with the concepts of potential vorticity, wave phase and group velocities, quasi-geostrophic theory, isentropic analysis, and synoptic dynamics of jet streaks and fronts.
IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED A GRADE OF “C” OR BETTER IN THESE PREREQUISITES YOU CANNOT ENROLL.
Content This course is designed to acquaint the student with the application of atmospheric
dynamics and physical analysis techniques to mesoscale phenomena. Topics include banded
precipitation systems, split fronts, mesoscale instabilities, boundary layer convective
phenomena, drylines, the low-level jet, gravity waves, thunderstorms, supercell convection,
tornadoes, mesoscale convective systems, mountain-valley circulations, mountain waves.
Grading Homework Problems: 25%
Exam #1 (Tuesday, February 13): 25%
Exam #2 (Thursday, March 15): 25%
Exam #3 (Friday, May 11): 25%
In-class extra points: 2 pts for successful completion of each exercise (small groups) will be added to your score on the appropriate exam
16 January Course description. Scale analysis. MR 1-10.
18 January Basic equations. MR 11-25. Thermodynamic diagram analysis and helicity. MR 32-40.
23 January Surface frontogenesis. Types of fronts. Differential heating effect. MR 115-124, 149-158.
25 January Semi-geostrophic dynamic frontogenesis. The Sawyer-Eliassen equation. MR 124-129.
30 January Split fronts and Cold Fronts Aloft (CFA). Extra reading.
01 February Drylines. Horizontal Convective Rolls (HCR). MR 132-139. Trapp 142-147. MR 88-93.
06 February Lake-effect convection. Mesoscale boundaries arising from DSH. MR 93-105, 149-159.
08 February Rainband classification. Conveyor belts. Seeder-feeder mechanism. Carlson readings.
13 February Exam #1: Frontal bands and boundary layer convection
15 February Inertial, Symmetric and Conditional Symmetric Instability. MR 48-57.
20 February Kelvin-Helmoltz Instability. Horizontal shearing instability. MR 58-68.
22 February Internal gravity wave dynamics. MR 161-170.
27 February Wave ducting. Density currents, bores and solitons. MR 170-179, 142-149.
01 March Inertia-gravity waves: dynamics, forcing, and climatology. Extra reading.
06 March Mountain-valley circulation systems. MR 317-325.
08 March Mountain waves and downslope winds. MR 327-342.
13 March Orographic blocking: cold-air damming, lee vortices, gap flows. MR 343-363.
15 March Exam #2: Mesoscale instabilities and wave dynamics
17 – 25 March: Spring Break
27 March Convection initiation. Static and potential instability. MR 42-47, 184-199.
29 March Single-cell convective storms. Roles of vertical wind shear and CAPE. MR 202-209.
03 April Multicell vs. supercell storms. MR 209-223.
05 April Origins of midlevel rotation. Streamwise vorticity. Storm-relative helicity. MR 223-233.
10 April Supercell propagation. Storm splitting. Dynamic pressure forcing. MR 233-242, 27-32.
12 April Mesoscale convective systems: structure and airflow. MR 245-253.
17 April RKW theory for squall line maintenance. Low-level jet. Bow echoes. MR 253-265, 105-112.
19 April Mesoscale convective complexes. Mesoscale convective vortices. MR 265-270.
24 April Supercell tornadoes vs. non-mesocyclonic tornadoes. MR 273-283.
26 April Tornado structure and dynamics. MR 287-292.
01 May Microbursts. Derechos. Hailstorms. MR 292-308.
03 May Flash floods: environment and prediction. MR 309-312. Extra readings.
11 May Exam #3: Deep convective systems and associated phenomena