Physical Meteorology III

August 21, 2017
M W F 10:00-10:50
METR 4233.001


Furtado, Jason
Associate Professor; Carlisle and Lurline Mabrey Presidential Professor


National Weather Center, Room 5600, 120 David L. Boren Blvd, Norman, OK   View map


Fall 2017

PDF Syllabus

Course Description

Climate has a long-lasting impact on our lives, including how we live, the energy we use, what we eat, and our overall cultural values. The Earth climate system is made up of mul1ple complex interac1ons across mul1ple mediums.

Understanding Earth’s energy balance and how it is altered is a major component of this class.


Teaching Assistant Daniel Tripp


Overall, this course will help upper-level meteorology and science majors. This course will present a qualitative and quantitative presentation of various radiation and climate processes and their impact on the environment. Topics covered will include the global and land-surface energy balance, the hydrologic cycle, ocean dynamics, climate feedbacks, modes of climate variability, and climate change.

students gain a scien;fic understanding of the climate of Earth, its physical aspects, and understand why climate is changing. Thus, the student will be prepared to engage intelligently in discussion of climate and climate change. Applica;ons of this knowledge to other aspects of meteorology (e.g., sub-seasonal forecas;ng, future climate change projec;ons) will also be discussed.


METR 3123 and 3233 [C or beVer] and MATH 2934 or equivalent [i.e., you have to have a working knowledge of calculus for this course].


Required Text

Global Physical Climatology. 2nd Edi;on. Dennis L. Hartmann. [Available at the bookstore or online.]


Course Web Page

The web page will be accessible via (log on using your OU 4+4). There you will find course materials, assignments, grades, and news and announcements about the course.


Homework Assignments:45%
Midterm Exam:20%
Final Exam:25%
In-Class Worksheets:10%


Homework Assignments. Assignments will be given roughly every 1.5-2 weeks. Homework assignments will be quantitative and qualitative, including some assignments involving reading and summarizing / critiquing  journal  articles.  Some  homework  questions  will  also  include  a  programming  component, where students will have to design and/or work with existing code to complete a task. The language of choice for this course will be Python. All students should have a working knowledge of Python from earlier METR courses and will have access to Python via SoM Computer Lab computers to complete the assignments. However, you are free to use other programming languages with which you are familiar. Note: The professor nor the TA are not responsible for debugging code, especially code in other programming languages.

Please show all of your work on your assignments for full credit. Final answers should have the proper units  and  be  boxed  (when  appropriate).  Explanations  should  be  in  complete  sentences  with  proper grammar and punctuation. If requested, well-commented and neat code are expected when turning in a programming assignment. While I encourage students to work together on assignments. each student must turn in their own original assignment for a grade.

Midterm & Final Exams: These exams will cover material from roughly each half of the semester. The format will feature multiple choice, quantitative problems, and short answer-style questions. The final exam is not comprehensive per se. However, as with many sciences, concepts “build upon” each other, so you will be required to have some knowledge of earlier concepts.

In-Class  Worksheets.  Collaborative  learning  is an excellent way to learn and understand concepts. Occasionally, we will work on problems  and  ques;ons  in  small  groups  (~2-3 students)   during   class   and   then   collectively discuss the answers. These in-class assignments will be collected and graded, so please come to class and participate actively.


Course Style

The overall structure of the class will consist of traditional  lectures  covering  the  major  topics. Ques;ons   and   interactions   during   class   are welcome and highly encouraged. If you don’t ask questions when things are unclear, then neither of us benefit from classroom lecture. Occasionally, we will have group discussion or “think-pair-share” ques;ons during lecture to reinforce concepts and have  you  critically  think  about  the  material.  These  types  of  interactions  also  foster  collaborative learning,  which  is  important  in  the  sciences.  While  certain  interactions  are  graded  (i.e.,  in-class worksheets), others will not necessarily be graded. However, your active participation will contribute positively to your performance in the class.


Reasonable Accommoda1on Policy

The University of Oklahoma is commited to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require accommodation in this course are requested to speak with me as soon as possible. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Disability Resource Center prior to receiving accommodations in this course. The Disability Resource Center is located in University Community Center (730 College Ave). Phone: 405.325.3852. E-mail:


Academic Misconduct

Chea;ng is strictly prohibited at the University of Oklahoma. Simply put, it devalues your degree and ends up marring your character and reputa;on. For specific defini;ons on what cons;tutes chea;ng, review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at hVp:// If you are caught chea;ng, I am obligated to report it. Sanc;ons for academic misconduct can include expulsion from the University and an F in this course. BOTTOM LINE: Don’t cheat – it’s not worth it.


To be successful in this class, all work must be yours and yours alone. You may work together on homework assignments and in-class group exercises, but you must submit your own original work for grading. All exams are closed book, and you may only use a calculator as an aid on the exam.


Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University is to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examina;ons and addi;onal required classwork that may fall on religious holidays. Any student who has a religious holiday fall on one of the exam days, please see me no later than one week before the exam so as to make other arrangements.


Title IX Resources and Repor1ng Requirement

For  any  concerns  regarding  gender-based  discrimina;on,  sexual  harassment,  sexual  assault,  da;ng/ domes;c violence, or stalking, the University offers a variety of resources. To learn more or to report an incident, please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at 405.325.2215 or Incidents can also be reported confiden;ally to OU Advocates (405.615.0013) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   Please be advised that a professor/GA/TA is required to report instances of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimina;on to the Sexual Misconduct Office. Inquiries regarding non-discrimina;on policies may be directed to: Bobby J. Mason, University Equal Opportunity Officer and Title IX Coordinator at 405.325.3546 or For more informa;on, please visit hVp://


Adjustments for Pregnancy/Childbirth Related Issues

Should  you  need  modifica;ons  or  adjustments  to  your  course  requirements  because  of  documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact me or the Disability Resource Center at 405.325.3852 as soon as possible. Also, see hVp:// for answers to commonly asked ques;ons.


Class Schedule (Subject to Change)

1Aug 21, 23, 25Course Expecta;ons / Introduc;on and Thermodynamics ReviewChapter 1
2Aug. 28, 30,

Sept 1

Global Energy BalanceChapters 2 & 3
3Sept 6, 8Global Energy Balance / Radia;ve Transfer


Chapters 2 & 3
4Sept 11, 13, 15Radia;ve Transfer / Radia;on Equilibrium ModelsChapter 3
5Sept 18, 20, 22Surface Energy Balance / Boundary LayerChapter 4
6Sept 25, 27, 29Geographic Varia;ons in Radia;on / Hydrologic CycleChapters 4 & 5
7Oct 2, 4, 6Hydrologic Cycle /

Land-Atmosphere Interac;ons

Chapter 5
8Oct 9, 11Evapora;on / Water Balance


Chapter 5
9Oct 16, 18, 20Atmospheric Mo;ons & Fluxes


Chapters 6.1 – 6.4
10Oct 23, 25, 27General Circula;on of the OceanChapter 7
11Oct 30

Nov 1, 3

Ocean Dynamics / Modes of Climate VariabilityChapters 6.5, 7, &


12Nov 6, 8, 10Modes of Climate VariabilityChapter 8 / Select Readings
13Nov 13, 15, 17Climate Change / FeedbacksChapter 10
14Nov 20Climate Change / Natural


Chapter 12
15Nov 27, 29

Dec 1

Climate Change / Natural + AnthropogenicChapters 12 + 13
16Dec 4, 6, 8Overview of Climate ModelsSelect Readings

FINAL EXAM: TUESDAY DECEMBER 12, 2017 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM NWC Rm. 5600

Note: Dates in bold and italic are dates that Professor Furtado will be out of town. TA Daniel Tripp will be teaching classes those days.