Synoptic Meteorology

August 21, 2017
MW 12:00-1:15 R 2:30-4:15
METR 4424.001


Jeff Basara
Associate Professor


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


Fall 2017



Meteorology 4424

The purpose of this lecture/laboratory course is to gain an understanding of the observed behavior of the atmosphere through the application of basic theoretical principles. Concepts will be developed for studying atmospheric circulations, particularly extra-tropical cyclones and anticyclones. Laboratory work will include the development of diagnostic techniques suitable for a better understanding of the current weather and will use modern technological tools. Students will be expected to explain theoretical concepts in an oral and written format. They also will be expected to demonstrate mastery in understanding various physical processes that impact weather analysis and forecasting, surface and upper air analysis, fronts and wave cyclones, satellite meteorology, sounding analysis, thermodynamic diagrams, cross sections, forecasting, NCEP models, MOS, radar meteorology, and severe spring and winter weather.

Meeting Times and Location:          Monday and Wednesday from 12:00 – 1:15 pm; Thursday 2:30 – 4:15 pm

Final Exam Period: 1:30 – 3:30 pm; December 13, 2017

NWC 5600


Course Professor:                             Jeffrey Basara, Ph.D.

            Address:                                 School of Meteorology, NWC 5238

Telephone Number:             (405) 325-1760           (405) 550-0848 (Cell)

E-mail Address:          

Office Hours:                         TBD and/or by appointment.


Course Teaching Assistant:              Noah Brauer

            Address:                                 School of Meteorology, NWC 5110

E-mail Address:          

Office Hours:                         TBD


Texts and Readings:                           Midlatitude Synoptic Meteorology: Dynamics, analysis, and forecasting by Gary Lackmann.


Required Lab Materials:                   Electronic lab materials developed by COMET: Cost = $40



  • Colored pencils and/or fine-point colored pens
  • Ruler/Straight-edge




Course Grade Determination:


In-class exams (3 total):                                                                                  40%

In-class laboratory work, homework, and pop quizzes  (10-20 total):           40%

Semester Project:                                                                                            15%

WxChallenge Competition:                                                                            5%


Enrollment: Prerequisite – A grade of C or better in METR 3123 and 3223, or permission of the instructor. See also the knowledge expectations at

Guaranteed Course Grades:


100 – 93.0                    A

< 93.0 – 83.0               B

< 83.0 – 70.0               C

< 70.0 – 60.0               D

< 60.0                          F


An excuse for missing a quiz must be provided to the instructor before the quiz begins. Make-up quizzes will be determined at the instructor’s discretion.


Reasonable Accommodation:

The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require accommodations in this course are requested to speak with me as early in the semester as possible. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services prior to receiving accommodations in this course. The Office of Disability Services is located in Goddard Health Center, Suite 166, phone 405/325-3852 or TDD only 405/325-4173.


Academic Misconduct:

All provisions of the Norman Campus Academic Misconduct Code shall apply in cases of academic dishonesty. ANY violation of the Academic Misconduct Code will result in your removal from this course, and a grade of F will be recorded for the course. Academic misconduct is defined as “any act that improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement.” At the University of Oklahoma, academic integrity is expected from each student. Misconduct such as plagiarism, fabrication, and fraud, as well as attempting to commit such acts or assisting others in so doing, will not be tolerated. Students are responsible for knowing the OU Academic Code, which can be found at and




Religious Observance: 

It is the policy of the University to excuse the absences of students that result from religious observances and to reschedule examinations and additional required classwork that may fall on religious holidays, without penalty. [See Faculty Handbook 3.15.2]


Title IX Resources and Reporting Requirement: 

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic 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 (8 to 5, M-F) or Incidents can also be reported confidentially to OU Advocates at 405/615-0013 (phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Also, please be advised that a professor/GA/TA is required to report instances of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination to the Sexual Misconduct Office. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to: Bobby J. Mason, University Equal Opportunity Officer and Title IX Coordinator at 405/325-3546 or For more information, visit


Adjustments for Pregnancy/Childbirth Related Issues: 

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact your professor or the Disability Resource Center at 405/325-3852 as soon as possible. Also, see for answers to commonly asked questions.


METR 4424  In-Class Policies:

Students must maintain regular attendance and are expected to participate in all class discussions. To eliminate distractions to the instructor and/or fellow students, all cell phone devices must be silent during in-class meeting times and may not be used except in an emergency – texting is NOT allowed. Laptop computers are permissible (and encouraged) but MUST be used for course related activities.  As such, applications and activities including, but not limited to Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Pokemon Go, etc. are NOT allowed without the consent of the instructor.


METR 4424



  1. Students will be challenged to explain physical principles
  • In English using appropriate terminology
  • On your feet and speaking with authority
  • Goal => Tie together all of your experiences in the SoM program


  1. Course knowledge assessment
  • Exams/Quizzes will be “open-ended” with narrative English answers required
  • Compete with fellow students at OU and beyond in the WxChallenge
  • An end-of-semester case study will be assigned to teams of 2-3 students
  • Students will be asked to self-appraise their teammates on the special case study project


  1. Semester project case studies — familiarity with the computer resources is essential


  1. => If you need to see me, MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ME!!


  1. METR 4424 will be:
  • A lot of material, a lot of work
  • What you put into the course is related to what you get out of the course
  • Your ability to manage your time will be essential to your success in this course
  • Not a perfect course, but it is critical for tying together the theoretical with the practical — students get to judge
  • A course to practice ‘thinking on your feet’ — the foundation of your “License to Learn”




  • Care more than others think is wise
  • Risk more than others think is safe
  • Dream more than others think is practical
  • Expect more than others think is possible