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Knowledge Expectations for METR 2013
Introduction to Meteorology I

Purpose: This document describes the principal concepts, technical skills, and fundamental
understanding that all students are expected to possess upon completing METR 2013, Introduction to
Meteorology I. Individual instructors may deviate somewhat from the specific topics and order
listed here.

Pre-requisites: Grade of C or better in MATH 1823
Co-requisites: MATH 2423, PHYS 2514, METR 2011, CS 1313 (or CS 1323)

Goal of the Course: The Introduction of Meteorology sequence introduces students to important
phenomena and physical processes that occur in the Earth’s atmosphere. Students will learn the
basic concepts and instruments used to study atmospheric problems. Part I of the Introduction to
Meteorology sequence focuses on atmospheric radiation, thermodynamics, moisture, stability, clouds,
and precipitation.
Topical Knowledge Expectations
• History. Place the science of meteorology in historical context with other physical sciences such
as chemistry and physics. Understand the scientific advances that make meteorology viable
(computers, communications, and instrumentation, especially remote sensing).
• Dimensions and units. Understand various systems of units in physical sciences and the need for
units. Know the basic dimensions in science, from which all other dimensions are derived.
Understand the importance of including units with calculations and that units must be accounted for
with the same care as other mathematical treatments. Demonstrate the ability to convert among
systems of units.
• Coordinate systems and meteorological conventions, including Eulerian and Lagrangian reference
frames. Understand that it is necessary to create a reference system in which one can locate and
describe the movement of atmospheric parcels. These may be points in space (Eulerian reference) or
parcels of a moving fluid (Lagrangian reference).
• Basic physics (first principles, energy, equation of state, kinetic theory). Understand that
atmospheric parcels obey Newton’s laws and the laws of thermodynamics. Be familiar with the ideal
gas law, the bulk properties and movements of fluids, and conservation of various properties.
• Meteorological measurements. Know the atmospheric properties that are measured at a surface
weather station. Understand basic procedures involved in weather data
analysis and presentation.