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FIU MET 5991 - Syllabus

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MET 5991-- Dynamic Meteorology I (Graduate, Credits: 3) A new course proposal submitted by Dr. Ping Zhu, Department of Earth Sciences Justification: The central goal of atmospheric sciences is to learn about the winds, to understand why they come to life, why they take the forms and patterns they do, why they change and evolve and finally die in the birth of new winds. Research on many practical problems in atmospheric sciences, such as weather prediction and climate change, is ultimately grounded in fundamental geophysical fluid dynamics. This course will familiarize students with basic concepts of dynamic meteorology and will help students to better understand the rich variety of geophysical phenomena ranging from convective to planetary scales. This course should also be of interest to graduate students majoring in physics and geosciences who want to understand what control atmospheric motion and synoptic weather system. There is no similar course at FIU. Course description: All atmospheric phenomena - from a gentle and silent winter snowfall to a howling summer thunderstorm - are part of the complex chain of processes in an atmosphere that is forced into a ceaseless motion by thermal effects on a rotating planet. To study and understand these processes, to predict them and control them, it is necessary to have a theory that explains them. This requires concepts and techniques from mathematics, thermodynamics, mechanics, and fluid dynamics. This course intends to lead towards an understanding of the theory of atmospheric motion. The necessary concepts of mathematics, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics, as they are applied to the atmosphere, will be introduced in this course. Course objectives: The goal of this course is, first, to provide understanding of many facets involved in the phenomenon of atmospheric motion; and second, is to provide a rational basis for prediction of future atmospheric events. Time and location: 12:30 – 01:45 PM Tuesday/Thursday, GL 250 Instructor: Dr. Ping Zhu Office: MARC354 Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM or by appointment Office Tel: (305) 348-7096 E-mail: [email protected] Prerequisites: PHY2048, PHY2049 Textbook: An introduction of Dynamic Meteorology (Holton, J. R., Elsevier Academic Press, 4th edition, 1992)References: 1. Dynamic Meteorology: A Basic Course (Gordon et al., Oxford, 1988) 2. Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics (Gill, A. E., Academic Press, 1982) 3. Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey (Wallace, J. M., P. B. Hobbs, Academic Press, 1977 or 2005) 4. Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics (Salby, M. L.,Academic Press, 1997) Grading: Homework 30% Mid-term Exam 20% Projects 20% Final Exam 30% Major Topics: Schedule Subject Week 1: Overview, coordinate systems, forces Week 2: Coriolis force, vertical structure of the atmosphere Week 3: Total derivative, Coriolis force II, scale analysis, geostrophy, Rossby number Week 4: Scale analysis, continuity equ., thermodynamics Week 5: Potential temperature, stability, equations in p-coordinates, balanced flow Week 6 Balanced flow, thermal wind: Week 7: Thermal wind, midterm Mid-term Exam Week 8: Circulation, land/sea breeze Week 9: Vorticity and potential vorticity Week 10: Potential vorticity, vorticity equation Week 11: Planetary boundary layer Week 12: Ekman equations Week 13: QG approximation Week 14: Atmospheric waves Final Exam Learning Outcomes: 1. To know how to apply Newton's law and thermodynamic law to the atmosphere on a rotating framework. 2. To know how to simplify momentum, energy, and mass conservation equations using scaling analyses. 3. To know how to explain the basic atmospheric state and phenomena using balanced flow and thermal wind relation. 4. To understand vorticity and potential vorticity concepts and use them to explain planetary waves. 5. To know how to interpret the extratropical synoptic-scale system by quasi-geostrophic analysis. 6. To understand the basic wave theory and apply it to explain atmospheric


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