Dynamics of Weather Systems
University of Reading
Area of Study
Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science
Taught In English
Pre-requisites: MT24A Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
Summary module description:
Dynamical knowledge of the development of synoptic-scale weather systems
in the extra-tropical latitudes and tropical weather systems,
particularly tropical cyclones, will be developed in this module.
To develop a modern understanding of the dynamics of synoptic-scale
weather systems in the extra-tropical latitudes and tropical weather
systems with a focus on tropical cyclones and to relate this knowledge
Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module the student should be able to:
Provide a suitable mathematical and conceptual description of
synoptic-scale mid-latitude weather systems and tropical cyclones.
Explain, physically and mathematically, the origins of synoptic-scale
vertical motion, waves and cyclones, and develop quantitative estimates
of their properties.
Critically assess the relevance of conceptual models through
comparison with observations
Students will enhance their skills in the quantitative analysis of
weather systems, the manipulation of differential equations and the
scaling of atmospheric motions. Students will learn to validate their
calculations through physical principles.
Equations for the extra-tropics
The quasi-geostrophic equations
Potential vorticity thinking
Vertical motion and the omega equation
Dynamical interpretation of regions of vertical motion in cyclones and
Conceptual models of baroclinic and barotropic instability
The Eady and analytical models of baroclinic instability
Scaling of fronts and the semigeostrophic and Sawyer-Eliassen equations
Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, (un-assessed) problem sheets, and assessed synoptic practicals
during which the quasi-geostrophic techniques developed during the
course will be used to analyse the development of a real rapidly
developing cyclone. Full course notes and model answers to the problem
sheets are provided.
Summative Assessment Methods:
Written exam 70%
Other information on summative assessment:
Formative assessment methods:
Un-assessed problem sheets will be completed by the students and the
answers discussed during lectures. Model answers will be provided for
these problem sheets.
Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
Length of examination:
2 hour paper
Requirements for a pass:
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.