Meteorology (WX)


WX 201  Survey of Meteorology  3 Credits (3,0)

This is a survey course in meteorology that includes applications to flight. Included is a systematic development of the following topics: the composition and general structure of the atmosphere, energy and energy transfer, seasonal and daily controls on temperature, pressure, wind, local and regional circulations, atmospheric stability, vertical motion, turbulence, moisture, fog, clouds, precipitation, icing, the general circulation pattern, climate, jet streams, air masses, fronts, mid-latitude cyclones, tropical cyclones, thunderstorms, and weather observations and charts.

WX 261  Applied Climatology  3 Credits (2.5,0)

This course is an in-depth survey of the varied climates of the world and of the impact of climate on aviation. Emphasis is placed on understanding energy exchange processes that control climate and in describing in detail how and why temperature, precipitation and wind vary during the year and in relation to geography. Included is a treatment of climate variability, including how and why climate is thought to have changed in the past, and how it might change in the future, and of the tools used to understand this variability.
Prerequisites: WX 201 or WX 252.

WX 270  Weather Information Systems  3 Credits (3,0)

This course provides an introduction to the various weather-sensing equipment and the systems that deliver weather information to various users. The development of various sensing devices will be explored and current instrumentation technology explained. The course will provide an overview of how various instruments make measurements, the physical principles involved in the measurements, the limitations of the measurements, and how these data are used in weather operations and forecasts. The use of these measurements will be illustrated in class weather briefings, labs, and homework assignments. Students will be required to design, build, calibrate, and take data with a weather instrument.
Prerequisites: WX 201.

WX 272  Meteorological Instruments and Data Analysis  3 Credits (3,0)

Introduction to weather sensing equipment, systems to analyze weather data, and data analysis techniques. Current instrumentation technology; physical principles used in weather measurements; limitations of measurements; use of data in operations and forecasting; visual and computational analysis of meteorological data, and plotting of meteorological fields.
Prerequisites: WX 201 and CS 118 or EGR 115.

WX 280  Introduction to Broadcast Meteorology  3 Credits (1,2)

Effective approaches to weather and science communication and reporting. Delivery techniques for television, the internet, social media and a live audience; basic weather forecasting techniques; basic geography and geographical terms; public speaking, on-camera performance and stage movement; introduction to the television industry.
Prerequisites: WX 201.

WX 299  Special Topics in Applied Meteorology  1-6 Credit

Individual independent or directed studies of selected topics in applied meteorology.

WX 301  Aviation Weather  3 Credits (3,0)

The course is an expansion of WX 201 Survey of Meteorology with a focus on aviation weather hazards, including convective hazards (thunderstorms, hail, high winds), non-convective weather hazards (fog, icing, turbulence, wind shear, winter weather), and special weather hazards (volcanic ash and space weather). Meteorological concepts such as pressure, atmospheric forces, thickness, thermal wind, fronts, jet streams, cyclone formation, and atmospheric stability are expanded and applied to aviation operations. Emphasis is on navigating today's online environment for obtaining and analyzing real-time surface observations, upper-air observations, satellite data, and radar data, as well as both primary and supplementary aviation weather products. Lab exercises and projects complement the lectures through use of current and historic weather examples to provide practical experience in making informed weather-sensitive decisions.
Prerequisites: WX 201.

WX 305  Weather Support Operations  3 Credits (3,0)

An application of weather information and meteorological principles to support operational decision making for a specific operation, such an air race or other mission (e.g., sports tournament, auto race, maritime race, space-launch operation). Determination of user requirements and weather sensitivities; sources of weather information; weather data collection; surface and upper-air analysis interpretation; satellite interpretation; radar interpretation; short range and long-range model forecast interpretation; weather hazards chart interpretation; weather product tailoring; evaluation of performance; application of improvement strategies. Typically only one operational mission type will be supported during the course.
Prerequisites: WX 301.

WX 327  Operational Analysis and Forecasting  3 Credits (2,1)

Introduction to operational weather analysis and forecasting using conceptual understanding of observations, numerical model output, and synoptic-scale processes. Meteorological time and date conventions; surface station plots; METAR and SYNOP code; upper-air station plots; isoplething of surface and upper-air isobaric charts; basic satellite and radar feature identification; temperature and vorticity advection; advection on upper-air and sea-level pressure charts; vorticity, divergence, and continuity; advection and relationship to vertical motion; pattern recognition and conceptual analysis using upper-air charts; pattern recognition and conceptual analysis using sea-level pressure charts; skew-T analysis; types of soundings; basic temperature and precipitation forecasting
Prerequisites: WX 301.

WX 331  Operational Thermodynamic Meteorology  3 Credits (3,0)

Operational aspects of the physical processes that control the temperature of the atmosphere. Atmospheric radiation; conduction; convection; moisture; changes of state; adiabatic processes; saturated adiabatic processes; atmospheric stability.
Prerequisites: CS 120 or EGR 115 or BA 120 and MA 112 or MA 143 or MA 241 and PS 104 and WX 301.

WX 332  Operational Physical Meteorology  3 Credits (3,0)

The examination of physical processes which impact the atmosphere including electromagnetic radiation, heat budget of the Earth, Greenhouse effect, atmospheric optics, remote sensing, atmospheric chemistry, air pollution, formation of cloud droplets, precipitation processes, and lightning as related to operations.
Prerequisites: WX 331 and CHM 101 or CHM 110.

WX 340  Severe Weather Field Forecasting  3 Credits (1,2)

Severe storm forecasting and observation in a real-time in situ environment. Severe thunderstorm basics, analysis, forecast techniques and tools; severe weather risks and safety protocols; visual thunderstorm cues; collaborative data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

WX 344  Operational Dynamic Meteorology  3 Credits (3,0)

Development and quantification of the forces that drive atmospheric motion. Momentum equation; geostrophic, gradient, and cyclostrophic force balances and winds; effect of friction; baroclinic and barotropic atmospheres; thermal wind; vorticity; divergence; mass continuity equation, vertical motion; vorticity equation, planetary waves; evolution of mid-latitude cyclones; polar lows and tropical cyclones
Prerequisites: WX 327 and WX 331.

WX 353  Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******A course for those requiring an in-depth understanding of the physical processes governing the atmosphere. Includes discussion and quantitative treatment of meteorological conventions, atmospheric state and structure, radiation, heat/energy transfer, boundary layer structure and fluxes, moisture, stability, cloud formation, and precipitation.
Prerequisites: PS 104 or PS 160 and WX 201 or WX 252.

WX 354  Dynamics of the Atmosphere  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******A course for those requiring an in-depth understanding of the dynamic processes governing the atmosphere. Includes discussion and quantitative treatment of atmospheric forces, the equations of motion, local and global winds, air masses and fronts, middle latitude cyclones, quasi-geostrophic theory, thunderstorms, and hurricanes.
Prerequisites: PS 104 or PS 160 and WX 353.

WX 361  Global Climate Change  3 Credits (3,0)

Global climate change is influenced by variations in Earth-Sun position and solar irradiance, shifting locations of the continents, mountain building, volcanic eruptions, and atmospheric composition alteration. However, none of these natural forces, individually or collectively, explain the rapid global climate change now taking place. This course examines the diverse dynamics of global climate change by synthesizing interdisciplinary ideas, observations, and forecasts. Through a review of the literature, lectures, presentations, and discussions accompanied by an analysis of websites, videos, and other media, students will gain insight into how climate change is altering the planet, potential future impacts, and ways to mitigate the negative effects.
Prerequisites: WX 201 and WX 261.

WX 363  Thunderstorms  3 Credits (3,0)

This course provides tools for analyzing and forecasting thunderstorms and their associated hazards. Key characteristics of the thunderstorm and its environment are explored using both case studies and real-time weather data. Students examine atmospheric soundings to determine the likelihood of storm development and the amount of energy available for thunderstorms. Vertical wind shear is analyzed for clues about storm organization and severity. Other information, such as weather charts, computer models, satellite imagery, and Doppler radar imagery, is used to observe the characteristics of thunderstorms and the weather patterns that favor them. Students gain a basic scientific understanding of thunderstorm behavior as well as practical experience observing and predicting them.
Prerequisites: WX 301 or WX 252.

WX 364  Weather for Aircrews  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******Making use of the Weather Center and the Internet, students collect and study weather data from around the world. Emphasis is placed on decoding information contained in the remarks section of weather observations and on the differences between North American weather charts and those produced in other parts of the world. Students investigate the flying conditions and aviation environment over the seven continents. The proper operation of airborne weather radar is studied. Students identify weather hazards by using ground-based weather radar and satellite imagery.
Prerequisites: WX 252 or WX 301.

WX 365  Satellite and Radar Weather Interpretation  3 Credits (3,0)

A practical introduction to meteorological interpretation of satellite and weather radar imagery. This course surveys the basic physics of electromagnetic (EM) radiation and shows how characteristics of the EM spectrum are exploited in passive (satellite) and active (radar) remote sensing to create digital images of geophysical information. The theory of radar signal propagation and precipitation estimation is applied to the meteorological interpretation of radar imagery and supplemented with practical analysis of various radar product types. Weather satellite image types, including visible, conventional infrared, and water vapor channels and their meteorological applications, are examined. Real-time satellite identification of meteorological phenomena will be emphasized, including mountain waves, mid-latitude cyclones, fronts, jet streams, troughs, ridges, vorticity, cloud types, fog, precipitation, ordinary and severe thunderstorms, tropical waves, and hurricanes. Surface and upper-air weather maps will be used to enhance the students' understanding of satellite image signatures.
Prerequisites: WX 252 or WX 301.

WX 367  Thermodynamic Meteorology  3 Credits (3,0)

Application of calculus and calculus-based physics to the study of thermodynamics as applied to meteorology. Conservation of energy; Ideal Gas Law; temperature relationship to kinetic energy; specific heat, enthalpy, and entropy; 0th, 1st, 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics; atmospheric moisture; water phase changes; unsaturated and saturated air; Clausius-Clapeyron equation; thermodynamic diagrams; stability.
Prerequisites: MA 241 and PS 150 Corequisites: WX 272.

WX 368  Physical Meteorology  3 Credits (3,0)

The scientific explanation of atmospheric phenomena such as atmospheric structure. Composition of the atmosphere; radiation in the atmosphere; global radiative energy balance; remote sensing; optical phenomena; air contaminants; formation of droplets; and electrical phenomena within the atmosphere.
Prerequisites: CHM 110 and PS 150 and WX 272 and WX 367 and MA 242.

WX 374  Dynamic Meteorology I  3 Credits (3,0)

A calculus-based treatment of atmospheric dynamics with emphasis on the full development of the momentum equation on a rotating earth. Geostrophic balance and geostrophic wind; gradient balance and gradient wind; hydrostatic balance; hypsometric equation; thermal wind balance; baroclinic and barotropic atmospheres. Synoptic examples for illustration.
Prerequisites: MA 243 and WX 367.

WX 375  Dynamic Meteorology II  3 Credits (3,0)

Second course in calculus-based atmospheric dynamics focused on the development and application of equations governing atmospheric motion. Primitive equations; kinematics; absolute and barotropic vorticity equation; thermodynamic energy equation; quasi-geostrophic theory; Rossby wave dynamics; mid-latitude and tropical cyclogenesis.
Prerequisites: PS 160 and WX 374.

WX 378  Synoptic Analysis  3 Credits (2,1)

Subjective analysis techniques of synoptic motions. Mid-latitude cyclones; jet stream dynamics; baroclinicity and vorticity advection; diagnoses of large-scale vertical ascent; air masses and fronts; cyclogenesis; fronts; three dimensional structure of baroclinic and barotropic systems; diagnoses of precipitation types; polar lows.
Prerequisites: WX 327 and WX 368 and WX 374.

WX 380  Advanced Broadcast Meteorology  3 Credits (1,2)

Advanced approaches to weather and science communication and reporting. Advanced delivery techniques for television, the internet, social media and a live audience; practical weather forecasting applications; live in-studio and remote reporting; severe weather reporting; exposure to professional weather forecasting and graphics software and equipment; professional broadcast standards and practices.
Prerequisites: WX 280 and WX 327.

WX 381  Climate Dynamics  3 Credits (2,1)

Primarily quantitative introduction to physical and dynamical processes of climate, climate variability, and climate change. Atmospheric general circulation and relation to climate; climate sensitivity and feedback mechanisms; atmosphere-ocean interaction and coupling; El Nino and Southern Oscillation; atmospheric teleconnections; seasonal and long-range weather forecasting; climate modeling and climate model simulations; internally-forced (natural) climate variability; externally-forced (anthropogenic) climate change; quantitative understanding of future climate scenarios; review of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
Prerequisites: WX 261 and WX 368 and WX 375.

WX 390  Atmospheric Physics  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******This course provides a quantitative overview of physical principles applied to the atmosphere. The topics covered in this course include elements of Earth-Sun geometry, gravitation, atmospheric structure, turbulence, waves, electromagnetic radiation, radiative transfer, atmospheric chemistry and remote sensing. Additionally, atmospheric optics and atmospheric electricity are explored
Prerequisites: WX 353 and PS 139 and MA 112 or MA 242.

WX 399  Special Topics in Applied Meteorology  1-6 Credit

Individual independent or directed studies of selected topics in applied meteorology.

WX 410  Weather for Commercial Air Transport  3 Credits (3,0)

Application of worldwide weather information to decision making for commercial aviation transport operations. Worldwide weather data collection and interpretation; short range and long-range forecast interpretation; airborne radar; satellite and nephanalysis chart interpretation; ground icing operations; space weather impacts on communication and navigation; volcanic ash; international weather information sources; flight planning for transoceanic flight.
Prerequisites: WX 301.

WX 420  Advanced Atmospheric Thermodynamics  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******This course provides an application of physics and calculus to the study of atmospheric thermodynamics. The course covers such topics as hydrostatics, conservation of energy, the Ideal Gas Law, temperature relationship to kinetic energy, specific heats, enthalpy, and entropy. Additionally, water and its transformations, the thermodynamics of dry, moist, and saturated air, and thermodynamic diagrams are covered.
Prerequisites: PS 160 or PS 208 and MA 242 and WX 353.

WX 422  Statistical Applications for Meteorological Data Analysis  3 Credits (3,0)

This course illustrates the applications of a broad range of statistical applications to meteorology, as well as more general data-analysis techniques. The course will include the following topics: basic statistical properties for various types of spatial and temporal data collections, including the standard statistical measures of mean, median, mode, standard deviation, and variance. Additional application topics will include correlations, confidence tests, probability distributions, and time-series sampling theory, as well as data-processing practices including regression analysis, Fourier analysis, and Eigen-vector analysis. The meteorological-specific applications include data assimilation error covariance functions, Model Output Statistics (MOS), Perfect Prog forecasts, statistical forecast models, and Ensemble forecasts of model uncertainties as well as a number of forecast verification metrics including such quantities as Probability of Detection, False Alarm Rate, and Critical Success Scores. The course will include a number of laboratory exercises using various computer software resources ranging from spreadsheet calculations through higher-level programming methods.
Prerequisites: BA 120 or CS 118 or CS 120 or EGR 115 and WX 327 or WX 378.

WX 427  Forecasting Techniques  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******This course provides state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and skill in weather prognostication. Students explore traditional weather analysis and forecasting methods and how today's sophisticated numerical weather prediction (NWP) models have evolved. The strengths and limitations of the various contemporary forecast models are examined in terms of the governing equations and model construction. Students practice the forecast funnel to create daily weather forecasts and oral weather discussions, learning to synthesize observations, forecast model output, statistical tools, and other guidance effectively. They also learn to predict and communicate the impacts of a variety of weather phenomena at various spatial and temporal scales, from short-lived mesoscale events to large-scale seasonal trends.
Prerequisites: COM 221 and WX 353 and WX 354 and WX 356 and WX 365.

WX 436  Advanced Operational Forecasting  3 Credits (3,1)

Operational weather forecasting tools and techniques. Daily forecasting for locations across the nation and globe. Conceptual case study analysis; conceptual temperature, wind, and precipitation forecasting; numerical forecast model products; model-output statistics (MOS); National Weather Service (NWS) products and services; lake-effect snow; forecasting near terrain; cold-air damming; storm tracks; explosive cyclogenesis; tropical cyclone forecasting; severe storm forecasting
Prerequisites: WX 344 and WX 363 and WX 365.

WX 442  Operational Meteorology Seminar  3 Credits (3,0)

This course provides a capstone experience for Operational Meteorology majors. Operational weather support; customer requirements analysis; defining support methodologies; ethical principles; data collection and analysis; weather product tailoring; dissemination strategies; quality assessments; product refinement.
Prerequisites: WX 332 and WX 261 and MA 222 or WX 422.

WX 462  Numerical Weather Prediction  3 Credits (2,1)

Practical aspects of numerical solutions to differential equations of meteorological interest. Data assimilation methods; finite difference representations of spatial derivatives; discretization error; temporal integration and computational stability; parameterization of sub-grid meteorological processes; post processing; dynamical core; operational models; predictability; experimentation with simple prediction models.
Prerequisites: MA 345 and WX 272 and WX 375.

WX 466  Advanced Synoptic Analysis and Forecasting  3 Credits (2,1)

Weather forecasting tools and techniques. Daily forecasting for locations across the nation and globe. Temperature, wind, and precipitation forecasting; numerical forecast model products; model-output statistics (MOS); National Weather Service (NWS) products and services; applications of Quasi-Geostrophic (QG) theory; Potential Vorticity (PV) thinking and applications; isentropic analysis and applications; dynamically and physically-based case studies
Prerequisites: WX 375 and WX 378.

WX 475  Video Production  3 Credits (1,2)

Production of weather and news segments for multi-platform broadcast. Exposure to industry standard equipment; performing the various jobs of a professional newsroom or production studio (writer, editor, producer, director and on-air talent); field production work.
Prerequisites: COM 265 and WX 280.

WX 478  Mesoscale Meteorology  3 Credits (2,1)

The scientific examination of boundary layer and mesoscale meteorological processes and phenomena. Boundary layer turbulence and mixing; surface energy budget; fronts and frontogenesis; dry lines; gravity waves; convective processes responsible for organized and isolated deep moist convection; vorticity, helicity, and shear; analysis of thermodynamic diagrams and hodographs; orographic and thermally forced mesoscale circulations.
Prerequisites: WX 375 and WX 466.

WX 482  Research Methods in Meteorology  3 Credits (3,0)

This course provides a research capstone experience for meteorology majors. Defining and articulating a topic; literature reviews; designing research methodologies; ethical research practices; data collection and analysis; synthesizing information; graphics techniques; formulating conclusions; oral and written communication of results.
Prerequisites: WX 261 and WX 466 and WX 422.

WX 490  Advanced Dynamic Meteorology I  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******This is the first course in atmospheric dynamics that uses calculus. The focus of this course is on the full development of the momentum equation on a rotating earth and the subsequent applications of this equation to atmospheric flows. Applications will include the concepts of geostrophic balance and the geostrophic wind, gradient balance and the gradient wind, hydrostatic balance, the hypsometric equation, and thermal wind balance. Synoptic examples will be examined to illustrate these concepts.
Prerequisites: MA 243 and WX 354 and WX 420.

WX 491  Advanced Dynamic Meteorology II  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******This is the second course in atmospheric dynamics that uses calculus. The dynamical set of equations and expressions that govern atmospheric phenomenon will be developed and applied. These equations and expressions will include the primitive set of equations, a kinematic description of the atmosphere, the absolute and barotropic vorticity equation, and the quasi-geostrophic set of equations. Applications will include the use of these equations to better understand Rossby wave dynamics and the cyclogenesis process.
Prerequisites: WX 490.

WX 499  Special Topics in Applied Meteorology  1-6 Credit

Individual independent or directed studies of selected topics in applied meteorology.