Meteorology (WEAX)

Meteorology Courses

WEAX 201  Meteorology I  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.

WEAX 211  Meteorological Hazards  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is a survey of hazards resulting from atmospheric processes, including other global natural hazards resulting from geologic, seismic, hydrologic, and astronomic processes connected to the atmosphere. Topics will include tropical cyclones, severe weather, climate extremes, volcanism, tsunamis, wildfires, and solar activity, and will be extended to aviation and other applications.

WEAX 261  Applied Climatology  3 Credits (3,0)

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: WEAX 201.

WEAX 301  Aviation Weather  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is an expansion of WEAX 201 - Meteorology I with a focus on aviation weather hazards such as thunderstorms, strong winds, fog, icing, turbulence, snow storms, and volcanic ash. Practical application of theoretical concepts such as thickness, thermal winds, jet streams, cyclone formation, and stability is achieved through exercises and projects utilizing current or historic weather examples and designed to complement lecture materials. Emphasis is on navigating today's online environment for obtaining real-time aviation weather products and information to gain practical experience in making informed weather-sensitive decisions.
Prerequisites: WEAX 201.

WEAX 322  Space Weather  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is an introduction to the Sun-Earth relationship and focused on understanding its societal and technological impacts. With the continued growth of the satellite communications industry and our growing dependence on wireless communication and instant access to global information, we are becoming more and more susceptible to problems caused by space weather. The course provides the students with understanding of the key concepts of radiation and convection, solar structure, the heliosphere: the corona and the solar wind, the interplanetary magnetic field, cosmic rays, Earth's space environment and upper atmosphere, the technological impacts of space storms, the perils of living in space, the impact of space weather on climate variability, and will discuss other space weather phenomena. The students will investigate several case studies of space weather storms and how they can damage or destroy orbiting satellites, injure or kill astronauts, degrade or blackout certain radio and navigation communications, and cause regional power failures by destroying critical components of electrical power grids.

WEAX 327  Operational Analysis and Forecasting  3 Credits (3,0)

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: WEAX 301.

WEAX 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.

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

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: WEAX 301.