Atmos 6250: Mountain Meteorology
Fall 2015 Course Description
A graduate survey of synoptic, mesoscale, and microscale meteorology in complex terrain including orographically modified cyclone evolution, front-mountain interactions, dynamically and thermally driven flows, orographic precipitation, lake-effect precipitation, mountain weather prediction and forecasting, and interdisciplinary topics.
Overview and Learning Objectives
At the end of this course, students should (1) possess foundational knowledge of the influence of complex terrain on atmospheric phenomena spaning from the boundary layer to the synoptic scale and (2) be able to utilize and critically evaluate scientific literature applicable to research in mountain meteorology and related environmental fields.
Two classes per week (1:25-2:45 MW) in 345 INSCC (NOTE: The course schedule says WBB 711, but plan on meeting in 345 INSCC unless otherwise directed).
This is a course for self-motivated, fully engaged graduate students. I expect students to miss no more than 2 classes, to read assigned materials, to drink from the fountain of knowledge during class activities, to contribute strongly to group learning through active participation, and to give high quality presentations. Grades are based 30% on participation and 70% on presentations. Information on the grading of presentations ia available here.
Mountain Weather Research and Forecasting, F. Chow et al. (eds.), which is available electronically and freely accessible campus-wide or off campus through the Marriott Library. Additional readings as assigned, typically from the peer-reviewed literature.
Students will give oral presentations on recent topics in mountain meteorology during five classes. Depending on enrollment, class may be extended on these days. Each student will give two presentations total, selecting two of five topic areas. One of these areas can be related to the student's thesis or dissertation research, but the other should be in an unrelated area. Each presentation should be 15 minutes in length and can be a traditional conference-style presentation (e.g., intro, data and methods, results, conclusions), a summary of case studies or literature reviews, or a discussion of recent advances or unsolved problems or paradoxes in the topic area. Students will select topic areas in consultation with Jim early in the semester.
The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangement for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.
Tentative Schedule and Readings
II. Cyclones, Fronts, & Dynamically Driven Flows
Mon Aug 31: ICAM-No Class
Wed Sep 2: ICAM-No Class
Mon Sep 7: Labor Day-No Class
Wed Sep 16: Dynamically Driven Flows II (notes and reading above)
Mon Sep 21: Student Presentations: Cyclones, Fronts, & Dynamically Driven Flows (Wyndam, Brian, Derek)
III. Thermally Driven Flows, Cold Pools, and Mountain Miscellany
Mon Oct 12: Fall Break
Wed Oct 14: Fall Break
Mon Oct 19: Student Presentations: Thermally Driven Flows, Cold Pools, and Mountain Miscellany (Kati, Ansley, Dillon, Tom)
IV. Orographic and Lake-Effect Precipitation
Wed Nov 4: Student Presentations: Orographic and Lake-Effect Precipitation (Kati, Logan, Tom, Taylor)
V. Numerical Weather Prediction and Forecasting
Mon Nov 9: Numerical Methods and Modeling over Mountains (Alex Reinecke, notes)
Mon Nov 16: Forecasting Orographic Precipitation
Tue Nov 17 (4 PM, 210 ASB): Western US Wildfires (John Abatzoglou)
Wed Nov 18: Student Presentations: Numerical Weather Prediction and Forecasting (Ansley and Brian)
VI. Interdisciplinary Topics
Wed Nov 25: No class in lieu of field trip (date TBD) to Alta during last two weeks of semester
Wed Dec 2: Mountain and Snow Hydrology (Paul Brooks)
Mon Dec 7: Student Presentations: Interdisciplinary Topics (Taylor, Wyndam, Logan, Dillon)