Clim 301 Syllabus

CLIM301: Weather Analysis and Prediction (Fall 2015)

Noon to 2:45pm Tue/Thu (with a break)
Room 121 Research Hall (the Climate Lab)

Final Exam: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1:30pm to 4:15pm
Room 121 Research Hall (the Climate Lab)

Instructor: Mr. Brian Doty
Rm 282 Research Hall

Class website:

Class goal/outcome: Learn how to correctly create and interpret standard weather maps and charts. Learn how to use those maps and charts to make a weather forecast. Be able to explain and justify the reasoning for your forecast.

Prerequisites: 1st semester of Calculus and an introductory course in meteorology.

Vasquez, Tim, 2011: Weather Forecasting and Analysis Handbook.
ISBN-10: 0-978-0-9832533-0-3

Wallace, John, and Peter Hobbs, 2006: Atmospheric Science, An Introductory Survey.
ISBN-10: 0-12-732951-X

Test 1: 15%, Test 2: 15%, Final 25%, Lab/HW: 35%, Participation: 10%

Approximate grading scale:
A+ 96.7%-100% A 93.3%-96.7% A- 90%-93.3%
B+ 86.7%-90% B 83.3%-86.7% B- 80%-83.3%
C+ 76.7%-80% C 73.3%-76.7% C- 70%-73.3%
D 60%-70% F below 60%

Course Lectures (subject to revision):

Tue 09/01: Contouring: f(x,y)
Thu 09/03: Contouring: troughs, ridges, gradient
Tue 09/08: Contouring: Observed Data
Thu 09/10: Variables and Units (Vasquez Chapter 1)
Tue 09/15: Winds: U and V components, Coriolis Force
Thu 09/17: Winds: Geostrophic Wind, Advection
Tue 09/22: Winds: Vorticity and Divergence
Thu 09/24: Review
Tue 09/29: Exam 1
Thu 10/01: Observations (Vasquez Chapter 2)
Tue 10/06: Hydrostatic and Hypsometric equations, thickness (Wallace/Hobbs Ch. 3)
Thu 10/08: Dry Adiabitic process
Tue 10/13: No Class (Monday classes meet this day)
Thu 10/15: Atmospheric Moisture
Tue 10/20: The SkewT chart (Vasquez Chapter 3)
Thu 10/22: Applications of the SkewT
Tue 10/27: Upper Air (Vasquez Chapter 4)
Thu 10/29: Review
Tue 11/03: Exam 2
Thu 11/05: Surface (Vasquez Chapter 5), Diurnal cycle
Tue 11/10: Surface Fronts
Thu 11/12: Weather Systems (Wallace/Hobbs Ch. 8.1)
Tue 11/17: Weather Systems
Thu 11/19: Satellite
Tue 11/24: Radar
Thu 11/26: Holiday: Thanksgiving
Tue 12/01: Numerical Weather Prediction Models
Thu 12/03: Model Ensembles
Tue 12/08: Human Forecasting
Thu 12/10: Review
Tue 12/15: Final Exam, 1:30pm to 4:15pm

It is strongly recommended that you skim through the Vasquez book within the first week or two of class. This will help you participate more effectively in the lab map discussions.

There will be one HW/Lab assignment given per week, except for exam weeks. These assignments will usually be due one week later (the due date will always be specified). HW/Lab assignments may be turned in late with a 10% grade penalty in the first week late, and a 20% grade penalty thereafter.

Exams will be closed-book. Students may bring a "dumb" calculator and a single sheet of 8.5x11 inch paper with notes. No internet access is allowed.

The Lab time will primarily be used to apply learned material via discussions of current weather. The level of student involvement in these discussions will determine the grade for participation. There will also be some lab time available for help with HW/Lab assignments.

This class assumes you have internet access and that you know how to use a web browser. Many of the materials for this class will be placed online, including most HW/Lab assignments and lecture notes. These online materials are part of the class and exam questions may be drawn from them.

Feel free to bring and use your laptop and/or mobile internet devices to the lab sessions. Out of consideration for other students, during lectures please only use those devices for class purposes.

Accommodations for Disabilities
If you have a documented learning disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: 1) contact the Office for Disability Services (SUB I, Rm. 4205; 993 - 2474; http://od to determine the accommodations you need; and 2) talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs. In addition to providing your professor with the appropriate form, please take the initiative to discuss accommodation with me at the beginning of the semester and as needed during the term. Because of the range of learning differences, faculty members need to learn from you the most effective ways to assist you.

Academic Integrity
GMU is an Honor Code university; please see the Office for Academ ic Integrity for a full description of the code and the honor committee process. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated gravely. Discussions inside and outside of the classroom with me or your fellow students are encouraged, however, copying HW directly is prohibited. Cheating during exams is a violation of the code and will be reported to the university for appropriate action.
More information: