SYLLABUS **last updated 10/26/10**

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Phoenix-Chandler Center

Course Number: WEAX 201

Course Title: Meteorology I
Credit Hours.: 3

Required Text:
1. C. Donald Ahrens, (2009) Meteorology Today, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA, 9th Ed.

Supplemental Material:
a. World Wide Web Sites:

b. Scientific Calculator. (recommended)
c. FAA ACOO-45 Aviation Weather Services. (optional)

Course Description: This is a survey course in atmospheric science that includes application to flight. Included is a systematic development of the following: thermal patterns, atmospheric moisture, horizontal and vertical pressure patterns, clouds, atmospheric circulation, local winds, stability, air masses, fronts, fog, icing, thunderstorms, jet streams and turbulence. Students will study and make use of surface weather observations, surface maps, and constant pressure maps.

Prerequisites: None

Course Goals: This course is designed to provide the student with a general meteorological background and build understanding of tye important role of surface and upper air weather observations. Students will learn how weather impacts flight operations and safety of flight.

Course Learning Objectives:
1. Describe atmospheric processes that generate temperature, pressure and wind patterns from the surface to jet stream altitudes.
2. Explain the development of fog, clouds, and precipitation.
3. Identify and describe scales of motion from global circulation patterns to synoptic systems, to small scale/local weather effects.
4. Compute changes to temperature, pressure, and humidity that occur in regions of rising and sinking atmospheric motions and explain the impact of the changes.
5. Work on a team to evaluate meteorological data and describe the impact of significant aviation weather hazards including mid latitude storms and associated fronts, Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) conditions, icing, turbulence and thunderstorms on safety of flight.
6. Be able to comprehend the weather observational network, weather databases, and the process of generating current surface and upper air weather maps.
7. Relate observed weather to global, synoptic and mesoscale patterns.

Teaching Methods: Class meetings will be comprised of lectures and discussions of assigned material which may include films, student presentations, field trip and testing for understanding. Class participation is expected with emphasis on aviation related applications.

Class Policy: All students are expected to bring their text and appropriate note-taking materials to each scheduled class where academic honesty, civility, and courtesy is the required mode of behavior. Assignments contained herein, and as augmented at instructor's discretion, shall be completed prior to class and shall be deemed late if not turned in by the following scheduled class period with appropriate credit adjustment. Assignments constitute minimim coverage of the required lessons and the student is encouraged to complete additional study within each assigned area to promote mastery of the objectives.

Course content may vary from this outline to meet the needs of this particular class composition. Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes where active participation in class is an integral element and will be considered in final course calculations. Should circumstances arise beyond a student's control which may force a student to miss a class session or portion thereof, all matters relating to the absence should be arranged between the student and the instructor, including making up missed work. Absences are particularly significant in this program due to the amount of material covered in each class. Thus students are encouraged to assist one another with missed classnotes and assignments.

The course grade will be determined from the results obtained from a mid-term exam, a student report of an instructor approved research paper, and a final exam using the following weights:

Grading Procedures:
AreaGrade Scale
Mid Tern Exam25 points/25%90-100 A
Final exam35 points/35%80-89 B
Individual Research Report/Presentation22 points/22%70-79 C
Case Presentation and involvement9 points/9%60-69 D
In-class/Homework Assignments9 points/9%
Total 100 points/100%

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Class Schedule

Week #1,Session #1:
Topic: Introduction; Distribution of Atmospheric Parameters (moisture, pressure, temperature) and Their Relation to Climate

1. The student will know the scope and concept of the course to include the classroom procedures, homework requirements to include research paper and oral presentation, examinations and grading policy.
2. Discuss the distribution of weather parameters in the earth's atmosphere (pressure, moisture, temperature, atmospheric composition, etc.) and how changes may affect the earth's climate.
3. Comprehend basic concepts associated with the theory of atmospheres to include: equilibrium temperatures, hydrostatic equation, and adiabatic lapse rate.

Assignment: Read: Ahrens, Chapters 1, 2 (to p.48) and 3. Complete assigned questions from appropriate Chapters as distributed on the first night's class and as found on the class's www page.

Week #2,Session #2:
Topic: Atmospheric Pressure and Moisture

1. The student will comprehend and apply the concepts of atmospheric pressure and altimetry for use in determining pressure altitude and density altitude for aircrews.
2. Discuss the impact of moisture in the form of humidity and condensation on atmospheric stability.
3. Students will select/be assigned specific research topics to be presented during Session #7.

Assignment: Read/review Ahrens, Chapters 5, 6, 8 and 9. Review questions as assigned

Week #3,Session #3:
Topic: Atmospheric Stability and Thermodynamics

1. The student will analyze the concepts associated with atmospheric stability; apply these concepts to determine the stability characteristics of the atmosphere.
2. Comprehend basic thermodynamic definitions associated with atmospheric stability, to include potential temperature, lifting condensation level and convective condensation level and apply these concepts to an understanding of the causes of instability.
3. Test over material covered in sessions #1 and #2.

Assignment: Read/review Ahrens, Chapter 7. Review questions as assigned.

Week #4,Session #4:
Topic: Atmospheric Circulation

1. The student will comprehend the dynamics of global and local wind effects and their relationship to the equations of motion, the geostrophic approximation, cyclostrophic motion, surfaces of constant pressure, and the thermal wind equation.
2. The student will demonstrate a basic knowledge of vorticity patterns as they relate to atmospheric wave motion by analyzing regions of positive and negative vorticity based on shear and curviture, temperature advection, and frontal dynamics.
3. The student will understand how topography and atmospheric stability influence atmospheric circulation and apply the concepts to determine whether a region may have the potential for such aviation hazards as turbulence.

Assignment: Read/review Ahrens, Chapters 9, 10, and 11. Review questions as assigned.

Week #5,Session #5:
Topic: Air Masses and Clouds

1. The student will comprehend the concept of air masses, cloud formation, growth of cloud particles, and the radiative properties of clouds and how they relate to atmospheric stability.
2. The student will understand and demonstrate knowledge of plotting and analyzing a surface weather map to include the placement of warm and cold fronts using key indicators such as temperature, wind shifts, pressure tendency, station pressures, moisture, and cloud types.
3. The student will be familiar with numerical forecast products that are useful in weather prediction and prepare a forecast using available weather data.
4. Area content test over material covered in sessions #3 and #4.

Assignment: Read/review Ahrens, Chapters 6, 7 and 12. Review questions as assigned.

Week #6,Session #6:
Topic: Hazards to Aviation: Thunderstorms, Aircraft Icing, Low Level Wind Shear, and Visibility

1. The student will comprehend the different types of hazards to aviation and understand their cause.
2. The student will demonstrate knowledge of hazard forecasting for a hypothetical crosscountry flight.

Assignment: Read/review Ahrens, Chapters 13, 14, 15 and 16. Review question as assigned.

Week #7,Session #7:
Topic: Field Trip (pending approval NWS) and Student Report Presentations

1. The student will participate in a field trip to the Phoenix Office of the National Weather Service to observe facility equipment and operations, computer integration in weather forecasting and data management, and use of satellite and radar information.
2. The student will present an oral and written research report on an assigned, instructor coordinated topic.

Week #8,Session #8:
Topic: Satellite / Radar Meteorology and Global Climate and Changes

1. The student will comprehend how satellites and radar have influenced weather observation and forecasting, and understand the basic principles of operation and terminology associated with weather radars.
2. The student will be able to discuss global climate differences and the driving forces for change.

Assignment: Read/review Ahrens, Chapters 17, 18 and 19. Review questions as assigned.

Week #9,Session #9:
Topic: Final Examination
1. The student will demonstrate subjective/objective knowledge of meteorological concepts presented during the term of this course.

For questions contact Instructor: E-mail.

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