METEO 003 Introductory Meteorology

Instructor: Dr. David R. Stauffer, Section 3: MWF 1:25 pm - 2:15 pm MF (lecture) and W (lab or exams) in Room 109 Walker

Introductory Meteorology:
Section 3: MWF 1:25 pm - 2:15 pm
Dr. David R. Stauffer
Professor of Meteorology
621 Walker Bldg., 863-3932, Office Hours: by appointment
MF (lecture) and W (lab or exams) in Room 109 Walker

** Check ANGEL frequently for any syllabus updates **

Academic Integrity Required! This course follows E&MS Policy: http://www.ems.psu.edu/current_undergrad_students/academics/integrity_policy

Students with Disabilities: The Office for Disability Services Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus at http://equity.psu.edu/ods/dcl. For further information, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site: http://equity.psu.edu/ods. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation: http://equity.psu.edu/ods/guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter.

Introductory Meteorology: An introductory, comprehensive course about the atmosphere in which we live, the weather which we daily experience and the special earth “biospheric” system upon which all life critically depends. The course will also teach you to be a savvy consumer of weather information.

Required Text: A World of Weather, 5th Ed, by Grenci and Nese, 2010, Kendall/Hunt

Class Date / Topic(s) / Relevant Reading

  • 22 Aug Introduction, units, scales and mapping - Chapter 1
  • 24 Aug Radiation basics, solar & terrestrial radiation (no lab week 1) - Chapter 2
  • 26 Aug Satellites & radar remote sensing - Chapter 5
  • 29 Aug Temperature and temperature differences - Chapter 3
  • 31 Aug Lab 1: Bring chapters 1, 2, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 02 Sep Temperature, air masses, a first look at fronts - Chapter 3
  • 05 Sep ** No class – Labor Day **
  • 07 Sep Lab 2: Bring chapters 2, 3, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 09 Sep Water in the atmosphere, introduction to humidity - Chapter 4
  • 12 Sep Humidity in more detail, cloud and precipitation - Chapter 4
  • 14 Sep Lab 3: Bring chapters 3, 4, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 16 Sep Introduction to atmospheric pressure - Chapter 6
  • 19 Sep Wind basics and upper-air patterns - Chapter 7
  • 21 Sep Lab 4: Bring chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 23 Sep The mid-latitude jet stream  - Chapter 7
  • 26 Sep Catch up and review - Review
  • 28 Sep ** Exam I **
  • 30 Sep Atmospheric stability and clouds - Chapter 8
  • 03 Oct Air pollution basics, cloud types and precipitation formation - Chapter 8
  • 05 Oct Lab 5: Bring chapters 6, 7, 8, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 07 Oct Thunderstorms, flooding and hail - Chapter 9
  • 10 Oct The general circulation (I) - polar, tropics and subtropics - Chapter 10
  • 12 Oct Lab 6: Bring chapters 8, 9, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 14 Oct The general circulation (II) - monsoons and ENSO - Chapter 10
  • 17 Oct Hurricanes (I) - structure and formation - Chapter 11
  • 19 Oct Lab 7: Bring chapters 9, 10, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 21 Oct Hurricanes (II) - intensification, forecasting and damage - Chapter 11
  • 24 Oct Catch up and review
  • 26 Oct ** Exam II **
  • 28 Oct  Linking surface and upper-air patterns - Chapter 12
  • 31 Oct The mid-latitude cyclone, Norwegian cyclone model - Chapter 13
  • 02 Nov Lab 8: Bring chapters 11, 12, 13, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 04 Nov Severe thunderstorms and their environments - Chapter 14
  • 07 Nov Tornadoes (I) - Chapter 15
  • 09 Nov Lab 9: Bring chapters 14, 15, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 11 Nov Tornadoes (II) - Chapter 15
  • 14 Nov Winter weather - Chapter 16
  • 16 Nov Lab 10: Bring chapter 16, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 18 Nov More winter weather, lake effect snow, wind chill - Chapter 16
  • 21, 23, 25 Nov ** No classes – Enjoy Thanksgiving Break **
  • 28 Nov Computer Models / Applications (I) - Course Notes
  • 30 Nov Lab 11: Bring chapter 16, course notes, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 02 Dec Computer Models / Applications (II) - Course Notes
  • 05 Dec Human impacts, deforestation, urban heat island effect, global warming - Chapter 18
  • 07 Dec Lab 12: Bring chapter 18, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 09 Dec Review  

Class Format

The dates and topics listed on the syllabus are only approximate. Changes will occur as the rhythm of the course becomes established. Lecture Powerpoint slides and lab assignments will be posted on Angel, but they will not represent all the material you need to know…so be sure to come to class! The blackboard will also be used to expand on the material presented in the slides. On some days, we will have a discussion of the current weather situation in which concepts covered during the course will be applied in “real life”.

Examinations and Grading

  • Exam I - 10%
  • Exam II - 20%
  • Pop Quizzes - 20%
  • Final Examination - 20%
  • Laboratory Grade - 30%

The exams and final will consist primarily of multiple choice, true/false and short answer questions and they are comprehensive in nature. Exam II will focus on material taught since the previous exam. Make-ups may be scheduled at the instructor's convenience for excused absences. The make-up should be taken before the scheduled exam time, if at all possible.

To encourage reading of the assigned material and to emphasize the importance of class participation, note that quizzes compose 20 % of the final grade, and this is the same weight as Exam II and the final exam! Quizzes may be announced, but often will be a surprise. They will generally be multiple choice, true/false or short answer questions that deal with the recent material. Please be sure to bring a pencil or pen and some (preferably loose-leaf) paper to class, and don't be late! Quizzes cannot be made up but there will be a minimum of one or two drops allowed depending upon the final number of quizzes.

Note also that the laboratory assignments are worth 30 % of your total grade, and this is equal to the sum of the first two exams! Lab assignments are due at the beginning of Friday’s class, with few exceptions! Again, if you are unable to attend because of an emergency, tell me and the TA as soon as possible and get the assignment - we cannot accept assignments once the next lab begins (a week late). Late assignments will be penalized. A minimum of one lab grade may be dropped.

Campus emergencies, including weather delays, are announced on Penn State News: http:/news.psu.edu/ and communicated to cellphones, email, the Penn State Facebook page, and Twitter via PSUAlert (Sign up at: https://psualert.psu.edu/psualert/). 

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