AT350: INTRODUCTION TO WEATHER AND CLIMATE

COURSE SYLLABUS

SPRING 2010
 

1:00 - 1:50 PM TUESDAY/THURSDAY  

130 GLOVER 

Instructor:  Dr. Steven Rutledge, Professor, 220 Atmospheric Science Bldg., Foothills Campus,
Phone: 491-8283   E-mail: rutledge @ atmos.colostate.edu

Teaching Assistants for AT350 and Instructors for AT351: 
Beth Stuckmeyer (beth @ atmos.colostate.edu; 491-8368), Nick Guy (guy @ atmos.colostate.edu; 491-8989)

Objectives:  Introduce students to a variety of topics relevant to an understanding of weather, climate and related topics.  Familiarize students with information sources regarding these topics.  Instill a basic understanding of atmospheric processes and how they determine various atmospheric phenomena.

Text: Meteorology Today: C. Ahrens, West Publishing Co., 9th Edition

Course Website: http://radarmet.atmos.colostate.edu/AT350

Course Structure and Grading Criteria:  The class is offered for two credits and will meet two times per week for lecture/discussion.  Grades will be based on student performance on three hourly exams and a final exam.  Exams will be multiple choice and computer graded. Questions will cover material from readings in the text and from lecture material.  Each student may drop their lowest hourly exam score. The remaining two hourly exams will each receive a weight of 30% and the final exam 40%. As a general rule, if a student does not take one of the hourly exams, that exam becomes the dropped grade. Only under extraordinary circumstances will students be allowed to make up missed examinations.

Extra Credit Instructions: You may do a short paper on a topic that was covered in the general lectures. Please email Prof. Rutledge with your topic. He will either approve your topic, or suggest a related topic. The extra credit paper may be no longer than 5 pages, including figures and a list of references. Please include a title page with the title of your paper and your name. The title page does not count towards the 5 page limit. Of the five pages, at least two pages of double spaced (11 pt. minimum font) should constitute the written part of your project. The extra credit paper is due on Friday 7 May. Please send to Prof. Rutledge via email. rutledge @ atmos.colostate.edu

Seniors graduating May 2010 (ONLY): You are not required to take the final exam if you have taken all three hourly exams and you would like to accept the average of the three as your final grade.
  

The lecture notes are password protected. The login name is 'student' and the password is 'snowfall'. 


Date 

Topic(s) 

Reading 

Jan. 19 

Introduction, course mechanics, review of syllabus and course web site 

 

Jan. 21 

Origin and composition of the atmosphere 

 Chapter 1 

Jan. 26, 28 

Descriptors of the atmosphere 

 Chapter 2 

Feb. 2, 4 

Solar and terrestrial radiation; the greenhouse effect 

 Chapter 2 

Feb. 9 

Seasons; seasonal and daily temperatures 

 Chapter 3 

Feb. 11 

Atmospheric Optics

 Chapter 19 

Feb. 16 

EXAM 1 

  

Feb. 18 

The atmosphere’s water 

Chapter 4  

Feb. 23, 25 

      Condensation:  Dew, Fog and Clouds

 Chapter 4, 5 

Mar. 2 

Stability and cloud development 

 Chapter 6 

Mar. 4 

Precipitation 

 Chapter 7 

Mar. 9 

Continued

 

Mar. 11 

EXAM 2 

  

Mar. 16, 18 

SPRING BREAK 

  

Mar. 23 

Forces, air pressure and winds 

Chapter 8 

Mar. 25 

Small Scale and Local winds 

Chapter 9 

Mar. 30 

Global Winds, The Jet Stream, El-Nino

Chapter 10 

Apr. 1 

Air masses and fronts 

Chapter 11 

Apr. 6 

Middle latitude cyclones 

Chapter 12 

Apr. 8 

Catch up/exam review 

------------------------------------------------------------ 

Apr. 13 

EXAM 3 

 

Apr. 15 

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes and Hurricanes 

Chapter 15 

Apr. 20 

Continued 

 Chapter 15 

Apr. 22 

Continued 

Chapter 15  

Apr. 27 

 Lightning and Thunder 

 Chapter 14 

Apr. 29 

Climate Change

Chapters 10, 16 and 17 

May 4 

Guest lecturer, Nolan Doesken,
State Climatologist

Part of Chapter 18 

May 6 

El-Nino

-- 

May 12 

FINAL EXAM 

9:10 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.