Instruction is through two 50 minute classes (TR 13:30-14:20 in 8-160)
and one three-hour lab (W 8:30-11:20 in 8-129) per week.
The lab each week will start with a weather discussion of
the previous week, and forecast for the coming week in
the class. Additionally, students will participate in a weather
forecast game. Resources related to ENSC 408/608 can be found at the
course homepage located at
Note: If there are students in this course who, because of a disability, may have a need for special academic accommodations, please come and discuss this with us, or contact staff at the Access Resource Centre located in the Teaching and Learning Centre, Room 10-1048.
Stull (2017) (hereafter S17) is the only required reference, and is designed to complement the texts from ENSC 201, Ahrens et al. (2016) by using similar chapter organization. Holton (2004) also gives a much more in-depth treatment. Note also that an open access, electronic version of Stull's textbook (third edition) is also available through the library's online catalogue.
There will be a mid-term exam, final exam, nine marked labs, weather discussion, and forecast game participation. The labs require a formal, typed write-up, the format of which will be discussed in class. The mid-term exam is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 12 during the lecture period. The final exam will occur sometime during the December exam period, so no travel or employment plans should be made during this time. Assignments handed in late will normally have marks deducted, except for medical or other extraordinary circumstances. In any case, instructors must be notified of late assignments prior to the due date. Missed exams cannot be made up except on documented grounds and notification prior to exam date. Students are encouraged to work together on assignments, however independent reports must be handed in, otherwise credit will not be given. Plagiarism is a serious academic offence and will not be tolerated.
For undergraduate students, the distribution of marks will then be:
|Mid term Exam||10%|
Note that graduate students will also be required to complete a research project relevant to their areas of research to be discussed with the instructors. For graduate students, the distribution of marks will therefore be:
|Mid term Exam||10%|
Students registered to audit the course will be expected to attend lectures and participate in all of the lab activities as well. However, they will not be required to submit lab reports nor a project report, and will not write the mid-term or final exam.
|1||Sep 4||Introduction: Scope of the course. Atmospheric Scales. Atmospheric Structure. Meteorological conventions.||S17: pp 1-3, 315, 425-429|
|2||Sep 11||Preview: Idealized model of a mid-latitude cyclone;
Fundamentals: Ideal Gas Law, virtual temperature,
atmospheric statics and hydrostatic law;
laws of thermo., entropy, DALR, potential temperature
LAB 1: Internet data sources for weather analysis and forecasting. Understanding weather maps, satellite images, forecasts. Weather Discussion and Forecast Game, introduction. (/2)
|S17: pp 53-62|
|3||Sep 18||Atmospheric Thermodynamics & Stability:
Virtual Temperature. Lapse rates and stability. Tephigram.
Conservation Laws for Mass and Heat.
Atmospheric Forces: Forces in
the atmosphere and conservation of momentum.
LAB 2: Weather maps I - surface charts (/4)
|S17: pp 63-68, 119-144|
|4||Sep 25||Horizontal Motion and its variation:
Cyclostrophic winds. Thermal wind.
Hodographs and their interpretation.
Jet Streams and Jet Streaks
LAB 3: Tephigrams (/4)
|S17: Ch. 10, pp 292-314|
relative, planetary, absolute, isentropic potential vorticity.
Vorticity and Thermal Advection:
Divergence, deformation. Vorticity advection, vorticity
equation and its consequences.
LAB 4: Hodographs (/4)
|S17: Ch 11 pp 362-365|
|6||Oct 9||Vorticity - cont'd:
Short waves, long waves,
Rossby waves, Lee cyclogenesis, omega equation.
MID TERM EXAM OCT 12
|S17: Ch 13, pp 443-457|
fundamentals, types, Z-R, scans, interpretation
LAB 5: Weather maps II - Upper tropospheric analyses (/5)
|S17 p 172, 258, 351|
|8||Oct 23||Air Masses, Fronts, Cyclones and Anticyclones:
Kinematics of fronts, frontogenesis and
Lab 6: Radar imagery interpretation (/5)
|S17: Ch 12, pp 389-404, 408-414|
|9||Oct 30||Numerical Weather Prediction.
Troughs, ridges, barotropic and baroclinic instability
LAB 7: Satellite imagery interpretation (/5)
|S17: Ch 20, pp 746-762|
|10||Nov 6||Mid-Latitude Cyclone Development:
Pressure tendency and self-development.
LAB 8: Numerical weather prediction (/5)
|S17: Ch 13, pp 426-471|
|11||Nov 13||Evolution of Mid-Latitude Disturbances:
Fitting the pieces together - idealized model of a mid-latitude cyclone
LAB 9: Weather Maps III - Case Study (/6)
|S17: Ch 13, pp 426-471|
|12||Nov 20||Summer Severe Weather:
Thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes.
||S17: Ch 14, pp 481-509; Ch 15 pp 545-592; Ch 16, pp 604-616, 630-637|
|13||Nov 27||Winter Severe Weather:
Blizzards, lake-effect snow, ice storms. Wrap-up and review.
||S17: Ch 7, pp 195, 208-209; Ch 13 pp 425, 434-435|