San Juan Mountains, Colo.


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GES3200 Practical Meteorology

Welcome!

Syllabus

Powerpoints

in Canvas

Labs

in Canvas

Readings

Semester Schedule


Date: Course Introduction, Introduction to the atmosphere (Chapter 1)

  • Topic #1: Welcome, introductions, syllabus, course website
  • Topic #2: Is your instructor really a weather junkie?
  • Topic #3: How do you become a meteorologist?
  • Topic #4: Focus on the atmosphere (Ch. 1)
  • Topic #5: Earth as a System (Ch. 1)
  • Topic #6: Composition of the Atmosphere (Ch. 1)
  • Topic #7: Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere (Ch. 1)
  • For next week's class: Read Chapter 2 and 16
  • Before Sunday 11:59 PM: Take CHAPTER 1 QUIZ

Date: Heating Earth's surface and atmosphere (Chapter 2), optical phenomena of the atmosphere (Chapter 16)

  • Topic #1: Earth-Sun Relations (Ch. 2)
  • Topic #2: Energy, Temperature, and Heat (Ch. 2)
  • Topic #3: Mechanisms of Heat Transfer (focus on EMR) (Ch. 2)
  • Topic #4: What happens to Incoming Solar Radiation? (Ch. 2)
  • Topic #5: The Role of Gasses in the Atmosphere (Ch. 2)
  • Topic #6: Earth's Energy Budget (Ch. 2)
  • Topic #7: Sensible and latent heat
  • Topic #8: Phase change diagram for water (Ch. 2)
  • Topic #9: Interactions of Light and Matter (Ch. 16)
  • Topic #10: Light and reflection, absorption, transmission, refraction, scattering, dispersion (Ch. 16)
  • Topic #11: Rainbows and mirages (Ch. 16)
  • For next class: Read Chapter 3
  • Before Sunday 11:59 PM: Take CHAPTER 2 / 16 QUIZ

Date: Temperature (Chapter 3)

  • Topic #1: Discuss 'Do the Weather' in-class presentations.
  • Topic #2: The last 36hrs of roller coaster weather along Front Range
  • Topic #3: ZULU / Z-time / Coordinated Universal Time and temp. conversions
  • Topic #4: For the Record: Air Temperature Data (Ch. 3)
  • Topic #5: Why Temperatures Vary: The Controls of Temperature (Ch. 3)
  • Topic #6: World Distribution of Temperatures (Ch. 3)
  • Topic #7: Cycles of Air Temperature (Ch. 3)
  • Topic #8: LAB ONE: Weather Elements / Outdoor ‘Guesstimation’ Exercise, Isolines as Isotherms, Vertical Temp. Profiles, and Time / Temp. Conversions
  • For next class: Read Chapter 4; Finish Lab One
  • Before Sunday 11:59 PM: Take CHAPTER 3 / LAB 1 QUIZ

Date: Moisture and atmospheric stability (Chapter 4), Turn In Lab One

  • Topic #1: Water's Changes of State (Ch. 4)
  • Topic #2: Humidity: Water Vapor in the Air (Ch. 4)
  • Topic #3: Relative Humidity and Dew-Point Temperature (Ch. 4)
  • Topic #4: Adiabatic Temperature Changes and Cloud Formation (Ch. 4)
  • Topic #5: Processes that Lift Air (Ch. 4)
  • Topic #6: The Critical Weather Maker: Atmospheric Stability (Ch. 4)
  • Topic #7: Stability and Daily Weather (Ch. 4)
  • For next class: Read Chapter 5
  • Before Sunday 11:59 PM: Take CHAPTER 4 QUIZ

Date: Forms of condensation and precipitation (Chapter 5)


Date: Air pressure and winds (Chapter 6)


Study for Test One


Date: Test One

  • Before next Monday: Email Brandon your favorite storm chasing video URLs

Date: Severe weather / storm chasing videos

  • Topic #1: Review Test One
  • For April 2nd class: Read Chapter 7
  • Before Sunday, April 1, 11:59pm: Finish Lab Three: Complete ANY COMET / METED module; Email quiz results (must be a passing score) to Brandon

Date: Circulation of the atmosphere (Chapter 7)

  • Topic #1: Do the Weather: AK and HI, Asia, AU and NZ, Europe, NA Snowfall (focus on CO), US Severe / Hazardous
  • Topic #2: Scales of Atmospheric Motion (Ch. 7)
  • Topic #3: Local Winds (Ch. 7)
  • Topic #4: Global Circulation (Ch. 7)
  • Topic #5: Pressure Zones Drive the Wind (Ch. 7)
  • Topic #6: Monsoons (Ch. 7)
  • Topic #7: The Westerlies (Ch. 7)
  • Topic #8: Jet Streams (Ch. 7)
  • Topic #9: Global Winds and Ocean Currents (Ch. 7)
  • Topic #10: El Niño, La Niña, and the Southern Oscillation (Ch. 7), some info. from: https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/elnino/status
  • Topic #11: Global Distribution of Precipitation (Ch. 7)
  • Before Sunday, April 15, 11:59 PM: Take CHAPTER 7 QUIZ
  • For April 16th's class: Read Chapter 8 and Chapter 9
  • Before Sunday, April 15, 11:59 PM: Finish Lab Four: Complete ANY COMET / METED module; Email quiz results (must be a passing score) to Brandon

Date: Air Masses (Chapter 8) and Midlatitude cyclones (Chapter 9)

  • Topic #1: Do the Weather: AK and HI, Asia, AU and NZ, Europe, NA Snowfall (focus on CO), US Severe / Hazardous
  • Topic #2: What is an Air Mass? (Ch. 8)
  • Topic #3: Classifying Air Masses (Ch. 8)
  • Topic #4: Air Mass Modification (Ch. 8)
  • Topic #5: Frontal Weather (Ch. 9)
  • Topic #6: Midlatitude Cyclones and the Polar-Front Theory (Ch. 9)
  • Topic #7: Idealized Weather of a Midlatitude Cyclone (Ch. 9)
  • Topic #8: Flow Aloft and Cyclone Formation (Ch. 9)
  • Topic #9: Where do Midlatitude Cyclones Form? (Ch. 9)
  • Topic #10: A Modern View: The Conveyor Belt Model (Ch. 9)
  • Topic #11: Anticyclonic Weather and Atsmospheric Blocking (Ch. 9)
  • For next week's class: i) Read Chapter 10 (10.2 - 10.5 only), ii) OPTIONAL - Read three journal articles related to lightning (Vogt 2011 / 2014 and Vogt and Hodanish 2016)
  • Before Sunday: Take CHAPTER 8 (small part) AND CHAPTER 9 QUIZ

Date: Thunderstorms and tornadoes (Chapter 10), Colorado lightning / landscape interactions

  • Topic #1: Do the Weather: AK and HI, Asia, AU and NZ, Europe, NA Snowfall (focus on CO), US Severe / Hazardous
  • Topic #2: Thunderstorms (Ch. 10)
  • Topic #3: Air-Mass Thunderstorms (Ch. 10)
  • Topic #4: Introduce key predictors of storms and storm rotation: speed and directional shear, storm relative helicity (SRH), convective available potential energy (CAPE), lifted index (LI) (SPC info.)
  • Topic #5: Severe Thunderstorms (Ch. 10)
  • Topic #6: Mesocyclone (Ch. 10)
  • Topic #7: Lightning and Colorado's physiographic regions (and influence of Palmer Divide, Raton Mesa Region, Cheyenne Ridge, DCVZ)
  • Topic #8: Lightning and Colorado's populated places and parks
  • Topic #9: Lightning and Colorado's mountains ranges
  • Topic #10: Lightning and Colorado's Fourteeners
  • For next Monday: No readings due
  • Before Sunday: Take CHAPTER 10 / Brandon's lightning talk QUIZ

Date: Tornadoes (Ch. 10), Colorado weather and climate

  • Topic #1: Colorado weather and climate are invigorating
  • Topic #2: Climate by region: plains, plains/foothills interface, mountains, Western Slope
  • Topic #3: Climate change in Colorado
  • For next week: Study for Test Two; study guide handed out in class and in Blackboard. Note: there is NO 'masteringmeteorology' quiz this week

Date: Final Exam


READINGS (select readings assigned throughout course)

  • Bach, A. 2013. Mountain climate, In Mountain Geography: Physical and Human Dimensions, eds. L. Price, M. Price, B. Byers, D. Friend, and T. Kohler, pp. 41-84. University of California Press.
  • Barry, R.G. 1973. A climatological transect on the east slope of the Front Range, Colorado. Arctic and Alpine Research 5(2): 89-110.
  • Barry, R.G. 2008. Mountain Weather and Climate. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY. pp. 11-14, 401-407.
  • Colorado State University (CSU). 2014. Colorado Flood 2013 Storm Page. URL (last accessed Nov. 2017).
  • Doswell, C.A. 2001. Severe Convective Storms—An Overview. Meteorological Monographs, 50: 1–26.
  • Doswell, C. A. 1980. Synoptic-scale environments associated with High Plains severe thunderstorms. Bull. Amer. Meteo. Soc., 61(11): 1388–1400.
  • Durran, D. 1990. Mountain waves and downslope winds. In Atmospheric Processes over Complex Terrain. Meteorological Monographs, 23(45): 59-81.
  • Haby, J. The Ultimate Weather Education Website (including Haby Hints pages). TheWeatherPrediction.com. URL. (last accessed Dec. 2018).
  • Hansen, W., J. Chronic, and J. Matelock. 1978. Climatography of the Front Range urban corridor and vicinity, Colorado. US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1019.
  • Holton, J. Curry, J. and J. Pyle. 2003. Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences - Severe Storms, Volumes 1-6. (pp. 2054,2061). Elsevier.
  • Holton, J. Curry, J. and J. Pyle. 2003. Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences - Valley Winds, Volumes 1-6. (pp. 2481,2490). Elsevier.
  • Johnson, R.H., R.S. Schumacher, J.H. Ruppert, D.T. Lindsey, J.E. Ruthford, and L. Kriederman. 2014. The role of convective outflow in the Waldo Canyon Fire. Monthly Weather Review. 142: 3061-3080.
  • Linacre, E., and B. Geerts. 1998. The Reynolds', Richardson's, and Froude numbers. Online (UWYO) Nov. 1998. PDF. URL (last accessed Nov. 2017).
  • Maddox, R.A. 1980. Mesoscale convective complexes. Bulletin American Meteorological Society. 61(11): 1374-1378.
  • Mahoney, K., Ralph, F.M., Wolter, K., Doesken, N., Dettinger, M., Gottas, D., Coleman, T. and White, A. 2015. Climatology of extreme daily precipitation in Colorado and its diverse spatial and seasonal variability. Journal of Hydrometeorology 16(2): 781-792.
  • Mott, R., V. Vionnet, and T. Grünewald. 2018. The seasonal snow cover dynamics: review on wind-driven coupling processes. Frontiers in Earth Science 6(197).
  • Nelson, M. 2007. Colorado Weather Almanac. Johnson Books, Boulder, CO. Chapter 5 - Two Centuries of Weather Observing.
  • Schlatter, T., and D. Floyd. 2013. Deep Hail: Idalia, Colorado, April 29, 2012, Weatherwise 66(1): 31-36. PDF in Blackboard.
  • Vogt, B. 2011. Exploring cloud-to-ground lightning earth highpoint attachment geography by peak current. Earth Interactions 15(8): 1-16.
  • Vogt, B. 2014. Visualizing summertime lightning patterns on Colorado Fourteeners. The Professional Geographer 66(1): 41-57.
  • Vogt, B., and S. Hodanish. 2014. A high-resolution lightning map of the state of Colorado. Monthly Weather Review 142:2353-60.
  • Vogt, B., and S. Hodanish. 2016. A geographical analysis of warm season lightning / landscape interactions across Colorado, USA. Applied Geography 75: 93-103.
  • Whiteman, C. D. 2000a. Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications. Oxford University Press, New York / Oxford. Chapter 10 - Terrain-Forced Flows.
  • Whiteman, C. D. 2000b. Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications. Oxford University Press, New York / Oxford. Chapter 11 - Diurnal Mountain Winds.

Contact Brandon

  • 719.255.5146
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  • bvogt@uccs.edu
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  • 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
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