ATMS 411/611 Atmospheric Physics [main page] [homework] [2019 notes] [2018 notes] [2017 notes] [2015 notes] [2010 notes].



Week 4: 14 Sept

Thursday

Bring questions to class, especially about homework 1.

We will continue Chapter 3 on the theory of atmospheric thermodynamics.

Preparation:
Read chapter 3, Atmospheric Thermodynamics.

 

 

Wednesday

Bring questions to class, especially about homework 1.

We will start Chapter 3 on the theory of atmospheric thermodynamics.

Preparation:
Read chapter 3, Atmospheric Thermodynamics.

Chapter 3 topics
We will have several homework assignments from this especially important chapter.
The goals (learning and review objectives)

a. Ideal gas equation applied to dry and moist air.
b. Virtual temperature.
c. Potential temperature.
d. Hydrostatic equation.
e. Increasingly detailed description of the temperature and pressure distribution in the atmosphere.
f. SkewT logP diagrams.
f-g. Relative humidity, absolute humidity.
g. Dew point temperature.
h. Wet bulb temperature.
i. Equivalent potential temperature.
j. Latent heat release and absorption in condensation and evaporation of water.
k. Stability of air parcels.
l. Indices on soundings.
m. Brunt–Väisälä frequency and gravity waves.
o. Sound propagation in the atmosphere.

 

Tuesday

Discuss the color of the sky when smoke is present as a timely topic, using the image in related information below.

Problem 3 of homework 1. Continue scale height of the atmosphere determination.
Bring questions to class.

We will start Chapter 3 on the theory of atmospheric thermodynamics.

Preparation:
Login to your account with Excel, using your netID, to the computers in the classroom or at home, before class so you're ready to go when class starts.
(Students in class will need to first logout of Excel and log back in so that saving to your OneDrive works properly).

Read chapter 3.

 

Monday

Problem 3 of homework 1. Continue with density graphs, and scale height of the atmosphere determination.
Discuss report writing aspects, especially use of equations.

Work on homework 1.

We will start Chapter 3 on the theory of atmospheric thermodynamics.

Preparation:
Login to your account with Excel, using your netID, to the computers in the classroom or at home, before class so you're ready to go when class starts.
(Students in class will need to first logout of Excel and log back in so that saving to your OneDrive works properly).

Read chapter 3.

Related Information:

La Niña conditions to continue into fall.
California's wildfire smoke plumes are unlike anything previously seen, a Washington Post article that references Professor Larue of UNR.
Orange sun due to smoke before class on 14 September 2020.
Clear and smoky days in August 2020.

500 mb level forecast.
The 500 mb level winds are animated here.
Discussion of the 500 mb level.
Additional discussion of the 500 mb level.
Temperature and height of the 500 mb level for Reno Sept 2019. From this spreadsheet.
Observed 500 mb level heights and winds.
Discussion of constant pressure charts.

 

 

 

Week 3: 8 Sept

Thursday

Problem 3 of homework 1. Continue with pressure, temperature, and density graphs.

We will move the due date for homework 1 to next week.

Preparation:
Login to your account with Excel, using your netID, to the computers in the classroom or at home, before class so you're ready to go when class starts.
(Students in class will need to first logout of Excel and log back in so that saving to your OneDrive works properly).

Density of dry and moist air

 

 

 

Wednesday

Discuss the meteorology of the past few days.

Problem 3 of homework 1.
Preparation: Go to Barrow Alaska's and save an image for it, including the Arctic Circle and the North Pole, as we did on Tuesday for Rochambeau.
Login to your account with Excel, using your netID, to the computers in the classroom or at home, before class so you're ready to go when class starts.
(Students in class will need to first logout of Excel and log back in so that saving to your OneDrive works properly).

 

Tuesday

Discuss the Reno and Slidell LA soundings from homework 0. Bring your ideas to class.

Problem 4 of homework 1, obtain graphs of the global surface pressure in summer and winter to check the premise of this problem.
Preparation: Read this discussion from an atmospheric dynamics textbook.

Problem 3 of homework 1.
Preparation: Install Google Earth (free) and Microsoft Office (Excel, etc, free when you login using your netID) on your home computer.
We will use them for problem 3 (and others later).

Outcome: OneNote notes so far for chapter 1.

Related Information:

Creek Fire in the Sierras September 5th, smoke and pyrocumulus cloud. From NOAA.

Smoke in Siberia.

August 25th satellite image of the US showing smoke in the west and hurricane Laura approaching the Southern US in the Gulf of Mexico.
Still image.
Animation.
Image credit

 

Week 2: 31 August

Thursday

Review result from problem 1.20, and discuss the ITCZ and tradewinds.
Satellite imagery showing the IR imagery for the tropical eastern pacific.
Earth School animation of the NOAA Global Forecast System (GFS) model output to view the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and trade winds.

Problem 1.20 Flow associated with tradewinds near the equator, and set up of homework problem 1.21. Resulting HW4 textbook problem 1.21 discussion in class.
Problem 1.20 calculation using the online Python calculator.

Problem 4 of homework 1.

Problem 3 of homework 1.

Preparation: Read problems 1.20 and 1.21. Bring questions to class.
Install Google Earth (free) and Microsoft Office (Excel, etc, free when you login using your netID) on your home computer. We will use them for problem 3 (and others later).

 

Wednesday

Bring questions about homework 0 to class.

Problem 1.20 Flow associated with tradewinds near the equator, and set up of homework problem 1. Class discussion.
Notes on coordinate system set up
.
Satellite imagery showing the IR imagery for the tropical eastern pacific.
Earth School animation of the NOAA Global Forecast System (GFS) model output to view the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and trade winds.

Problem 3 of homework 1.

Problem 4 of homework 1.

Preparation: Read chapter 1 and work on the first homework assignment, due Wednesday. Bring questions to class.

Install Google Earth (free) and Microsoft Office (Excel, etc, free when you login using your netID) on your home computer. We will use them for problem 3 (and others later).

Study the SkewT Mastery module. It covers the basics and advanced applications. You can look at parts of it to help with understanding.

 

Tuesday

Bring questions about homework 0 to class.

Continue with problem 2 of homework 1 on the lapse rate in Antartica. Notes in class.

Problem 1.20 Flow associated with tradewinds near the equator, and set up of homework problem 1.21. Notes on coordinate system set up.

Problem 3 of homework 1.

Problem 4 of homework 1.

Preparation: Read chapter 1 and work on the first homework assignment, due Wednesday. Bring questions to class.

Install Google Earth (free) and Microsoft Office (Excel, etc, free when you login using your netID) on your home computer. We will use them for problem 3 (and others later).

Study the SkewT Mastery module. It covers the basics and advanced applications. You can look at parts of it to help with understanding.

 

Monday

The follow up from last Thursday was turned into a homework assignment due Wednesday, to be submitted through WebCampus.

Continue with the vertical distribution of temperature in general and atmospheric composition. (Overview Presentation).

Discuss the temperature variation with height, lapse rate, and problem 2 of homework 1 on Antartica.

Problem 1.20 Flow associated with tradewinds near the equator, and set up of homework problem 1.21.

Preparation: Read chapter 1 and work on the first homework assignment, due Wednesday. Bring questions to class.

Follow up: Mean free path discussion. Check out the entire discussion for more insights.
Lapse rate notes.

 

Related Information:

The stratosphere.

Very good article on how COVID-19 virus is spread; an Atmospheric Physics problem.

Mean free path between collisions of molecules in a gas discussion. Check out the entire discussion for more insights.

 

 

 

Week 1: 24 August

Thursday

Follow up homework: See the homework page and WebCampus:
1. Download the blank skewT graph to Microsoft Paint, or your favorite image program.
2. From the Reno morning sounding, write down the temperature for pressures in mb of 846, 700, 500, 400, and 250 mb.
3. Put these points on the blank skewT graph using Paint and save your blank skewT image file.
4. Download the actual sounding for the morning and circle the temperature values at the pressures given in part 2.
5. Compare with your skewT from part 3 with the actual sounding in part 4.
6. Bring questions to class.
7. Take a look at the Slidell Louisiana (passing hurricane) 12Z sounding and compare with the Reno sounding. What do you see that's different?

Class Notes: Hurricane discussion. Pressure as a vertical coordinate and skewT log P graphs.
Classroom temperature and pressure on a SkewT log P graph. Reno morning sounding with markups.

Discuss the vertical distribution of temperature in general and atmospheric composition. (Overview Presentation).

Look at real temperature measurements of the vertical distribution. Natural logarithm of pressure as a vertical coordinate.
Balloon soundings, low resolution, high resolution.
Explanation of the lines on these graphs. Discuss how to read these graphs, isotherms and isobars.

Problem 1.20 Flow associated with tradewinds near the equator, and set up of homework problem 1.21.

Wednesday

Discuss pressure in the ocean, and the exponential model of pressure with height in the atmosphere.
Atmosphere scale height relationship. Global distribution of scale height.

Discuss the vertical distribution of temperature in general and atmospheric composition. (Overview Presentation).

Look at real temperature measurements of the vertical distribution. Balloon soundings, low resolution, high resolution.
Explanation of the lines on these graphs.

Follow up: Take a look at the winds at the 250 mb pressure level of the atmosphere and envision the how the pressure is distributed.
Here's another, beautiful look at it with many options for visualization.

Tuesday

Discussed pressure.

Calculated the Earth's atmospheric mass from surface pressure and demonstrated use of the online Python computing language.

Follow up: Make an account for the online Python computing site. Then put in the code as we did in class. Save your code to a project for later reference.

Read chapter 1. Do online Homework 1.

 

First Day Agenda

Geostationary satellite loop for the western US

UNR Smoke Pollution Measurements

Introductions -- each student introduce themselves.
Syllabus.
Homework.
Webcampus for online homework assignments/reading.

Required and Optional Course Materials

Upcoming Homework Assignments

Online Homework 1 is due 30 Aug 2020. See webcampus. This is based on MetEd.

Online Homework 2 is due 6 Sept 2020. See webcampus. This is based on MetEd.

Homework 1 is due 13 Sept 2020, to be turned in through web campus.


Final Project Assignment and Ideas

The final project has been posted.

Homework for this week: Read chapter 1.

This class is:
One part lecture;
One part active class participation/activity involving atmospheric data from around the world;
One part study using online modules for atmospheric science education.

Overview Presentation: Atmospheric Science relies heavily on measurements and models!
Mass of the atmosphere calculation using an online Python editor.

Vertical structure of the atmosphere.


Related Information:

It's hurricane season! Image and animation of the Eastern Pacific. Images from this very useful weather website.
Hurricane track.
Hurricane formation discussion.

It's fire season too! Loyalton fire tornado!
Satellite imagery for 19 August 2020.
Satellite imagery for 20 August 2020 with IR detection of hotspots (NASA polar orbiting satellite).
Animated satellite imagery for 20 August 2020 from GOES 16 (NOAA geostationary satellite).

Fire and meteorology feedback: Air pollution in Reno on the 16th of August. Meteorology on the 15th and 16th of August. Note the difference in stability and boundary layer height.

World record hail stone in Vivian South Dakota. See more on hail.

Reminder of cause for the seasons.

Pittsburgh Spirit Fountain Cloud Physics and coordinate system (click image for larger version.)

The fountain in Pittsburgh PA and its rainbow.