Course 1: Introduction to Meteorology
Relevant topics of study: Sea level pressure, Northern Hemisphere insolation, Relative humidity, Gases in the troposphere, Specific heat, Dewpoint depression, Dry adiabatic lapse rate, Wet/Moist adiabatic lapse rate, Vapor Pressure, Geostrophic wind, Ageostropic wind, Coriolis force, Pressure gradient force, Friction, Spin of the earth, Lake effect snow, Layers of the atmosphere, Ice cystal formation in clouds (supercooled clouds), precipitation, Weather Map contours, earth sun relationships, greenhouse gases, radiational warming / cooling, Phase changes, Diurnal temperature range, Moist vs. Dry air, warm front vs. cold front, Mid latitude cyclone, tornadoes, straight line winds, Jet stream (Meridional / Zonal), Earth's tilt on it's axis, Advection vs. convection, Albedo
Course 2: Physical Geography
Relevant topics of study: Cloud types (cirroform, cumuloform, and altoform), Control of temperature variation between Northern and Southern Hemispheres, What dictates tropopause depth? (spatially and temporally), Earth-Sun relationship, Radiation and advection fog, Atmospheric lifting (frontal, convective, orographic, and advective), Geography terms (meridians, parallels, etc.) and important geographical locations (Greenwich Meridian, International Date Line, etc.), Map components (direction, scale, legend, etc.), Hydrologic cycle, Evaporation, condensation, melting, freezing, deposition, sublimation, evapotranspiration, Time changes when crossing the International Date Line, Air masses
Course 3: World Geography
Relevant topics of study: - What is the new madrid fault zone? Where is it and why is it a significant feature?
- What is the current world population? What are the 4 main population clusters? (Hint: one of them is in the USA)
- What is the tallest peak in the USA? Where is it located?
- Cape Verde hurricanes form in the vicinity of the Cape Verde islands. Where are they located?
- What is the largest (in terms of area) desert on earth? Where is it located?
- In some western USA forecast discussions, you may read about the 'Sonora Low' that forms in the Sonora desert. Where is this desert located?
- Re Atlantic hurricanes: Where is the Yucatan peninsula located?
- Re Atlantic hurricanes: Where is the Bay of Campeche located?
- Re Atlantic Hurricanes: Where is the island of Hispaniola? What 2 countries are located on this island?
- The Aleutian Low is part of the subpolar Low belt. What geographic feature is the Aleutian Low named after? Where are they located?
- The Tibetan Low is associated with the 'wet' phase of the S Asian monsoon. This thermal Low forms on the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas. Where are these mountains located? Hint: the world's tallest peak (Mt. Everest) is part of this mountain system. (Note: we are talking about mountain chains NOT located under our oceans)
- The 'wet phase' of the S Asian monsoon is associated with onshore flow out of the __________ Ocean.
- The 'dry phase' of the S Asian monsoon is associated with flow out of the Siberian High. Where is Siberia?
Course 4: Climatology
Relevant topics of study: - Which people were the first to formally study Climatology? (Hint: the word is derived from the word 'klima')
- What is the difference between weather and climate? Be able to identify an example of each.
- There are many subfields in the study of Climatology. What are synoptic and bioclimatology?
- Know the main climate controls and how they define the climate of a region. Ex: latitude, continentality, elevation, ocean currents etc.
- What role do the Rockies play in the climate of N America?
- Know the various Koeppen climates: What are the B climates and why do they exist? What are the D climates and why do we not find them in the S Hemisphere? What is the Af climate type and where it is generally found? What are the Cfa and Cfb climate types and where are they commonly found?
- Know the transitional climate types and the 'wet' vs 'dry' seasons: Cs and Aw. What features are associated with the 'dry' vs 'wet' seasons?
- Compare and contrast the climate of E vs W Europe. One of them has a maritime influence. What is the dominant climate type associated with the N Atlantic Drift?
- What is the NAO? In general, how do we see different winter climates in N America with a P+ vs a N- NAO event?
-What US state sees more thunderstorm days than any other? Why?
- The Aleutian and Icelandic Lows are composites of mid-latitude cyclones that form in their vicinity. Why is cyclogenesis so prevalent in the N Pacific and N Atlantic?
- What is the climatological definition of a 'monsoon'? Explain the mechanisms behind the 'wet' and 'dry' phases of the S Asian monsoon.
- What is the Siberian High? How/when/where does it form?
- Compare and contrast the mechanism and seasonality of precipitation in the extreme N and S edges of South America.
Course 5: Natural Hazards
Relevant topics of study: Magnitude and frequency relationship of natural disasters, Rocks of the rock cycle (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary), Plate tectonic theory, Evidence for continental drift, How can tsunami be generated?,Earthquake fault types (normal, reverse, and transform), Earthquakes and plate boundaries (Where does seismic activity occur?), Calculating earthquake epicenters, Types of volcanoes (shield, flood basalts, stratovolcanoes, calderas, etc.), Volcanic eruption styles (Hawaiian, Icelandic, Strombolian, Vulcanian, and Plinian), Volcanic hazards (lahars, pyroclastic flows, gases, ash, etc.), Mass wasting types (creep, slides, flows, and falls), Effects of glacial advance and retreat on oceans, Relationship between flood frequency (recurrence interval) and discharge (magnitude), Read and interpret a flood frequency curve, Asteroid belt location in our solar system, Difference between meteoroids and asteroids
Course 6: Synoptic Meteorology 1
Relevant topics of study: Know what processes and features to look for on the upper air charts and why. (e.g. Vorticity advection is analyzed at 500 mb. Why?), Absolute and relative vorticity – what are its components?, Anafronts and katafronts, Veering and backing winds, Difference in baroclinic and barotropic environments, Impact of column shrinking and stretching on absolute vorticity, Conservation of vorticity, What scenario(s) can change the Coriolis force?, Cyclogenesis stages and role of thermal and vorticity advection in the early and later stages, Jet streaks – zonal, cyclonic, and anticyclonic. Which quadrants have divergence and convergence and PVA and NVA?, Dine’s compensation law, Favorable cyclogenesis locations and why?, Characteristics of frontolysis and frontogenesis, Hydrostatic balance, Direct and indirect circulations associated with jet streaks, Relationship between low level jet and upper level jet streak, Location of maximum synoptic scale lifting, Scenarios that generate rising and sinking motion based on the QG Omeqa Equation, Scenarios that can change PGF, Movement of air in a ridge and trough, Super and subgeostrophic winds, Subtropical jet stream, Location of height falls with respect to the surface cyclone, Vorticity in ridges and troughs, Vorticity advection, Air streams (cold conveyor belt, dry air stream, and warm conveyor belt) and their locations
Course 7: Statistical Climatology
Relevant topics of study: Data levels
4 levels of data measurement--the order, what they mean, what types of data are associated with each
What a percentile rank is, what it tells you about a data set and how to calculate it. Other names of specific percentiles (i.e. quartiles, deciles, etc)
Measures of central tendency (mean, weighted mean, median, mode) What they tell you, how they are influenced by the data distribution (e.g. outliers) Which is most/least descriptive
Measures of dispersion (range, standard deviation and variance) What they tell you, how they are influenced by the data distribution
Probability terms independent events, mutually exclusive, conditional, complement When calculating probabilities know when to use the additional rule, the multiplication rule know what key words such as AND, EITHER/OR, GIVEN mean for calculations
Know the shape and characteristics of the normal distribution what you know about the mean, median and mode
What does the following group of tests (t-tests, z-tests, ANOVA) tell you about two or more samples? What does Correlation analysis tell you? Know the range of possible values is for r and r-squared In regression, know which variable is independent and which is dependent. Know what happens to the other variable with positive and negative correlation when one value increases or decreases.
Course 8: Water Resources
Relevant topics of study: Proper placement of a rain gauge, What is the importance of a hydrograph?, Primary difference between influent and effluent streams, Lake turnover, Differences between liquid water and water vapor, Q = AV, Chemical and molecular properties of water
Course 9: Satellite Meteorology
Relevant topics of study: what visible imagery shows, what infrared imagery shows, enhanced IR, how water vapor imagery works, MCC and MCS definitions, determining cloud types on satellite, albedo, land features, comma cloud and baroclinic leafs, resolution, advantages and disadvantages of visible, infrared, and water vapor imagery, primary enhancement curves, GOES characteristics, energy processes (convection, conduction, radiation), understand pitfalls (cloud displacement, instrument response delay time, parallax, limb darkening, terminator), cloud texture, electromagnetic spectrum (wavelength of visible light, infrared light and UV light in micrometers).
Course 10: Applied Climatology
Relevant topics of study: Water Balance Table (P, PE, AE, D, S) Understanding of the processes, Runoff, Soil Characteristics, Wind Power, Drought, Frost and frost prevention on crops, Possible global warming effects, Growing Season, HDD's / CDD's, City vs. Rural climates, Optimizing your house for the winter/summer (where to plant trees / build windows)
Course 11: Radar Meteorology
Relevant topics of study: NWS radar characteristics, pitfalls of reflectivity analysis, radar scan strategies, color coding on reflectivity, VIL and units, types of and causing of refraction, Doppler dilemma, radial velocity profiles, bright band, radial velocity interpretation, anomalous propagation, line echo wave pattern, pitfalls of radar detection of tornadoes, radial velocity pattern of backing vs. veering wind, clear air mode, ground clutter, what Doppler means, radar equation (terms, and how changing a term influences amount of power received), azimuth, Doppler shift, attenuation, Bragg scattering, unambiguous range, unambiguous velocity
Course 12: Physical Meteorology
Relevant topics of study: Lagrangian motion, Eulerian motion, Hydrostatic equation, Equation of state, geostrophic flow, PBL meteorology, free atmosphere, solar constant, electromagnetic spectrum, latent heat processes, barotropic weather, baroclinic weather, Newton's laws of motion, apparent forces, Ekman spiral, Kelvin-Helmholz waves, cloud droplet characteristics, cap, pressure gradient force, MCC characteristics, inversion characteristics, blackbody, Plank's law, Wein's law, albedo, types of lightning
Course 13: Thermodynamic Meteorology
Relevant topics of study: buoyancy, definition of adiabatic process, lapse rates (DALR, WALR), physical interpretation of hypsometric equation (thickness), Poisson's equation (Potential temperature), laws of thermodynamics, latent heat processes (magnitude of each), mixing ratio, vapor pressure, wet-bulb, LCL, CCL, LFC, EL, MPL, instability (CAPE, LI, SWI), measures of moisture, hodograph (shear determination, backing, veering), shear Indices (BRN, SWEAT, EHI), density and specific volume definition, units of force and pressure, effect of water vapor on air density, hectoPascal, average sea level pressure, instability types (absolute, conditional, potential), lines of the Skew-T Log-P, precipitable water, why moist adiabatic lapse rate is not a constant, how to calculate relative humidity, equivalent temperature
Course 14: Severe Weather
Relevant topics of study: "cap", Supercells (Classic, LP, HP), elevated vs. surface based, inflow/outflow, rear flank downdraft / forward flank downdraft, lightning, Outflow boundaries (meso scale boundaries), Jon Davies low level thermodynamics research, Winter weather precipitation, Teleconnections (NAO, AO, El Nino, La Nina), Squall lines, Tornadoes, Derechoes, Supercell model (Klemp vs. Lemon/Doswell model), Severe Weather indices, Hodographs, Visual identifications of supercell structure, Radar identification of severe weather, LFC, LCL, Equilibrium level, Sounding identification, Right moving vs. left moving supercells, Tropical cyclone induced tornadoes, Tropical cyclones models, Hurricane structure
Course 15: Weather Prediction 1
Relevant topics of study: shortwave, model panels (parameters labeled), wind chill index, heat index, factors that cause thickness to change, synoptic lifting mechanisms, lake effect snow factors, prediction of severe weather, temperature and precipitation forecasting, definition of warm air advection / cold air advection, use of constant pressure surfaces for forecasting, ranking scales/categories for tornadoes and hurricanes, meridional wind, zonal wind, isentropic lifting, vorticity and vorticity advection, what to look for on each analysis chart, vorticity advection, synoptic UVV, K Index, Total Totals Index, quadranting a jet streak, the cap, elevated warm layer, forecasting hail, Omega equation.
Course 16: Weather Prediction 2
Relevant topics of study: exercise questions: heat waves, heavy rain events, forecasting wintry precipitation and snow, cold air outbreak, severe weather forecasting, mesoscale implications, elevated warm layer, using thicknesses for forecast winter precipitation, latent instability, snow to liquid equivalence, types of snow crystals, elevated warm layer, non-classic mesoscale circulation
Course 17: Oceanography
Relevant topics of study:
1. How did the oceans form?
2. How do countercurrents and undercurrents operate?
3. Understand how wavelength is different for each type of wave set.
4. Understand what controls wave development for each of the kind of waves.
5. Understand how tides work and what may affect them locally.
6. What are the characteristics of a Tsunami?
7. What are the geological and environmental problems associated with beaches.
8. Understand the differences in Autotrophic and Heterotrophic organisms.
9. Uses of Remote Sensing in Oceanographic Studies.
10. How do Marine Organisms interact within their habitat?
11. Understand the ages of seafloor sediment and how the system is recycled.
12. What factors affect marine productivity?
13. Evidence for Tectonics and Sea Floor Spreading.
14. Understand Sea Water Chemistry and constants.
15. What is the photic zone and what does it mean for the oceans
16. Be able to explain how Ocean Currents operate, and be able to name some of the main ocean currents.