Atmospheric Dynamics (4) Balanced and unbalanced flows, vorticity, circulation and potential vorticity, an introduction to wave dynamics and stability analysis, and a quantitative discussion of the general circulation.
METEO 421 Atmospheric Dynamics (3)
This course builds on the foundation laid in METEO 300, Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science, by presenting applications of the equations of motion to the description of a variety of atmospheric motions. The intrinsically rotational aspects of large-scale atmospheric motions are presented through a discussion of vorticity dynamics (including both relative and planetary vorticity) and the related circulation theorems of Kelvin and Bjerknes that culminate in potential vorticity thinking. The contrast between oscillating and unstable atmospheric systems is highlighted using the examples of gravitational, inertial, and shear instability, and the parcel and perturbation methods are introduced for studying these systems. An introduction to wave dynamics presents the concepts of phase and group velocity with applications to gravity, inertial, and Rossby waves, and to geostrophic adjustment. Finally, the general circulation, including the major zonal wind systems (e.g., the mid-latitude westerlies) and the major overturning cells (Hadley and Ferrel cells) is discussed quantitatively to provide a description of planetary-scale motions.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.