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ATM1030 - The science of weather

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Lyle Pakula


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit explores weather through the dynamics and physical processes that govern the atmosphere and the oceans. The dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean are present, starting with the global scale circulation and working down to regional (synoptic) scale and mesoscale phenomena. Weather phenomena such as tropical cyclones, tornadoes, lightning, bushfires and hailstorms will be covered. The unit will explore the hydrological cycle through the atmosphere and ocean, as well as other major chemical species and pollution. Ocean phenomena such as currents, waves and tsunamis will be presented as well as discussion on how meteorological observations are brought together to make weather forecasts.


On completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate and understanding of; the large scale circulation of the atmosphere and ocean and how these circulations lead to smaller scale phenomena, the motion of water through the atmosphere including the formation of precipitation, the fundamentals of air and ocean pollution, the basic mechanics of weather phenomena such as frontal passages, tropical cyclones, tornadoes and lightning. Further students will have developed an appreciation for the tools used in creating weather forecasts, understand basic ocean processes such as currents, waves and tsunamis. Students will also be able to demonstrate competence in information technology, data handling, laboratory skills, communication skills and team work as appropriate for the discipline of atmospheric science.


Final Examination (three hours): 50%
In-semester tests and laboratories: 50%

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures per week, one two-hour laboratory/support class per week, plus private study/research time.