ATM3040 - Physical meteorology - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Associate Professor Steven Siems

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Physical meteorology examines the major physical forces that affect the behaviour of the atmosphere, specifically radiative transfer and precipitation. The radiative transfer section focuses on the scattering, absorption and emission of radiant energy within the atmosphere and how this knowledge is exploited by remote satellite and ground-based instrumentation. The cloud microphysics section focuses on the development of precipitation, as well as the interaction between clouds and aerosols.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the physical theory of precipitation and radiation in the atmosphere and apply these principles to weather radar and satellite imagery using mathematical models;
  2. Demonstrate skills in using mathematical techniques to understand the physics of the atmosphere;
  3. Demonstrate high-level knowledge of the important techniques and terminology in physical meteorology;
  4. Demonstrate competence in information technology, data handling, and laboratory skills;
  5. Apply knowledge to analyse and solve problems in physical meteorology;
  6. Convey physical meteorology concepts, processes and results to diverse audiences.


Examination (3 hours): 60%

Laboratory work, assignment and tests: 40%

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures per week, one 2-hour laboratory/support class per week, plus private study/research time.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study