Atmospheric Sciences is a wide-ranging discipline that includes topics as diverse as weather forecasting, global warming, air quality, mountain weather, marine weather, El Nino, the ozone hole, ice ages, and the weather of Mars. It considers problems that are both scientifically challenging and critical for the welfare of modern society.
Atmospheric sciences majors are prepared for a range of career options including weather forecasting, environmental meteorology, TV weather casting, further study at a graduate institution, or a variety of alternative career paths. Students who choose the Meteorology option of the program are eligible for the rating of professional meteorologist given by the United States Civil Service Commission.
Founded in 1947, the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, one of the leading departments in the world, is respected for its excellence in both teaching and research. Our faculty are known for their leadership in many aspects of the field and have authored more than a dozen textbooks that are widely used around the world. The Department maintains the only comprehensive undergraduate program in atmospheric sciences in the northwestern US, and prepares its students for a wide range of careers.
The Department receives a wide range of weather data and forecast model output through Internet links, including surface and upper air data, radar and satellite imagery, and forecast output from several major numerical weather prediction centers. It maintains interactive software for acquiring, displaying, and printing all forms of observations and model output, as well as instruments for taking local observations.
The department maintains a map room on the sixth floor for viewing weather data in either print or electronic forms. The map room is a frequent gathering place where students and faculty informally discuss the current weather situation, and where students can work on joint projects.
The Department also maintains an instruments laboratory where students learn about a number of types of observational instrumentation, as well as their interfacing with computers.