ATMS442/504: Atmospheric Motions II 2005
Instructors: Prof. David Battisti (543-2019) (www)
            Dr. Lynn McMurdie (685-9405)

Department of Atmospheric Sciences; University of Washington


This course surveys the dynamics of synoptic and mesoscale disturbances including extratropical cyclones inertia-gravity waves, and topographically forced flows. We will also consider atmospheric adjustment to geostrophy in extratropical latitudes. Insight into the dynamics of these features is gained through systematic simplification of the governing equations applied to idealized, but realistic, approximations of atmospheric structure. In the final portion of the course we will examine the importance of the syntopic scale phenomenon for understanding the general circulation of the atmosphere.

Prerequisites:  ATMS 441 (503).
Class meets:  M W F 1:30-2:20 p.m. (lecture) and T 1:30-4:20 p.m. (laboratory) in ATG 610.

Text:  An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, by J. R. Holton (Academic Press, 2004, fourth edition)

Tentative Syllabus ("Q" = Friday quiz):

Week 1  Jan. 3--7  Overview, Review and Anatomy of a Midlatitude Cyclone 
Week 2  Jan. 10--14  Anatomy of a Midlatitude Cyclone 
Week 3  Jan. 18--21  Q   Waves: Basic concepts and tools 
Week 4  Jan. 24--28  Sound Waves; Shallow water waves;  
Week 5  Jan 31--Feb 4  Q   Gravity Waves; Geostrophic adjustment; Internal Gravity Waves and Convection 
Week 6  Feb. 7--11  quasi-geostrophic (QG) equations and Rossby Waves 
Week 7  Feb. 14--18  Q   Rossby Waves: spin-down and orographically forced 
Week 8  Feb. 22--25  Midlatitude Cyclone Theory: Baroclinic Instability 
Week 9  Feb. 28--Mar 4  Q   Midlatitude Cyclones Theory: the messy details; General Circulation 
Week 10  Mar. 7--11  General Circulation 

Holidays: 17 January (Martin Luther King Day); 21 February (Presidents Day).

Final Exam: Monday 14 March 2:30--4:20 pm

Grading: Homework: 25%; Laboratory 25%; Quizes 25%; Final exam 25%.

Additional resources:

and 500_hght.dat

Group velocity ("Hovmoeller") diagram for a sum of two dispersive plane waves. Bonus diagram for the sum of two non-dispersive plane waves, and a page with both.
Cyclone climatology and preferred tracks.


Eady most unstable growing mode.

Eady most unstable decaying mode.


Observations of baroclinic waves

Idealized cyclone development in Eady's model

Downstream development