MET 600: Atmospheric Dynamics I

Instructor: Bin Wang, MSB 407, 956-2563,
Objectives | Prerequisites | Outline | References | Grading


Met 600 is the first part of a two-semester course series on Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics. It is one of the core courses for the Graduate Program at the Department of Meteorology, University of Hawaii at Manoa. The objectives of MET 600 (and MET 601) are to provide an introduction to basic theories of Dynamic Meteorology and to develop students' ability to understand physically and to analyze quantitatively atmospheric motions.


MET 303, MATH 402 or MATH 405; or consent of Instructor.


I. Introduction

  1. Observed atmospheric circulation
  2. How the atmosphere is driven

II. Fundamentals for Understanding Atmospheric Motion

  1. Equations of state and thermodynamic energy
  2. Conservation of mass and moisture: Dealing with water vapor
  3. Conservation of momentum and vorticity: Effects of Earth's rotation
  4. Density stratification: Effects of Earth's gravity
  5. Spherical and local Cartesian coordinates: Effect of Earth's sphericity
  6. Vertical coordinates systems: Dealing with topography

III. Models and Equations

  1. Summary of governing equations and boundary conditions
  2. Energy equations and Ertel's potential vorticity equation
  3. Simple GFD models for hydrostatic motion

IV. Linear Wave Theory

  1. Basic concepts of perturbation motion
  2. Sound wave and Lamb wave
  3. Inertia-internal gravity waves
  4. Gravity waves on a discontinuous fluid surface
  5. Poincare wave and Kelvin wave: Effects of side boundary
  6. Barotropic Rossby wave packet
  7. Energy propagation and reflection of Rossby wave packet
  8. Rossby waves in a stratified ocean and atmosphere
  9. Equatorial waves 1: General dispersion relation and equatorial Kelvin wave
  10. Equatorial waves 2: Equatorial Rossby, inertial-gravity, and Yanai waves

V. Quasi-geostrophic Motion

  1. Scale analysis and quasi-geostrophic regimes
  2. Quasi-geostrophic system
  3. Diagnosis of vertical motion: Q-vector
  4. Development theory for midlatitude cyclones
  5. Geostrophic adjustment
  6. Forced vertically propagating waves



Homeworks - 40%
Term paper - 30%
Final Exam - 30%

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