Course Syllabi

Current and Future ATMO Courses

For the most current ATMO class availability, please visit the UH Mānoa’s Class Availability webpage.

Previous Courses and Syllabi

* = Indicates core course for undergraduate degree.

ATMO 101* – Introduction to Weather and Climate (3 credits) – Fall, Spring

Introductory physical science course for all undergraduates in any major. A non-mathematical introduction to basic atmospheric variables, Earth’s past climates, global warming, air pollution, El Nino, hurricanes, tornadoes, and forecasting weather in Hawai‘i.

ATMO 101 L* – Introduction to Weather and Climate Lab (1 credit)

(1 3-hr Lab) Exercises with meteorological data and measurement systems. Characteristics of Hawaiian winds, temperatures, and rainfall

ATMO 102 – Pacific Climates and Cultures (3 credits)

Highlights the interface between the observed weather and climate of the Pacific and the past and future culture of the people of the Hawaiian and Pacific islands. A-F only. (Alt. years)

ATMO 200* – Atmospheric Processes and Phenomena (3 credits)

Atmospheric variables, gas laws, radiation processes, thermodynamics, conservation laws, dynamic approximations, clouds and precipitation, convection, atmospheric circulations, mid-latitude and tropical weather systems, forecasting, climate. Pre: PHYS 170 (or concurrent).

ATMO 302* – Introduction to Atmospheric Physics (3 credits)

Energy and thermodynamics, statics and stability, physical processes of cloud formation, radiation and Earthatmosphere heat balance, kinetic theory, optical effects. Pre: 200, MATH 242, and PHYS 272; or consent.

ATMO 303* – Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics (3 credits)

Scalar and vector development of basic laws of hydrodynamics, equations of motion, kinematics, divergence and vorticity, viscosity and turbulence, introduction to numerical weather prediction, general circulation. Pre: 302 and MATH 244.

ATMO 304 – Global and Local Perspectives on Severe Weather (3 credits)

Dynamics and structure of the main types of severe weather (tropical cyclones, supercell storms, tornadoes, flash floods, hailstorms, fog, etc.); future changes due to climate change; risk assessment; severe weather in Hawai‘i. ATMO, GES, GG, GEO, GES, NREM, or OCN students only. A-F only. (Alt years: Spring) (Cross-listed as GES 304 and SUST 304) DP

ATMO 305* – Meteorological Instrumentation and Observations (3 credits)

(2 Lec, 1 3-hr Lab) Each week targets a different meteorological instrument and culminates in a lab exercise and report. The focus is on accurate measurement and scientific-style writing. A-F only. Pre: 302 and PHYS 272/272L

ATMO 310* – Global Environmental Change (3 credits)

Global environmental change problems such as carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect, acid rain, chlorofluorocarbons and the ozone layer, global deforestation and the effect on climate, etc. Pre: 200, OCN 201, ERTH 101, ERTH 103, or ERTH 170; or consent. (Cross-listed as GES 310 and OCN 310)

ATMO 320 – Programming for Meteorologists (3 credits)

Scientific programming in Python and Matlab, graphics software and meteorological applications. A-F or Audit. Pre: 302 (or concurrent) and MATH 241; or consent.

ATMO 395 – Undergraduate Internship (Variable credits)

Experiential approach to earth science; students serve as interns to field professionals; responsibilities include supervised field work. Open to undergraduate SOEST majors. Repeatable one time. CR/NC only. Pre: junior/senior standing and consent. (Fall only)

ATMO 399 – Undergraduate Directed Reading (Variable credits)

Individual reading in Atmospheric Sciences. Repeatable one time, up to three credits. ATMO students only. Junior and senior standing only. A-F only. Pre: consent

ATMO 402* – Applied Dynamics (3 credits)

Advanced concepts in dynamics: vorticity, cyclogenesis, jet streams, fronts, mesoscale circulations. Pre: 303.

ATMO 405 – Satellite Meteorology (3 credits)

(2 Lec, 1 3-hr Lab) Satellite applications to synoptic meteorology and forecasting, including orbital elements, ephemerides, viewing geometry, radiation, satellite sensors, and interpreting satellite data. Pre: 302.

ATMO 406 – Tropical Meteorology (3 credits)

History; tropical clouds and hydrometeors; typhoons; monsoons; local and diurnal effects. Pre: 303.

ATMO 412* – Meteorological Analysis Lab by Steven Businger (4 credits)

(2 4-hr Lab) Techniques and methods of forecasting extratropical systems with analyzing atmospheric structure and weather systems. Students will be instructed on how to communicate and discuss a weather forecast and how to present a research paper. Pre: 303 or concurrent. (Alt. years)

ATMO 416* – Tropical Analysis Lab (4 credits)

(2 Lec 2 3-hr Lab) Techniques of portraying and analyzing atmospheric structure and weather systems in tropical and equatorial regions; forecasting tropical systems. Pre: 303 or concurrent.

ATMO 449 – Climate Modeling, Data Analysis, and Application (3 credits)

Introduction to regional and global climate modeling for environmental scientists and engineers. Learn principles of climate modeling, how to access and use climate data for sustainable engineering and environmental management solutions, and effectively communicate results. Repeatable one time. ATMO, CEE, ERTH, GES, OCN, NREM majors only. Senior standing or higher, or consent. (Cross-listed as CEE 449 and SUST 449)

ATMO 499 – Undergraduate Thesis (Variable Credits)

Capstone for senior Meteorology majors. Undergraduate thesis project includes literature review, experiment or research design, data collection and analysis, technical writing of a final thesis paper and oral presentation of the paper. Junior and senior standing only. A-F only. Pre: 302, 303 (or concurrent).

Graduate Courses

* = Indicates core course for graduate degree.

ATMO 600* – Atmospheric Dynamics I (3 credits)

Governing equations for moist atmospheric motions, approximations, basic theoretical models, boundary layer dynamics, atmospheric waves, quasi-geostrophic theory for mid-latitudes. Pre: 402, and either MATH 402 or MATH 405; or consent.

ATMO 601 – Atmospheric Dynamics II (3 credits)

Overview of dynamic meteorology, numerical weather prediction, geophysical fluid instabilities, approximate dynamical systems, atmospheric general circulation, stratospheric dynamics. Pre: 600 or consent. (Alt. years)

ATMO 606 – Cumulus Dynamics (3 credits)

Dynamics of convective systems: tornadoes, waterspouts, squall lines. Interactions with synoptic scale. Pre: 620 or consent. (Alt. years)

ATMO 607 – Mesoscale Meteorology (3 credits)

Scale analysis. Observational and theoretical aspects of mesoscale circulation systems. Pre: 600 or consent. (Alt. years)

ATMO 610* – Tropical Climate and Weather (3 credits)

Climate and general circulation of the tropics; El Niño and Southern Oscillation; intraseasonal oscillation; trade winds; tropical weather systems; energy balance; typhoons. Pre: 303 or consent.

ATMO 611 – Satellite Data Applications (3 credits)

(2 Lec, 1 3-hr. Lab) Principles and practices of satellite remote sensing as used in the atmospheric sciences, specifically clouds, aerosols, precipitation, ocean and land cover datasets from various satellites. Develop skills including data manipulation, analysis, and visualization using Matlab. A-F only. Pre: 620 or consent. (Alt. years)

ATMO 614 – Tropical Cyclones (3 credits)

Lecture covering fundamentals of tropical cyclone structure, motion, and impacts on society. Observations from satellites, aircraft, ships and buoys, and numerical simulations focusing on storm structure and track. Some forecasting exercises. Repeatable one time. Pre: 600 and 610, or consent. (Alt. years)

ATMO 620* – Physical Meteorology (3 credits)

Molecular kinetics, atmospheric thermodynamics, cloud physics, precipitation processes, atmospheric electricity, scattering and absorption of solar radiation, absorption and emission of infrared radiation, radiative transfer. Pre: 302 or consent.

ATMO 631 – Statistical Meteorology (3 credits)

Probability; frequency distributions of atmospheric variables; linear models; time series analysis (frequency and time domain); principal component analysis; statistical weather forecasting and verification. Pre: MATH 371. (Alt. years)

ATMO 632 – Advanced Statistical Methods in the Geosciences (3 credits)

Methods for numerous multivariate analyses will include singular spectrum, extended empirical orthogonal function, singular-value decomposition, canonical correlation, discriminant and cluster analysis. Other advanced topics include wavelet analysis, statistical downscaling and Bayesian analysis. A-F only and audit. Pre: 631 or consent. (Every 3rd year)

ATMO 640 – Paleoclimate Model-Proxy Synthesis (3 credits)

Basics of Earth System Model development, parameterizations, intermodel variability and design of paleoclimate simulations. Types of proxies, tools and techniques for paleoclimate record development and reconstructions. Hypothesis testing and methods for proxy-model comparison studies. ATMO, GEO, EPET, NREM, OCN, and ORE majors only. Graduate students only. (Alt. years: spring)

ATMO 665 Small-Scale Air-Sea Interaction (3 credits)

Observations and theory of small-scale processes which couple the atmosphere and ocean boundary layers, including introduction to turbulence theory and parameterization of turbulent fluxes. Pre: MATH 402 and 403 (or their equivalents) and either 600 or OCN 620; or consent. (Alt. years) (Cross-listed as OCN 665)

ATMO 666 Large-Scale Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions (3 credits)

Lecture/seminar introduces physical oceanography and meteorology students to the stateof-the-art theories and observations of large-scale ocean-atmosphere interaction, as well as conveying the fundamental understanding that has been developed during the past 30 years. Emphasis will be on phenomena such as El Niño/Southern Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and global climate change. Repeatable one time. Pre: 600 or OCN 620, or consent. (Alt. years) (Cross-listed as OCN 666)

ATMO 699* Directed Research (Variable credits)

Repeatable unlimited times. Pre: consent.

ATMO 700* Thesis Research (Variable credits)

Repeatable unlimited times.

ATMO 706 – Tropical Climate Dynamics and Modeling (3 credits)

Overview of current progress in tropical climate dynamics with a particular focus on large-scale atmosphere-ocean interactions; introduction of basic numerical techniques for students to construct and run immediate tropical atmosphere and ocean models. Pre: 600.

ATMO 708 – General Circulation of the Atmosphere (3 credits)

Theory, observations, large-scale analyses, and global model simulations that describe characteristic large-scale circulation of the Earth’s atmosphere. Includes zonally averaged climatology, asymmetric features of the general circulation, and El NinoSouthern Oscillation phenomenon. Repeatable one time. Pre: 600 or consent. (Alt. years)

ATMO 752 – Special Topics in Meteorology (3 credits)

Concentrated studies on selected atmospheric problems. Repeatable two times. Pre: 600 or consent.

ATMO 765* – Seminar in Meteorology (1 credit)

Participation in departmental seminars and presentation of a seminar on research results. Includes written critiques of departmental seminars. Repeatable three times. Pre: consent.

ATMO 800* Dissertation Research (Variable credits)

Repeatable unlimited times.