MTMG01-Introduction to weather systems

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Tom Frame


Summary module description:
In this module students will be introduced to the fundamentals of weather systems; clouds, fronts and air masses. They will learn about observing systems and the basics of synoptic dynamics.


• To introduce meteorological observation networks and to relate their data to day-to-day changes in the weather;

• To develop a basic knowledge and understanding of mid-latitude synoptic-scale weather systems, including the relevance of fundamental dynamical concepts to their nature;

• To illuminate lecture material through synoptic weather practicals.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

• Analyse and interpret surface and upper-air weather maps, weather satellite images and tephigrams;

• Understand the meaning and significance of various dynamical meteorological concepts and be able to apply them to real weather situations;

• Describe and explain the structure, the evolution and the weather associated with selected mid-latitude weather systems.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:


  • Observations: the nature and significance of the surface, upper-air, radar and satellite networks;

  • Basic dynamical concepts: geostrophic wind on constant-level and isobaric surfaces, the thermal wind and thermal advection, the gradient wind, vorticity and divergence, frictional convergence;

  • Synoptic systems: the 3-D circulation and weather associated with mid-latitude systems including frontal cyclones, troughs, ridges and anticyclones.


Four two-hour sessions that utilise surface, upper-air and satellite observations. Attention will focus on the skills of analysis and interpretation, followed by examples of the utility/meaning of selected dynamical concepts.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Half the course will consist of lectures. The other, practical, half will involve students in learning about the lecture material by applying their knowledge and understanding to real weather situations.

Reading lists for meteorology modules are available here

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study 74
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Set exercise 100

Other information on summative assessment:
100% from coursework.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will receive formative feedback on unassessed work.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
An overall mark of 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
For candidates who have failed, an opportunity to take a resit examination will be provided within the lifetime of the course.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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