MTMG34-Experiencing the weather field course

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: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Chris Scott


Summary module description:


  • To understand how and why the weather varies in a particular region over one weekend by building a coherent picture of its evolution. This will be done by plotting and analysing special radiosonde ascents, data from an instrumented mast, from instrumented walks and by monitoring official analysis and forecast products. *To understand that weather variation occurs on a variety of time and space scales, some of which are sampled during the weekend. *To illuminate the material presented in the concurrent MTMG01 and MTMG02 modules by experiencing an uninterrupted spell of weather in the outdoors. *To appreciate the importance of working effectively in teams and individually. *To produce a weather forecast for the region around the Field Centre

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module the student should

  • Know that weather can vary locally, and to understand that it is related to larger-scale variation.
  • Appreciate the errors and uncertainties associated with the use of meteorological instruments in the field.
  • Be able to explain the interlinked nature of the different ways of observing the atmosphere by producing a written synthesis of selected aspects of the weekend's meteorological observations.
  • Be able to produce a simple weather forecast for the Field Centre and surrounding region.

Additional outcomes:
Students will enhance their ability to work in teams to a firm schedule Students will understand the value of basic fieldwork skills in weather science.

Outline content:
The field course will involve teams of students fulfilling four different tasks during the weekend. These are:

  • To take part in a radiosonde launch and log, plot and interpret an ascent,
  • To undertake a roughly two-hour instrumented walk, and to plot and interpret the observations taken,
  • To plot and interpret detailed time series from an instrumented mast.
  • To keep abreast of various analysis and forecast products, and to produce a simple weather forecast.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching will consist of groups being guided by a lecturer during each of their four tasks. On completion of each task the students should understand its significance, be able to interpret the information gathered and understand how it fits with data accumulated during the other tasks. Detailed briefings occur before each day's activities. Students experience the complementary nature of different forms of weather observation, and learn how they are different expressions of the same atmospheric evolution, possibly on different time and space scales. They experience weather variations outdoors in a continuous way that in itself is an invaluable aspect of their meteorological education. At the end of the field course, students, working in small groups, produce presentations of various aspects of the weather they have experienced.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Fieldwork 20
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Report 40

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

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:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-submit report within the lifetime of the course.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: Reading lists for meteorology modules are available here

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: 21 December 2016

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