## MTMW15-Extra-tropical Weather Systems

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: MTMW11 Fluid Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceans
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Suzanne Gray

Summary module description:
Dynamical knowledge of the development of synoptic-scale weather systems
in the extra-tropical latitudes will be developed in this module.

Aims:
To develop a modern understanding (from the 'potential vorticity
thinking' perspective) of the dynamics of synoptic-scale weather systems
in the extra-tropical latitudes, and to relate this knowledge to
observations.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module the student should be able to:

• Provide a suitable mathematical and conceptual description of
mid-latitude, synoptic-scale weather systems.
• Explain, physically and mathematically, the origins of synoptic-scale
vertical motion, waves and cyclones, and develop quantitative estimates
of their properties.
• Critically assess the relevance of conceptual models through
• comparison with observations

Students will enhance their skills in the quantitative analysis of
weather systems and the
scaling of atmospheric motions. Students will learn to validate their
calculations through physical principles.

Outline content:

• Equations for the extra-tropics
• The quasi-geostrophic equations
• Potential vorticity thinking
• Vertical motion and the omega equation
• Dynamical interpretation of regions of vertical motion in cyclones and
fronts
• Rossby waves
• Conceptual models of baroclinic and barotropic instability
• The Eady and Charney analytical models of baroclinic instability
• Lifecycle of cyclones
• Scaling of fronts and the semigeostrophic and Sawyer-Eliassen equations
• Symmetric and convective instability

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and (un-assessed) problem sheets. Students will give an oral and/or poster presentation on an agreed topic based on a published paper (assessed, 25% of the final mark). Full
course notes and model answers to the problem sheets are provided.

Contact hours:
 Autumn Spring Summer Lectures 16 Tutorials 6 Guided independent study 78 Total hours by term 100.00 Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
 Method Percentage Oral assessment and presentation 25 Class test administered by School 75

Other information on summative assessment:
Oral and/ or poster presentation worth 25%
Class test 75%

Formative assessment methods:
Un-assessed problem sheets will be completed by the students and the
answers discussed during tutorials. Model answers will be provided for
these problem sheets.

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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
2 hour exam with a choice of two from three questions in April.

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall.

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: Reading lists for meteorology modules are available here