## 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: MTMW11 Fluid Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceans or MT24A Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics or
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2009/0

Module Convenor: Dr 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, the manipulation of differential equations 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 a brief
presentation on an agreed topic (assessed, 25% of the final mark). Full
course notes and model answers to the problem sheets are provided.
Students will be invited to read through selected chapters of one or
more books.

Contact hours:
 Autumn Spring Summer Lectures 16 Tutorials 4 Guided independent study 80 Total hours by term 80.00 20.00 Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:

 Method Percentage Written exam 75 Oral assessment and presentation 25

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Un-assessed problem sheets will be completed by the students and the
answers discussed during lectures. 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:
A 2-hour paper.

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.

Last updated: 19 October 2012