Course Summary

This course explores the structure of atmosphere, including its chemical constituents as well as its physical and dynamical properties as they pertain to every day weather and climate.

  • Emphasis will be placed on energy forms as they relate to temperature, moisture forms, as they relate to clouds and precipitation, and pressure patterns as they relate wind flow. We will also examine air masses, fronts and mid-latitude cyclones; as well as the development and evolution of severe weather phenomena including thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes.
  • Where possible, daily weather map discussions will be used to illustrate the concepts and principles.
  • This course is designed for undergraduate students not majoring in meteorology.
  • There are no prerequisites; however, a 1-hour credit lab (MEA 135), may be taken.


Attendance is mandatory in all 100 level courses.


In order to monitor attendance, random quizzes will be given. There will be up to three quizzes spread out over the length of the course.


Outlines of the notes (in Adobe pdf format) are available at the class Moodle website. If you print the notes from the web site, you may only need to make marginal notes during class, hence be able to participate in classroom discussion.


Out of respect for your instructor and fellow classmate you will turn off cell phones, refrain from talking and reading newspapers. Violators will be asked to leave and marked absent.


Three exams will be given during the semester, consisting of 50 multiple choice questions based on lecture and textbook material. Make-up exams, will be given only once and only to those students who contact me prior to the beginning of the originally schedule exam.


The three exams will count for 60% of the grade. The quizzes will count for 10% of the grade. A comprehensive final exam counting for 30% of the grade will be given at the end of the semester. No extra credit will be given.

Course Syllabus

  • The Earth and Its Atmosphere
  • Energy: Warming the Earth and the Atmosphere
  • Seasonal and Daily Temperatures
  • Atmospheric Humidity
  • Condensation: Dew, Fog, and Clouds
  • Stability and Cloud Development
  • Precipitation
  • Air Pressure and Winds
  • Air Masses and Fronts
  • Middle-Latitude Cyclones
  • Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Ozone Hole