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 natural hazards. 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.


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.

Course Syllabus

  • Atmospheric Basics: Structure, Moisture, Pressure
  • Winter Storms: Frozen Precipitation
  • Spring Storms: Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Hail, Flash Floods
  • Tropical Storms (Hurricanes)
  • Hazard Prediction and Preparation
  • Global Warming
  • Ozone Hole