Spring 2014 – Tropical Meteorology [11:670:444]

Instructor:  Dr. Benjamin R. Lintner

Course Time/Location:  MTh 12:35-1:55 pm/ENRS 223

Office Hours/Location: By arrangement/ENRS 250
Email: lintner[ @ ] envsci[ . ]rutgers[ . ]edu

 

Catalogue Description:

The dynamics and thermodynamics of the tropics, including regional and large-scale tropical circulations and their role in the global general circulation, tropical wave dynamics, convection and convective systems, synoptic, intraseasonal, and seasonal variability; monsoons, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, tropical cyclones and hurricanes.


Prerequisites:

Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere [11:670:323]

Dynamics of the Atmosphere [11:670:324]

 

Course Readings and References:

We will use a variety of source materials in this course, including:
Laing, A., and J.-L. Evans, Introduction to Tropical Meteorology

   Available from the NCAR MetEd website:  http://www.meted.ucar.edu/tropical/textbook_2nd_edition/index.htm [registration required]

Holton, J.R., An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology

Emanuel, K., Divine Wind:  The History and Science of Hurricanes


Learning Goals:
The learning goals for this course are:
(1) Develop a theoretical understanding of the thermodynamics and dynamics of the tropics;
(2) Apply quantitative principles to solve problems in tropical meteorology/climate;
(3) Research and discuss a problem of interest in tropical meteorology/climate.


Grading:

Homework Assignments [4 Total]:  20% [5% each] 

Semester Exams [2 Total]:  50% [25% each]
Course Project and Paper:  30%


You will be assigned 4 homework sets, each comprising 5% of the total course grade.  You are also asked to research a topic of interest and present an overview of your topic in class.  This exercise, accounting for 30% of the course grade, is intended to expose you to problems, concepts, tools, and data products used in the study of tropical meteorology (more details to follow).  Two semester exams, each accounting for 25% of the course grade, will be given. Make-up exams are permitted only if the exam is missed for documented serious emergencies or university-sanctioned conflicts.  If you know in advance that you will miss an exam, please make arrangements to take the exam early.

 

Attendance:

While attendance is not mandatory, I strongly recommend that you attend the lectures.  Since the course will be based on my lecture notes, rather than any particular text, neglecting to attend will likely result in missing important information. 

 

Office Hours:

By Arrangement


Tentative Schedule:
 

WEEK
[DATES]
TOPIC
READING/
REFERENCES
GRADED
WORK
1
[01/23]
Course introduction and observational overview of the Tropics
[Lecture 1]

Chapter 1

2
[01/27; 01/30]
Radiative equilibrium and review of thermodynamics
[Lectures 2, 3]



3
[02/03; 02/06]
AMS Meeting-NO CLASS


4
[02/10; 02/13]
Scale analysis for the Tropics [Lecture 4]; Hadley circulation
and the role of the Tropics in the general circulation
[Lecture 5]

Chapters 3.1-3.2, 3.4
Held & Hou (1980)

5
[02/17; 02/20]
Hadley circulation and the role of the Tropics in the general
circulation [Lecture 6]; Walker circulation and the Weak Temperature Gradient (WTG) Approximation [Lecture 7]
Chapters 3.6-3.7
Polvani & Sobel (2001)
Chapter 5
Hw #1
[M 02/17]
**Hw #1 Solutions**
6
[02/24; 02/27]
Overview of tropical convection [Lecture 8]; Convective Quasi-Equilibrium [Lecture 9]
Emanuel et al. (1994)

7
[03/03; 03/07]
Exam #1; High-frequency convection [Lecture 10]

Exam #1
[M 03/03]
8
[03/10; 03/13]
High-frequency convection [Lecture 11]; NO CLASS on 03/13


9
[03/17; 03/20]
Spring Break


10
[03/24; 03/27]
Tropical Wave Dynamics [Lectures 12,13]
Chapter 4.1
Appendices A-C
Matsuno (1966)
Gill (1980)
Hw #2 [M 03/24]
**Hw #2 Solutions**
Course project

topics
[Th 03/27]
11
[03/31; 04/03]
Madden Julian Oscillation [Lecture 14]; ENSO overview and theory [Lectures15,16]
Chapter 4.2
Chiang & Sobel (2002)
Zebiak & Cane (1987)

12
[04/07; 04/10]
ENSO overview and theory; Exam #2
Chapter 3.5 Hw #3 [M 04/07]
**Hw #3 Solutions**
Exam #2

[Th 04/10]
13
[04/14; 04/17]
Tropical cyclone classification and structure [Lecture 17];
Dynamics and thermodynamics of tropical cyclones
[Lecture 18]

Chapters 8.1-8.2,8.4

14
[04/21; 04/24]
Tropical cyclogenesis and cyclolysis [Lecture 19]; Tropical
cyclone motion and variability [Lecture 20]

Chapters 8.3, 8.5,
8.6-8.8
Bibliography
for course project
[Th 04/24]
15
[04/28; 05/01]
Tropics in paleoclimate [Lecture 21]; Course project
presentations
Chiang (2009)
Hw #4
[Th 05/01]


Presentations
[Th 05/01]
16
[05/05]
Course project presentations

Presentations
[M 05/05]
17


Final papers [no
later than scheduled
final]


Web of Science
Hurricane Sandy Wind Loop
A Brief Summary of Equatorial Waves
Wave Propagation Animation
MJO Overview and Animations
1997-1998 El Niño SSTs


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