Course Syllabus

Weather and Climate Prediction

(ATM S 380, Winter 2019)


  • Class meets: Tu/Th 10:00-11:20am ATG 310 for lectures, ATG 623 for lab sessions
  • Office hour: Tu/W 11:30am-12:30pm (ATG 608)
  • Prerequisites: MATH 124-126, PHYS 121-122, and ONE of the following ATMS 101,111,211,301; ASTR 150,321; or ESS 201.
  • Purpose of the course: To develop i) an understanding of how numerical weather and climate models work, ii) an ability to run the numerical weather and climate model and analyze simulation output, and to understand and modify the model source code.
  • Textbook: No textbook. Reading materials will be given in the class if necessary.
  • Content: Course will include lectures, homework, and exercises. Basic concepts listed below will be taught in lectures. Exercises and homework will be used to strengthen the understanding of the basic concepts and develop research skill.
  • Course Outline (subject to change at any time)

1. Numerical simulations using an intermediate complexity General Circulation Model (GCM): Fortran programming, changing the boundary conditions (e.g., topography), parameterizations (e.g., precipitation process)

2. A brief introduction to atmospheric data assimilation (initialization), ensemble forecast and predictability

3. A brief introduction to finite differencing scheme and parameterization

  • Grading:

Homework: 30%
In-class presentation: 30%
Final (term-project): 40%

  • Note: No makeup tests will be provided unless the absence is excused in advance.
  • Writing credit (optional): To receive writing credits (3), the student will need to complete the following extra tasks - submit a (minimum) 5-page document about your term project by Feb 19, a 5-10-page document about your preliminary results by Feb 28, and a 10-15-page document about the term project by the end of the quarter. The instructor will give feedbacks on the write-ups. All other students will need to submit a (minimum) 5-page document by the end of the quarter.
  • Class overview
Week Tuesday Thursday
1 Jan 10: NWP, GCM
2 Jan 15: Unix, vi editor Jan 17: Data assimilation
3 Jan 22: Predictability/Fortran programming I 

Jan 24: Fortran programming II

4 Jan 29: Intro to SPEEDY Jan 31: SPEEDY/python plotting
5 Feb 5: Cancelled (campus closed) Feb 7: SPEEDY BCS and PARAMS
6 Feb 12: Cancelled (campus closed) Feb 14: In-class presentation (general circulation)
7 Feb 19: Term project idea Feb 21: SPEEDY BCS II 
8 Feb 26: python plotting II, Discretization Feb 28: Term project progress
9 Mar 5: Parameterizations Mar 7: SPEEDY - clouds
10 Mar 12: Term project presentation I Mar 14: Term project presentation II


Course Summary:

Date Details