ATM S 582 A Sp 21: Advanced Numerical Modeling Of Geophysical Flows

ATM S 582 A Sp 21: Advanced Numerical Modeling Of Geophysical Flows

ATM S 582

Professor Dale Durran
502 ATG Building
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Our goal:  Let's try to see the forest and the trees.

The purpose of the course is to obtain a deeper understanding of the basic numerical techniques that form the foundation for the computer models commonly used to simulate geophysical flows, particularly weather and climate.  The class builds on material covered in ATMS 581/AMATH 586, although some familiarity with numerical methods for the solution of differential equations is generally adequate preparation.

We will look closely at behavior of some representative numerical methods in the simplest possible contexts. At the same time, we will strive to develop an overview of the pros and cons of these methods for the simulation atmospheric flows.

Note that each major topic heading (except the first) contains links to important community models in atmospheric science that rely on the method being discussed.  We will not cover the actual models in detail, but we will glimpse under the hood at their fundamental numerical methods. These models include the NCAR CESM, ECMWF IFS, NCAR WRF ARW, and GFDL FV3.

Textbook: Durran, D.R., 2010: Numerical Methods for Fluid Dynamics: With Applications in Geophysics. 2nd Ed. Springer-Verlag.

The book is available by chapters for free as pdfs via a subscription through the UW library. That subscription also entitles students to buy $25 paperback copies. To access these priviliges, connect here via a UW computer, and click 'Read Online'.

Lecture Format: Live remote via Zoom MW 9:00-10:20.  Lectures will be available as Zoom recordings.

Office Hours: Tues 1:00-2:00 and by appointment (don't hesitate to ask!)

Grading:  The grade will be based on a short project and short bi-weekly homework assignments, one of which will be identified as a take-home midterm that must be done independently.  You may work with other students on the other homeworks. The project will ideally be something related to your research.

PDFs from each lecture are posted here


Course Outline

Basic Strategies for Numerical Approximation to Solutions of PDE

  •  Grid-point and series-expansion methods (pp. 26-30)

Differential-Difference Equations for the Scalar Transport

Further Considerations in Finite Difference Approximations WRF ARW, SAM

Finite-Volume Methods  GFDL FV3  

Spectral and Pseudo-Spectral Models: ECMWF IFS

The Discontinuous Galerkin and Spectral Element Methods CESM

The Cube Sphere GFDL FV3 , CESM

Semi-Lagrangian Methods ECMWF IFS

Course Summary:

Date Details Due