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ATMOS Electives

The following elective ATMOS courses are available to all students who meet the prerequisite course requirements.


Course Number Course Title Description Schedule
ATMOS 5010 Weather Forecasting The tools and techniques of modern weather forecasting applied in a real-time forecast environment. May be taken for repeat credit with instructor consent. (1.5 credits) Offered spring semesters
ATMOS 5200 Physical Meteorology III: Cloud Physics

Aerosol production and removal, cloud and precipitation formation, mixing and turbulence. (1.5 credits)

Prerequisite: ATMOS 5000

Offered fall semesters
ATMOS 5210 Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology II

Characteristics of surface-based fronts, upper-level fronts, and mid-latitude cyclones, including the use of quasigeostrophic theory and potential vorticity thinking for synoptic analysis. (1.5 credits)

Offered spring semesters
ATMOS 5220 Boundary Layer Processes

Boundary layer structure and processes, including turbulence, surface fluxes, vertical structure and diurnal cycle (1.5 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 1210 AND MATH 1220 or instructor's consent

Offered fall semesters in odd years
ATMOS 5230 Mesoscale Meteorology

Fundamentals of radar meteorology; use of surface-based, aircraft-based, and satellite-based radar to study clouds, rainfall, and storms. Quantitative description of cumulus convection, multicell and supercell storms, mesoscale convective systems, local circulations (thermal and terrain forcing), downslope windstorms. Emphasis is on using observed characteristics to develop a physical and dynamical understanding of phenomena over a range of scales. Whenever possible, we will undertake real-time examination of storms as they may develop around the country. (1.5 credits)

Prerequisites: ATMOS 5000 AND ATMOS 5130 

Offered spring semesters
ATMOS 5250 Mountain Meteorology

Synoptic and mesoscale meteorology in complex terrain including orographically-modified cyclone evolution, frontal interaction with topography, terrain- and thermally-driven circulations, mountain waves, downslope winds, gap winds, and orographic precipitation. (3 credits)

Prerequisite: Upper-division undergraduate student or instructor's consent.

Offered fall semesters in even years
ATMOS 5260 Snow Dynamics and Avalanche Studies

Field sessions require clothing and equipment that allow students to participate in outdoor activities. Students must be able to ski or snowshoe, climb steep terrain, and safely ski back down. Two lectures or discussions weekly combined with one full afternoon in field. Second lecture meets at Alta Town Library before field session. Provides thorough background in technical avalanche forecasting procedures. Study of conditions leading to snow avalanches, broader aspects of snow in all its phases. (4 credits)

Offered spring semesters
ATMOS 5270 Wind Power Meteorology

Siting of wind turbines, regional wind resource assessment, and short-term prediction of the wind resource. Aspects of boundary layer meteorology important for wind energy: wind profiles and shear, turbulence and gusts, and extreme winds. Wind climate analysis, wind resource estimation and siting, and their relation to local topography and surface features. Meteorological models used for estimation and prediction of the wind: their types, inputs, limitations, and requirements. (1.5 credits)

Offered spring semesters
ATMOS 5400 The Climate System

Interactions among components of the climate system are examined, especially interactions concerning the atmosphere, oceans, land surfaces, and sea ice. After completion of the course, knowledge of the physical processes underlying climate dynamics will enable students to evaluate and understand projected climate change and variability. (3 credits)

Prerequisite: MATH 1050 or instructor's consent

Offered fall semesters
ATMOS 5495 Biophysical Ecology

This quantitative-intensive lecture and laboratory course will examine the physical environment (light, wind, temperature, humidity) in which plants, animals, and soil organisms live, how the physical environment affects their physiological function, and how organisms in turn affect their physical environment. (4 credits)

Prerequisites: BIOL 2010 and CHEM 1220 and MATH 1220 and PHYS 2010, 2110, or 2210 

Offered fall semesters in odd years
ATMOS 5500 Numerical Weather Prediction

Introduction to modern numerical weather forecasting techniques, concentrating on model fundamentals, structures, dynamics, physical parameterization, and model forecast diagnostics. (1.5 credits)

Prerequisite: ATMOS 5100 or instructor's consent

Offered fall semesters of odd years
ATMOS 5520 Remote Sensing of the Environment

A quantitative overview of atmospheric remote sensing concentrating on tropospheric phenomena. Emphasis is placed on developing a basic theoretical foundation as well as detailed examination of selected contemporary problems in this rapidly evolving field. (1.5 credits)

Prerequisite: ATMOS 5140

Offered spring semesters in odd years
Last Updated: 7/27/20