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MET 3003: General Meteorology

Course description

An introduction to the Earth’s atmosphere. Topics include: tropical and midlatitude weather, clouds and convection, solar and infrared radiation, general circulation and climate, and a bit of meteorological dynamics.

Course Goals and Objectives

This course is the first in a series designed to constitute an Atmospheric Science Track within FIU Department of Earth Sciences. It is also a required course for Meteorology Minor. It provides an introduction to the profession of meteorology and a description of the atmosphere for undergraduate students majoring in physical sciences or engineering. We will answer questions such as these: What do meteorologists do and how do other professions relate to meteorology? What are the history, composition, and broad-scale structure of the atmosphere? What are the roles of heat and moisture in the atmosphere? What determines the strength and direction of the wind? What determines the structure and behavior of middle-latitude and tropical weather systems? How do clouds, rain, snow, and hail form? How and why does the climate change?

Instructor: Ping Zhu<>

When: Fall 2008; Tuesday, Thursday, 11:00-12:15 AM

Where: DM 164 (University Park Campus)

Prerequisites: PHY 2048 or PHY 2053 or Permission by the instructor.

Grading: Homework (40%), participation (10%), mid-term exam, (20%) and final exam (30%)

Office hours: Tuesday/Thursday, 2:00-5:00 pm.



Atmosphere, An Introduction to Meteorology, by Frederick K. Lutgens and Edward J. Tarbuck, 10th Edition, 2006, IBSN-0131874624

Other useful sources

Wallace, J. M., P. B. Hobbs, Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey, Academic Press, second addition

Syllabus(weeks approximate)


The Marshall Spaceflight Center’s GOES Satellite viewer

And the NCEP web-based surface weather analysis

On your way to class each day, please notice the clouds, temperature, humidity, and wind. This time of year the fronts pushing south from the snowy north can be spectacular, and by spring we’ll be able to watch some good sea-breeze convection over Florida. I will arrange a class tour of the National Hurricane Center and Weather Forecast Office, probably in March.