METEO 003 Section 2

Introduction to Meteorology

Meteo 003.002                                              

Bill Syrett

Section 2: MWF 1220-1310                                 
606C Walker Bldg
MF(lecture) and W(lab or exams)in room 109 Walker

Syllabus subject to change! Check the course homepage or Canvas frequently!

Text: A World of Weather, 6th Ed, by Nese and Grenci, 2018, Kendall/Hunt

This is a NEW text.  Lab assignments online.

Academic Integrity Required! This course follows E&MS Policy:

Students with Disabilities:

The Office of Disability Services ( requests and maintains disability-related documents; certifies eligibility for services; determines academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services; and develops plans for the provision of academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services as mandated under Title II of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilita-tion Act of 1973.  A list of these services is provided at

Course Homepage, see:

Office Hours: W 0700-1000, others by appointment, 606C Walker 

An introductory, comprehensive course about the atmosphere in which we live, the weather which we daily experience and the special atmospheric, oceanic and earth "biospheric" system upon which all life critically depends. 

Class  Date/Topic(s)/elevant Reading

  1. 20 Aug Introduction, units, scales and mapping Chapter 1
  2. 22 Aug Radiation basics, solar & terrestrial radiation (no lab week 1) Chapter 2
  3. 24 Aug Satellites & radar Chapter 5
  4. 27 Aug Temperature and its gradients Chapter 3
  5. 29 Aug Lab 1: Bring chapters 1, 2, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  6. 31 Aug Temperature, air masses, a first look at fronts Chapter 3
  7. 03 Sep No class, but remember Wednesday is lab day, bring lab materials! – Happy Labor Day
  8. 05 Sep Lab 2: Bring chapters 2, 3, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  9. 07 Sep Water in the atmosphere, introduction to humidity Chapter 4
  10. 10 Sep Humidity in more detail, precipitation formation Chapter 4
  11. 12 Sep Lab 3: Bring chapters 3, 4, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  12. 14 Sep Air Pressure Chapter 6
  13. 17 Sep Wind Basics: Pressure gradient force, Coriolis effect, friction Chapter 7
  14. 19 Sep Lab 4: Bring chapters 4, 5, 6, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  15. 21 Sep The mid-latitude jet stream Chapter 7
  16. 24 Sep Catch up and review Review
  17. 26 Sep Exam I 
  18. 28 Sep Atmospheric stability, clouds and cloud types Chapter 8
  19. 01 Oct Air pollution basics Chapter 8
  20. 03 Oct Lab 5: Bring chapters 6, 7, 8, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  21. 05 Oct Thunderstorms, flooding and hail Chapter 9
  22. 08 Oct The general circulation- polar, tropics and subtropics (I) Chapter 10
  23. 10 Oct Lab 6: Bring chapters 8, 9, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  24. 12 Oct The general circulation- tropics and subtropics(II) Chapter 10
  25. 15 Oct Hurricanes Chapter 11
  26. 17 Oct Lab 7: Bring chapters 9, 10, 11, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  27. 19 Oct Cyclogenesis, anticyclogenesis Chapter 12
  28. 22 Oct Catch up and review Review
  29. 24 Oct Exam II
  30. 26 Oct The Norwegian cyclone model Chapter 13
  31. 29 Oct Supercell and other severe thunderstorms Chapter 14
  32. 31 Oct Lab 8: Bring chapters 11, 12, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  33. 02 Nov Tornadoes (I) Chapter 15
  34. 05 Nov Tornadoes (II) Chapter 15
  35. 07 Nov Lab 9: Bring chapters 13, 14, 15, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  36. 09 Nov Winter precipitation types Chapter 16
  37. 12 Nov Lake effect snow, wind chill Chapter 16
  38. 14 Nov Lab 10: Bring chapters 15, 16, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  39. 16 Nov Catch up, travel weather 
  40. 19, 21, 23 Nov NO CLASS, but remember to forecast! – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
  41.  26 Nov Human influence (I), ozone depletion Chapter 18
  42. 28 Nov Lab 11: Bring chapters 16, 18, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  43. 30 Nov Human influence (II), land use Chapter 18 43   
  44. 03 Dec Human influence (III), global warming Chapter 18
  45. 05 Dec Lab 12: Bring chapter 18, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  46. 07 Dec Review
  47. Final Examination: TBD.  Conflict Exams TBD.

Lecture Format

Most lectures will be preceded by a weather forecast given by the Campus Weather Service. The Campus Weather video will begin approximately 5 minutes before class time.  There is no obligation to get to class early and no quiz/test questions will be based on this extra material.  I will often discuss a notable or appropriate current weather topic as an introduction to the formal lecture.  When appropriate, necessary or possible, the lecture may be led by special visitors.  It is a given that material from a special lecture will be included in a test or quiz.  Insofar as it is practical, lectures will include supplementary visual and video material.

Examinations and Grading (1500-point system)

  • Exam I - 150 (10%)
  • Exam II -  250 (17%)
  • Pop Quizzes - 300 (20%)
  • Final Examination - 300 (20%)
  • Laboratory Grade
    500 (33%)
    1500 (100%)
  • Extra Credit:
    Semester Project - 100 (7%)
    Weather Forecast - 50+ (3%)(additional 4% possible)

The midterms and final will consist primarily of (short) essay and short answer questions and they are comprehensive in nature, although at least half of Exam II and the final will cover material taught since the previous test.  Make-ups may be scheduled at the instructor's convenience for reasonable absences.  The make-up should be taken before the scheduled exam time, if at all possible.

To encourage reading of the assigned material and class participation, note that quizzes compose a large part of the final grade.  Quizzes may be announced, but usually will be a surprise.  They will generally be multiple choice or short answer questions that deal with the current material.  Please be sure to bring a pencil or pen and some (preferably loose-leaf) paper to class, and don't be late!  Traditionally, there have been NO make-up opportunities for the in-class quizzes.  However, I will allow quiz make-ups at my convenience- normally during office hours or just before or after class if there is time.  Quizzes must be completed before the next class period or there will be no credit.  Brief notes will be posted on the Web and/or Canvas but they in no way are meant as a substitute for regular attendance.  The moral- come to class.  Note, however, that the extra credit available is the equivalent of about four missed quizzes, so if you miss a quiz you shouldn't be worried as long as you’re willing to do a little extra work.

Note also that the laboratory assignments are worth a third of your total grade.  Lab assignments are due at the beginning of Friday’s class, with few exceptions!  Again, if you are unable to attend because of an emergency, tell the TA as soon as possible and get the assignment- we cannot accept assignments once the next lab begins (a week late).

One source of extra credit is the highly recommended semester project.  This project is designed to raise your level of consciousness regarding the environment in which we live.  You will write a meteorological diary (how does the weather affect you?) which will be kept in a (recommended) 3-by-5 memo notebook.  Carry it with you, especial-ly when you go outdoors and make at least three entries per week, but each day can count for no more than one entry.  Keep each entry relatively short, maybe filling one side of a 3-by-5 page, unless you just can't help yourself. Entries might cover interesting weather conditions of the day, a special meteorological phenomenon or "oddity," a weather reference from another course or a stapled-in copy of a weather cartoon or news report from that day about significant weather or a weather-related tragedy (with your personal comments).  Let it be personal, original and creative.  Simply, for example, stapling in the daily forecast or reporting the temperature will not earn you any credit.  There is a deduction for less than 50 entries and no additional credit for more than 50 entries, so plan on 50 good ones!  You’ll cover a greater range of weather if you plan to write one entry every other day- 3 to 4 per week.

We will also include a weather forecasting component as extra credit; there will be more details about this during class.  You are encouraged to read (online) Chapter 17 and do some research to improve your forecast accu-racy.  Feel free to talk with me about anything, preferably during office hours, but appointments are welcome, too!

Nondiscrimination Statement

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to equal access to programs, facilities, admission and employment for all persons.  It is the policy of the University to maintain an environment free of harassment and free of discrimination against any person because of age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, physical or mental disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information or political ideas.  Discriminatory conduct and harassment, as well as sexual misconduct and relationship violence, violates the dignity of individuals, impedes the realization of the University’s educational mission, and will not be tolerated.

Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to:

Affirmative Action Office
The Pennsylvania State University
328 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802-5901
Tel (814) 863-0471 

Diversity Statement

I consider this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect.  All members of this class are expected to contribute to a respectful, welcoming and inclusive environment for every other member of the class.  Penn State is “committed to creating an educational environment which is free from intolerance directed toward individuals or groups and strives to create and maintain an environment that fosters respect for others” as stated in Policy AD29 Statement on Intolerance

Mandated Reporting Statement

Penn State’s policies require me, as a faculty member, to share information about incidents of sex-based discrimination and harassment (discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation) with Penn State’s Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinators, regardless of whether the incidents are stated to me in person or shared by students as part of their coursework.  For more information regarding the University's policies and procedures for responding to reports of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, please visit

Additionally, I am required to make a report on any reasonable suspicion of child abuse in accordance with the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law. 

Safe Zone Statement

I am a member of the Penn State Safe Zone Ally Network, and I am available to listen and support you in a safe and private manner.  As a Safe Zone Ally, I can help you connect with resources on campus to address problems you may face that interfere with your academic and social success on campus as it relates to issues surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity.  My goal is to help you be successful and to maintain a safe and equitable campus.

For more information visit the Penn State LGBTQA Student Resource Center in 101 Boucke Building or at:

Penn State Principles

The Pennsylvania State University is a community dedicated to personal and academic excellence. The Penn State Principles were developed to embody the values that we hope our students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni possess. At the same time, the University is strongly committed to freedom of expression. Consequently, these Principles do not constitute University policy and are not intended to interfere in any way with an individual’s academic or personal freedoms. We hope, however, that individuals will voluntarily endorse these common principles, thereby contributing to the traditions and scholarly heritage left by those who preceded them, and will thus leave Penn State a better place for those who follow.

I will respect the dignity of all individuals within the Penn State community.  The University is committed to creating and maintaining an educational environment that respects the right of all individuals to participate fully in the community. Actions motivated by hate, prejudice, or intolerance violate this principle. I will not engage in any behaviors that compromise or demean the dignity of individuals or groups, including intimidation, stalking, harassment, discrimination, taunting, ridiculing, insulting, or acts of violence. I will demonstrate respect for others by striving to learn from differences between people, ideas, and opinions and by avoiding behaviors that inhibit the ability of other community members to feel safe or welcome as they pursue their academic goals.

I will practice academic integrity.  Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at Penn State University, allowing the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. In accordance with the University Code of Conduct, I will practice integrity in regard to all academic assignments. I will not engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception because such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

I will demonstrate social and personal responsibility.  The University is a community that promotes learning; any behaviors that are inconsistent with that goal are unacceptable. Irresponsible behaviors, including alcohol or drug abuse and the use of violence against people or property, undermine the educational climate by threatening the physical and mental health of members of the community. I will exercise personal responsibility for my actions and I will make sure that my actions do not interfere with the academic and social environment of the University. I will maintain a high standard of behavior by adhering to the Code of Conduct and respecting the rights of others.

I will be responsible for my own academic progress and agree to comply with all University policies.  The University allows students to identify and achieve their academic goals by providing the information needed to plan the chosen program of study and the necessary educational opportunities, but students assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning, and the successful completion of graduation requirements. I will be responsible for seeking the academic and career information needed to meet my educational goals by becoming knowledgeable about the relevant policies, procedures, and rules of the University and academic program, by consulting and meeting with my adviser, and by successfully completing all of the requirements for graduation. 

Penn State Values

Integrity: We act with integrity and honesty in accordance with the highest academic, professional, and ethical standards.

Respect: We respect and honor the dignity of each person, embrace civil discourse, and foster a diverse and inclusive community.

Responsibility: We act responsibly, and we are accountable for our decisions, actions, and their consequences.

Discovery: We seek and create new knowledge and understanding, and foster creativity and innovation, for the benefit of our communities, society, and the environment.

Excellence: We strive for excellence in all our endeavors as individuals, an institution, and a leader in higher education.

Community: We work together for the betterment of our University, the communities we serve, and the world.