METEO 003 – Introductory Meteorology

Spring 2014Class Location: 112 Walker BuildingClass Time: MWF 1:25PM-2:15PM (Section 001), MWF 10:10AM-11:00AM (Section 002)

METEO 003 – Introductory Meteorology

Spring 2014
Class Location: 112 Walker Building
Class Time:

  • MWF 1:25PM-2:15PM (Section 001)
  • MWF 10:10AM-11:00AM (Section 002)

Instructor: Alexandra Anderson-Frey
Phone: (814) 777-5994
Office: 410 Walker Building
Office Hours:

  • Monday: 2:30PM-3:30PM,
  • Tuesday: 2:00PM-3:00PM,
  • or by appointment

Teaching Assistants:

  • 002: Zachary Fasnacht (
  • 001: Vanessa Vanyo (
  • Both: Paul Svenson (

Chi Epsilon Pi Tutor: Burkely Twiest (


This class aims to build a solid foundation for an understanding of the fundamentals of meteorology.  Skillsets that will be developed include: contouring and interpreting weather maps and forecasts, interpreting human impacts on global climate, gaining an appreciation and understanding of severe summer and winter weather, becoming a more critical and educated consumer of weather information, and gaining the tools and knowledge necessary to engage in lifelong learning.

Required Textbook:

L.M. Grenci and J.M. Nese (2010): A World of Weather: Fundamentals of Meteorology. 5th Edition, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., 794 pp, ISBN: 978-07575-5894-8.  ***This book is on reserve at the Earth and Mineral Sciences Library in Deike Building.***

Course Website:

Powerpoints for each lecture will be posted on ANGEL. Assignments will also be available on ANGEL, and answer keys will be posted after grading is complete. Midterm answer keys will be posted after midterm grading is complete. Additional links and recommended websites may be mentioned in class and posted on ANGEL under "Resources".

Grading Policy:

A   (93-100%)
A-  (92-89%)
B+ (85-88%)
B   (81-84%)
B-  (77-80%)
C+ (73-76%)
C   (67-72%)
D   (60-67%)
F   (0-60%)

Best Midterm Grade - 20%
Worst Midterm Grade - 15%
Best 7 Labs - 35% (5% each)
Final Exam - 30%
Extra Credit - up to 6%


Two midterm exams will be administered on February 27 and April 2, at the Pollock Testing Center. In case you're having a bad day on one of the exam days, the lowest grade of the two will count for only 15% of your grade in the class, while the midterm with the highest grade will count for 20%. Before each midterm there will be an entire class period devoted to review. Midterm exams are non-cumulative, that is, Midterm #2 will only cover the material studied since Midterm #1's cutoff.


Eight labs will be given, generally on Wednesdays. These labs consist of a series of questions and exercises regarding the material you have seen in the lectures. Each lab will begin with an introduction by the TA, and you will then be given much of the class period to work on that week's lab under the TA's supervision. You will have a full week to submit each lab (if a lab is handed out during Wednesday's lecture, it must be handed in by the start of lecture on the following Wednesday). No late labs will be accepted! Note that only your best 7 of the 8 labs will contribute to your grade (5% each), so you will have some breathing room if need be.

Final Exam:

The date and location of the final cumulative exam will be announced when it is confirmed by the university in mid-February—the date will be sometime during Finals Week, May 5-9. There will be a review session in our final lecture to help prepare you, and I will hold extra office hours in that last week.

Extra Credit:

Three extra-credit assignments have been posted to Angel. You may choose up to two of them, and each can gain you up to 3% extra credit. All extra-credit will be due by 11:59PM on April 25.

Participation and Attendance:

No formal grades will be given for participation or attendance (no pop quizzes). However, some examinable material will only be covered in class and will not be included in the powerpoint presentations that will be posted on ANGEL the day of each lecture. If you are absent from a lecture, I encourage you to ask a classmate for a run-down of what you may have missed. There will also be some demonstrations and videos that will only be available in-class.

Academic Integrity:

All infractions pursued in accordance with the Earth and Mineral Sciences Academic Integrity Policy ( Infractions include, but are not limited to: copying someone else's work, knowingly allowing someone else to copy your work, submitting someone else's work without proper citation, altering exams after having them handed back in an attempt to raise your grade, and submitting previously used work without permission. I will issue sanctions ranging from a 0 on the assignment/exam in question, to an F in the course, to recommended removal from your academic program, based on my assessment of the severity of the infraction. You don't want to risk your (or your parents') money, your GPA, and your academic career for a gen-ed elective, do you?  That would just be embarrassing.

Disability Access:

If you wish to receive academic accommodations for a documented disability, the Office of Disability Services would like to hear from you as soon as possible in order to assist: Note that university policy states that any accommodations require documentation, so be sure to have that ready when you contact them.


January 13 (M)    Lecture 1: Course Overview

January 15 (W)    Lecture 2: Weather Analysis Tools (Chapter 1)

January 17 (F)    Lecture 3: Introduction to Radiation (Chapter 2)

January 20 (M)    NO CLASS

January 22 (W)    Lab #1

January 27 (M)    Lecture 5: Water in the Atmosphere (Chapter 4)

January 29 (W)    Lab #2 (Lab #1 due)

January 31 (F)    Lecture 6: Clouds and Humidity (Chapter 4)

February 3 (M)    Lecture 7: Satellite Remote Sensing (Chapter 5)

February 5 (W)    To Be Announced (Lab #2 due)

February 7 (F)    Lecture 8: Radar Remote Sensing (Chapter 5)

February 10 (M)    Lecture 9: Surface Winds and Pressure (Chapter 6)

February 12 (W)    Lab #3

February 14 (F)    Lecture 10: Upper-Air Winds and Pressure (Chapter 7)

February 17 (M)    Lecture 11: Forecasting and Pattern Recognition (Chapter 7)

January 24 (F)    Lecture 4: Temperature and Fronts (Chapter 3)


February 19 (W)    Lab #4 (Lab #3 due)

February 21 (F)    Lecture 12: Introduction to Atmospheric Stability (Chapter 8)

February 24 (M)    Midterm #1 Review Session

February 26 (W)    NO CLASS

February 27 (R)    MIDTERM #1 (location: Pollock Testing Center)

February 28 (F)    Lecture 13: Clouds and Precipitation (Chapter 8)

March 3 (M)    Lecture 14: Introduction to Thunderstorms (Chapter 9)

March 5 (W)    Lab #5 (Lab #4 due)

March 7 (F)    Lecture 15: Thunderstorm Classification (Chapter 9)

March 10 (M)    NO CLASS

March 12 (W)    NO CLASS

March 14 (F)    NO CLASS

March 17 (M)    Lecture 16: Atmospheric General Circulation (Chapter 10)

March 19 (W)    Lab #6 (Lab #5 due)

March 21 (F)    Lecture 17: Hurricanes (Chapter 11)

March 24 (M)    Lecture 18: Linking Surface and Upper-Air Patterns (Chapter 12)


March 26 (W)    To Be Announced (Lab #6 due)

March 28 (F)    Lecture 19: The Cyclone Model (Chapter 13)

March 31 (M)    Midterm #2 Review Session

April 2 (W)    MIDTERM #2 (location: Pollock Testing Center)

April 4 (F)    Lecture 20: Introduction to Summer Severe Weather (Chapter 14)

April 7 (M)    Lecture 21: Introduction to Tornadoes (Chapter 15)

April 9 (W)    Lab #7

April 11 (F)    Lecture 22: Tornado Forecasting and Safety (Chapter 15)

April 14 (M)    Lecture 23: Introduction to Winter Weather (Chapter 16)

April 16 (W)    Lab #8 (Lab #7 due)

April 18 (F)    Lecture 24: Winter Weather Forecasting and Safety (Chapter 16)

April 21 (M)    Lecture 25: Numerical Weather Prediction (Chapter 17)

April 23 (W)    To Be Announced (Lab #8 due)

April 25 (F)    Lecture 26: Ozone Hole and Land Use Change (Chapter 18)

(Extra Credit due)

April 28 (M)    Lecture 27: The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change (Chapter 18)

April 30 (W)    Lecture 28: Bringing It All Together I (Chapters 1-9)

May 2 (F)    Lecture 29: Bringing It All Together II (Chapters 10-18)

  • FINAL EXAM DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 5-9 (date and location TBA)