METEO 901A Knight SP2015

Weather for Turfgrass Mgmt Program Instructor: Paul Knight Lecture: Wed from 8:00-8:50am in Rm 110 Walker Bldg and Fri from 8-8:50am in Rm 9 Walker

Weather for Turfgrass Management Program

Description: An introduction to the basics of meteorology with an overview of weather and climate information that will assist turfgrass managers in their decisions.
Instructor: Paul Knight, State Climatologist, Dept. of Meteorology
Office: 606A Walker Bldg
Office Hours: Thur 1-2 pm or by appointment
Office Phone: 863-1842
Class WEB page: Weather for Turfgrass Management
Weather Delays/Cancellations (you can hope):
Lecture: Wed from 8:00-8:50am in Rm 110 Walker Bldg and Fri from 8-8:50am in Rm 9 Walker
Optional Text: A World of Weather, Fifth Edition, Authors: Nese and Grenci, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company


  • Quizzes (2) 10%
  • Homework Assignments 10%
  • Forecast Contest 10%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Final Exam 40%

Homework will be assigned several times. Late homework will not be accepted. Homework will be graded as +, check, -. The homework will be collected on two announced occasions.


Date / Topic / Assignment

  • Jan 14 Intro/Meteo Terms and Times / Intro to Forecasting & Web Page
  • Jan 16 Weather Observations / Forecast Contest- Intro to Model Output (MOS)
  • Jan 21 Tools of the Trade; Satellite, Radar, Weather Balloons / Verify Forecast #1           
  • Jan 23 Basics of the Atmosphere: Part 1 (cycles and profiles)
    • Homework 1 Forecast Contest - More on the Models (Various Names)
  • Jan 28 Basics of the Atmosphere: Part 2 (energy, motions) Verify Forecast #2
    • Quiz 1
  • Jan 30 Basics of the Atmosphere: Part 3 (wind, weather) Forecast Contest - Reading Guidance Exercise
  • Feb 4 The Water Cycle; measurements and movement Verify Forecast #3
  • Feb 6 Surface Moisture; Dew, Guttation and its Prediction Forecast Contest - More on Guidance
  • Feb 11 Mid-Term Exam Verify Forecast #4
  • Feb 13 Air Masses and Fronts
    • Homework 2 Forecast Contest - Longer Range Guidance
  • Feb 18 Weather Radar and Its Utility Verify Forecast #5
  • Feb 20 Numerical Weather Prediction Forecast Contest - Piecing Together the Puzzle
  • Feb 25 The Thunderstorm Problem Verify Forecast #6
  • Feb 27 Primer on Climate Change Final Forecast Quiz 2

Week of March 2 Verify Forecast #7 FINAL EXAM (most likely on March 4)
Course Policy: Since all of our schedules are very busy, there will be no make-up quizzes or exams. Missed quizzes and exams will receive a zero.

The Forecast Contest will be held on each Thursday (7 total). You will be asked to predict the maximum and minimum temperature between Saturday (7am) morning and Monday (7am) morning at the University Weather Observatory. You will also be asked to predict the total amount of liquid equivalent and solid precipitation.
Precipitation Categories: Liquid 0-Trace (1), .01-.10 (2), .11-.25 (3), .26-.50 (4), >.50 (5)
Solid 0-Trace (1), .1-1.0 (2), 1.1-3.0 (3), 3.1-6.0 (4), >6.0 (5) (all precip units are in hundredths and tenths of an inch)

Scoring the contest will be 1 point per temperature degree and 4 points per precipitation category.
For example: Forecast: Max=38, Min=22, Precip=0, Solid=0
Actual Max=41 (3pts), Min=21(1pt), Precip=1 (4pts), Solid=0 (0pts) TOTAL=8pts

The syllabus, class notes and schedule are all contained on the web page. Results of the forecast contest will be posted on Wednesday by class time.

Academic Integrity: See the college policy at
Academic Access: The University's Commitment to Persons With Disabilities The Pennsylvania State University encourages academically qualified students with disabilities to achieve full participation and integration of its educational programs. It is Penn State's policy not to discriminate against qualified persons with disabilities in its admissions policies and procedures or its educational programs, services, and activities.
Achieving full participation and integration of individuals with disabilities requires the cooperative efforts of all departments, offices and personnel of the University. To this end, the University will continue to strive to achieve excellence in its services and to assure that its services are delivered equitably and efficiently to all of its members.

Weather Delays: students should check WPSU-FM at 91.5 MHz, the web site, or Penn State Live ( -- the official sources for weather-related delay or cancellation advisories at Penn State's University Park campus. Advisories will be sent directly to cellphones, email, the Penn State Facebook page and Twitter via PSUTXT (to sign up, please see