METEO 413 -- Weather Map Analysis

Instructor: Bill Syrett, Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00-9:15, 607 Walker

Instructor:  Bill Syrett, 606C Walker, 865-6172    Office Hours: W 7am-10am & by Appointment

“Analysis of actual surface weather observations, with emphasis on the Norwegian cyclone model, missing or bad data, and mesoscale phenomena.” 

Prerequisite: METEO 411,   This is an Elective Course,   No Textbook

Students who do not meet these prerequisites may be dis-enrolled during the first 10-day free add-drop period after being informed in writing by the instructor (see: If you have not completed the listed prerequisites, then promptly consult with the instructor if you have not done so already.  Students who re-enroll after being dis-enrolled according to this policy are in violation of Item 15 on the Student Code of Conduct (

Academic Integrity 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 Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  A list of these services is provided at

*** Maps (assigned Tuesdays) are due FRIDAYS at 11:00 am *** 

Tuesday classes will generally consist of a detailed review of the week's assignment with (hopefully) lots of discussion. The review will then usually be followed by a brief lecture concerned with expanding upon what you've learned and preparing you for the next map.  The review and lecture will usually not take more than an hour, leaving the rest of the time for starting the next assignment.  I recommend you use the time to get started and ask any questions that you may have, and it would be helpful if you bring colored pencils to class, please.  You are encouraged to develop your analysis skills independently. Class participation will be used to decide "borderline" grades.  Tardiness or absence will negatively affect your grade.

No less than 2/3 of your grade will be determined by your performance on 14 surface analysis cases that will consist of one or more maps covering different parts of the Northern Hemisphere, usually the United States, where the highest resolution and quality data can be found, and where many of you will likely find employment!  You'll be graded on how well you follow the Norwegian Cyclone Model, the quality of your isopleths, detail and neatness.  There is no curve, grades will follow 90-80-70 standard.

The rest of your grade will be determined by your performance on weekly in-class quizzes and exercises.  These will usually be given on Thursdays and should take no more than an hour.  You may use any remaining time to work on your weekly map assignment. 

  1. Late maps are docked one full letter grade (10 pts) (two if I don't have them by Monday at NOON).
  2. No credit for maps received after 7:45am Tuesday.
  3. I will drop your lowest map grade and your lowest quiz/exercise grade.
  4. Enjoy yourselves (within reason)! 

*** Tentative Schedule - subject to change! ***

  • Weeks 1-3:                 

The basics.  Norwegian cyclone model.

  • Weeks 4-9:

Variations on the same theme. Topographic influences and limited (or bad) data. Cyclone families.

  • Weeks 10-13:

Mesoscale phenomena, time-limited analyses.

  • Weeks 14,15:

In-class assignments, no homework. 

* Formal course objectives and outcomes in relation to the Meteorology program are included on the back

Objectives for METEO 413:

  1. Students can demonstrate familiarity with the Norwegian cyclone model and how well it describes the surface and upper-air observations (relate to program objectives 2 and 3)
  2. Students can demonstrate skills for the analysis of synoptic-scale and mesoscale surface and upper-air observations of the atmosphere (relate to program objectives 1 and 3)

Outcomes for METEO 413:

  1. Students can demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret maps of surface and upper-air data (relate to program outcomes a, b, c, and e)
  2. Students can demonstrate knowledge of the structure and evolution of synoptic-scale and mesoscale weather systems (relate to program outcomes b and c)
  3. Students can demonstrate knowledge of land- and ocean-surface influences on synoptic-scale and mesoscale weather systems (relate to program outcomes b and c)

Program Objectives

Program Objectives are statements that describe the expected accomplishments of graduates during the first few years after graduation

  1. To produce graduates who possess quantitative, scientific reasoning skills that can be applied to atmospheric problems
  1. To produce graduates who have a general knowledge of a range of atmospheric phenomena and applications, and have expertise in one or more program subdisciplines or related interdisciplinary areas
  1. To produce graduates who are equipped to contribute to solving problems in the atmospheric sciences and related disciplines, through service in business or as educators, researchers, and leaders in academia, government, the private sector, and civil society.

Program Outcomes

Statements that describe what students are expected to know and are able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the skills, knowledge and behaviors that students acquire in their matriculation through the program.

  1. Graduates can demonstrate skills for interpreting and applying atmospheric observations
  2. Graduates can demonstrate knowledge of the atmosphere and its evolution
  3. Graduates can demonstrate knowledge of the role of water in the atmosphere
  4. Graduates can demonstrate facility with computer applications to atmospheric problems
  5. Graduates can demonstrate skills for communicating their technical knowledge