METEO 414 Mesoscale Meteorology

Instructor: Prof. Paul Markowski, Time/Place: MWF, 11:15 AM - 1:10 PM, 126 Walker

Mesoscale Meteorology (4 credits)

Spring Semester, 2017 

Time/Place: MWF, 11:15 AM - 1:10 PM, 126 Walker

Prof. Paul Markowski, 520 Walker, email:, phone (work): 865-9736, web:

Teaching Assistant:
Steve Naegele, email:

Office Hours: By appointment; the best time to chat with me is usually during the lab portions of the class periods

Required Text

  • Mesoscale Meteorology in Midlatitudes by P. Markowski and Y. Richardson. Available from Amazon here.

Optional Texts

  • Mesoscale Meteorology and Forecasting, P. Ray, editor (available from the American Meteorological Society). 
  • Cloud Dynamics, R. Houze, Academic Press. 
  • Storm and Cloud Dynamics, W. Cotton and R. Anthes, Academic Press.

Exam Policy

Students will be evaluated by way of three exams. The first two exams will be nighttime exams on Monday, February 13 and Monday, March 27. Both will be held from 7:00-9:00 pm. The third exam will be held during final exam week at the time scheduled for the class final exam. Except for illness, make-up exams will be conducted only for students who make arrangements with me prior to the scheduled exam time.

Grading Policy

Exams contribute 75% toward the final grade (the scores, ranked from best to worst, contribute 35%, 25%, and 15%). Lab assignments contribute 25%. Attendance is mandatory. Every three absences will reduce your final grade one "notch" (e.g., from an A to an A-).

Lab Assignments

Students may collaborate on lab assignments, but the final product to be handed in should be your own work. (It is always very obvious who the leaders and followers are, especially after the first exam.) Approximately one hour will be devoted to lab work in most of the class periods. Lab assignments typically will be due within a few days or up to a week after the initial date of assignment. Technical accuracy, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and neatness will be considered in the lab grades.


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 t/oue/aappm/C-5.html). If you have not completed the listed prerequisites, then promptly consult with the instructor if you have not done so already. Stude nts who re-enroll after being dis-enrolled according to this policy are in violation of Item 15 on the Student Code of Conduct ( ct/).

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to abide by the University guidelines, which can be viewed at http://www.ems.psu.e du/students/integrity/index.html.

Course Summary:

Date / Details

  • Mon Jan 9, 2017 Read Chapter 1, due by 11:59pm
  • Tue Jan 10, 2017 Read Ch 2.1-2.3 and submit question, due by 11:59pm
  • Read Chapter 2.1-2.3, due by 11:59pm
  • Thu Jan 12, 2017 Read Ch 2.4-2.5 and submit question, due by 11:59pm
  • Read Chapter 2.4-2.5, due by 11:59pm
  • Tue Jan 17, 2017 Read Ch 2.6 (skip 2.7 for now), due by 11:59pm
  • Read Ch. 3.1 and submit question, due by 11:59pm
  • Read Chapter 3.1, due by 11:59pm
  • Wed Jan 18, 2017 Assignment 1 - Introduction to mesoscale meteorology, due by 1:10pm
  • Sun Jan 29, 2017 Read Ch. 3.2-3.3 and submit question, due by 11:59pm
  • Wed Feb 1, 2017 Assignment 2 - A closer look at B and VPPGF, due by 1:10pm
  • Thu Feb 2, 2017 Read Ch. 3.4 and submit question, due by 11:59pm
  • Sun Feb 5, 2017 Read Ch. 3.5 and submit question, due by 11:59pm
  • Fri Feb 10, 2017 Assignment 3 - More fun with instabilities, due by 1:10pm
  • Thu Feb 16, 2017 Read Ch. 4.5 and submit question, due by 11:59pm
  • Fri Feb 17, 2017 Assignment 4 - ABL evolution, due by 1:10pm
  • Mon Feb 20, 2017 Read Ch. 4.7 and submit question, due by 10am
  • Wed Feb 22, 2017 Assignment 5 - Lake-effect snow, due by 1:10pm
  • Fri Feb 24, 2017 Read Ch. 5.2 and submit question, due by 10am
  • Mon Feb 27, 2017 Assignment 6 - Nocturnal low-level jet, due by 1:10pm
  • Tue Feb 28, 2017 Read Ch. 5.3 and submit question, due by 11:59pm
  • Fri Mar 3, 2017 Assignment 7 - Dryline case study, due by 1:10pm