20421 Laboratory in Meteorology: Observations and Synoptic Analysis

Credits: 3 intermediate credits in Meteorology or in Physics

Prerequisite: Introduction to Meteorology

Required: Fundamentals of Physics (or Fundamentals of Physics I + Fundamentals of Physics II), and Advanced Computer Applications

Authors: Baruch Ziv, Yoav Yair

The course is based on experiencing meteorological measurements and hands-on data collection from various sources. Students study the physical principles and techniques used to analyze weather and climatic issues. The course is the practical continuation of Introduction to Meteorology (20291) and precedes the seminar Modern Problems in Atmospheric Science (20518). The three courses constitute a division of studies in atmospheric sciences. In preparation for the laboratory work, students study relevant theoretical topics.

Laboratory activities focus on: Instrumentation and technology in meteorology; Synoptic events in various parts of the world; Air quality and relation to atmospheric conditions; Climate.

A major part of the course involves measurements of parameters such as temperature, pressure, humidity and rain, over a defined period of time, performed by the student using a home kit and an electronic spreadsheet for processing data. Students learn to identify phenomena and to recognize their changes over time, and under various synoptic conditions in Israel.

Topics studied include: Identifying the daily course of meteorological variables and understanding the relevant physical mechanisms; Analysis of changes in atmospheric conditions resulting from the passage of synoptic systems in the area; Analysis of errors typical of meteorological instruments.

In the second part of the course, students perform research projects on a variety of topics based on meteorological databases on the Internet. Topics include: Satellite imagery for identification of clouds and various weather systems; Synoptic maps; Air trajectories; Air quality in Israel; Examination of ozone levels based on TOMS satellite data; Tracking tropical storms.