Meteorology 400/800

Weather Chart Analysis and Discussion


Instructor:   John Monteverdi                                       Units:  1

Time/Day:   Lab F 8:10-11:00                              Room:  604 TH

Office Hours: MW 10-1100; T 1300-1400; or many hours by appointment

Office:        TH 613;   Office Phone:  87728

Email:  or



A.  Purpose of the Course


The purpose of this course is twofold:  (a)  to provide students with basic analysis skills useful or indispensible in the practice of weather analysis and forecasting; and (b) to foster the ability in students to put their meteorological skills to the test in the production of a short (~10-15 min) discussion of some current weather situation, pattern or problem, assigned by the instructor. The background for these exercises was provided in Metr 201. Students should review their work and the exercises that you copmpleted for Metr 201. 


With regard to (b) above, students will be occasionally assigned a weather analysis problem defined on the basis of current weather and the studentŐs skill set.  This student then will be  expected to:  (1) define the constraints of the problem themselves; (2) obtain, analyze and post their own weather charts or graphics as illustrations; (3) prepare and present a weather discussion appropriate to their own level in the program; and, (4) be prepared to ask/answer questions on their own/other presentations and to defend their meteorological rationale. 


Each student will be assigned such a problem twice to three times during the semester.  However, it may be that several or all students in the class will be asked to work on aspects of the same problem.


Apart from these spur-of-the-moment assigned analysis and discussion problems, the class will include five basic laboratory exercises in which students will learn to decode various types of observations.  In addition, this class will introduce students to the basics of synoptic analysis.


B.  Furlough Dates


The University will be closed many dates due to reduced funding from the California legislature and governor that has necessitated a furlough program (time and pay cut).

As a result, the Department of Geosciences is required to restrict office hours. The Department will be closed on Friday, September 4th and Tuesday Septembert 8th, 2009. We will be unavailable to respond to your phone calls and emails until the University reopens on September 9th at 8am.

Future general campus closure dates include the following:* October 23 and 26; November 11 and 23-27; December 23-31.

*Each faculty member will be selecting an additional five furlough dates that will necessitate cancellation of classes during the Fall 2009 semester. The class cancellation dates will be posted on each class syllabus. Students are encouraged to consult their professors about these cancellations.

Dr. Monteverdi's Furlough Dates are: Monday 8/31, Friday 9/4, Tuesday 9/8, Friday 10/23, Monday 10/26, Monday 11/2, Tuesday 11/3, Monday 12/7 and Tuesday12/8. The dates affecting Metr 400/800 are highlighted in red. On those days, Dr. Monteverdi will be unavailable via campus phone and email, and will not be on campus.

Contact the Governor, the Majority Leader or the Minority Leader for details or complaints on the Furlough Program. As of this time, I can find no public email addresses for them.


C.  Logistics of the Course


A.  Five In-class Laboratories  (Note:  normally the instructor will have a presentation illustrating lab techniques applied to current weather to make in the last half hour of these class sessions)


B.  Student Analysis and Discussion Problem:


8:10 – 8:30 AM     Assignment Handout and Explanation

8:30 – 10:00 AM   Presentation Preparation

10:00 – 11:00                 Presentations



D.  Grade in the Course


Your grade in the course is entirely based upon instructor evaluation of your laboratory assignments, presentations AND both of questions he has on your presentation AND your questions to the presenter (more on this another time).  There will be NO homeworks, term papers or exams.  Total grade will be based upon the total score (sum) of all presentations.


E.  Preparation of Presentation


It is up to the student to obtain appropriate charts and diagrams for the presentations.  Analyses should be neat and professional.  Students should have colored pencils and pens for final products and it is the responsibility of students to clean up after themselves for their presentations.


F.  Textbooks and Class Materials

Chaston,,Peter R., 1997:  Weather Maps:  How to Read and Interpret all the Basic Weather Charts.  Second Edition. Chaston Scientific, Inc.Kearney, MO. ISBN 0-9645172-4-8, 214 pp.

Vasquez, Tim, 2002:  Weather Forecasting Handbook.  Weather Graphics Technologies,, 198 pp (or

Vasquez, Tim, 2003:  Weather Map Handbook.  Weather Graphics Technologies,, 167 pp (or


Set of colored pencils and set of colored pens, erasers, straight edge, cheap calculator.