DEPARTMENT OF GEOSCIENCES                                    


Meteorology 535/835


Analysis and Prediction of Severe Storms


Credit:  3 units                         Room/Time:  TH604;  F 0815-1100


Prerequisites:  Metr 415 and 430;  Corequisite:  Metr 420 and/or consent of instructor      


Instructor:  John P. Monteverdi


Purpose of the Course


The purpose of the course is to apply theoretical principles and map/chart/image analysis techniques learned in learned in Metr 502 and Metr 503 in an intensive study of analysis and forecasting of severe weather.  This study will involve the so-called "dynamic" and "thermodynamic" controls, environment setting large scale factors, mesoscale "focusing" factors, dynamics and kinematics of rotation, thunderstorm morphology, and, to some extent, pattern recognition.


Logistics of the Course


Each student will be expected to participate in seminar fashion.  Although there will be no quizzes, each week students will be assigned seminal literature to review and to present to the seminar in oral presentation with a short typewritten summary turned in to the instructor.  These presentations will be graded.  The presentations will be in conference style (PowerPoint).


At the end of the semester, each student will submit to the instructor a research paper, prepared in the format set by the Authors Guide of the American Meteorological Society.  The paper will be a case study of a severe weather event or an examination of some important facet of such an event. Students may use the original literature surveyed in the seminar as starting-point in their literature survey.  The case study for the Fall 2011 version of Metr 835 will be the Joplin tornadic thunderstorm.


In the preparation of the paper, students MUST quantiatively assess thermodynamic and shear parameters (by using RAOB or other work station-based software) and also to assess the dynamic controls, as suggested by Doswell (1987) (“The distinction between large-scale and mesoscale contribution to severe convection:  A case study example.”)


In addition, each graduate student will prepare a version of his or her paper in HTML and will make it accessible to the WWW via the Metr 535/835 Web Site.  Graduate students taking this class will be expected to take a leadership/mentorship role in the group discussions, and prepare a PowerPoint presentation-based discussion of the term project and to submit the abstract for the presentation to the AMS Conference on Severe Local Storms.



Grading Rubric pts
Presentations 350
Inclass Exercises Including Reading Questions 150
Term Paper 500



Text Books




Doswell III, C. A. (ed), 2001. Severe Convective Storms. Meteorological Monograph Series, Volume 28, number 50; 570 pages, hardbound; ISBN 1-878220-41-1; AMS code MM50. AMS Meteorological Monograph Series, Volume 28, number 50.


Markowski, Paul and Richardson, Yvette, 2010:  Mesoscale Meteorology in the Midlatitudes.  Wiley-Blackwell,  407 pp. ISBN-10: 9780470742136


Vasquez, Tim, 2002:  Storm Chasing Handbook.  Weather Graphics Technologies.  286 pp.  ISBN: 0-9706840-3-7



Distributed as duplicated readings as necessary:



Bluestein, Howard, 1993:  Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology of the Midlatitudes. Vol. 2.




Proposed Topic Sequence


1: Severe Convective Storms—An Overview  (Week 1)   


2: Extratropical Synoptic-Scale Processes and Severe Convection (Week 2)


3: Mesoscale Processes and Severe Convective Weather (Week 3)


Presentations:   (Week 4)


4:  Severe Thunderstorms:  Tornadoes  (Week 5)


5:  Severe Thunderstorms:  Hail   (Week 6)


6:  Severe Thunderstorms:  Convectively Driven High Wind Events (Week 7)


Presentations (Week 8)


7:  Rain Production in Convective Storms  (Week 9)


8:   Mesoscale Convective Systems   (Week 10)


9:   Severe Local Storms Forecasting  (Week 11)


Week 12:  Presentation of Abstracts


Week 13:  Presentation of Review Papers Related to Research Paper


Week 14:  Summary


Week  15:  Presentation of Topics