SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY Spring 2013
DEPARTMENT OF GEOSCIENCES

Updated Saturday, February 23, 2013 10:32 PM

Metr 698 Grading Standards

A. Time Spent Per Unit

3 hours per unit. Please make sure that you adhere to this.

B. Goals

The fundamental duties for the 698 students are:

Everyone should realize that many people DO look at the displays, including the Dean (who is funding our weather station/ Graphics Acquisition Lab).

It is also important that each of you

At a National Weather Service Forecast Office, individuals serve as either Lead Forecasters or Intern Forecasters. At SFSU, students who, by arrangement, are Lead Forecasters are taking this course as Metr 798. Such students are allowed to take the course at this graduate level have demonstrated by their level of experience or education that they have a more thorough grounding in either the production of weather forecasts and/or in the knowledge of California weather patterns.

Other forecasters are termed "Intern Forecasters" and are considered forecasters in training. Your grade in the course depends upon the evaluation of the Lead Forecasters of your work and my evaluation as well.

Although the Lead Forecasters will be graded on the overall quality of the product as it appears in the display case downstairs, they are not responsible for English wording issues. They are there to guide the forecast process in terms of the science.

Please note that it is understandable that some poor English or typographical errors sometimes appear. However, if the Lead Forecasters feel that the forecast was produced with sloppy English or with egregiously poor editing, he or she will not post the forecast and will hand it back to the students to revise. If the final product is still not written in the correct English, the Lead Forecasters are instructed to give the forecast to me and then I will grade it and deduct points from the Intern Forecasters.

C. Specific Duties

1.Production and Posting of Forecasts and Discussions

The Discussion, Forecast and Extended Forecast should be posted with the forecasters' names listed at the bottom. The forecast should cover a 48 hour period (today, tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow night). The Extended should cover a period which extends beyond your 48 hour forecast through 5 days. The 48 hour forecast should be rather specific.

Forecast wording is generally accepted by the profession as that which is most acceptable to the public. Many studies have shown that the average person will stop reading a forecast immediately if it does not adhere to this format. Unacceptable forecasts will be those written in a conversational tone, are excessively chatty or those containing unnecessary jargon.


EXAMPLES:

Wrong

FORECAST FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY REGION

The weather will be fair today after the fog burns off to the coast. Clouds will increase tonight because of a dynamic low pressure area moving towards us from the Pacific. It will probably rain by tomorrow with rain during most of the day because of this storm but clearing tomorrow night. The temperature will be in the 50's today, the 40's tonight and in the 60's tomorrow. The wind will be out of the north at 5 mph today but become southerly due to the instability tomorrow.

Right

FORECAST FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY REGION ISSUED 0945 PDT 27 SEP 1991

Fair today with low cloudiness clearing to the coast by noon. Increasing cloudiness this evening becoming mostly cloudy tonight. Rain likely by daybreak tomorrow continuing through the day. Rain ending late tomorrow becoming partly cloud overnight. Highs today in the 50's and warmer tomorrow with highs in the 60's. Lows tonight in the 40's. Northerly winds 5 to 15 mph today shifting to southerly and increasing to 15 to 30 mph tomorrow becoming northwesterly tomorrow afternoon and night.



The Extended Forecast should be more general.


EXTENDED FORECAST for the period Saturday 13 February through Monday 15 February


Issued 2/11/13

Partly cloudy and cool Saturday with chance of showers. Highs in 50's. Fair Sunday and Monday with a gradual warming trend. Highs in the upper 50's on Sunday and in the 60's to the lower 70's on Monday. Light winds through the period except gusty in showers.

The Discussion should not be as tersely worded and should provide the reader with a summary of the reasons for the forecasts:


WEATHER SUMMARY issued 1030 PST 11 February 2013


The weak frontal system which brought precipitation to northern and central California overnight is now passing out of the state. Some shower activity is expected to develop today in the cool, relatively unstable air behind the front. Another very weak weather system is expected to bring an increase in cloudiness and increasing chance of preciptation to the northern 1/3 of California tomorrow and Saturday. High pressure will return to the region on Sunday with a warming trend.

2. Displays

There should always be a display of some sort or another posted next to the Forecasts/discussions. The display should

illustrate the storm or whatever featured in the Discussion

OR

provide an informative or educational function on some feature or pattern important

in understanding.

3. Student Proctor

Normally, two students will be taking this course for graduate credit. Students who are allowed to do this have shown evidence of responsibility and maturity and the ability to patiently lead other individuals in group efforts. 798 credit is NOT given to students merely because they are advanced students.

Student proctors will be expected to take considerable initiative, serve as lead forecasters and MUST interact with the intern forecasters in the crew. They will also be expected to schedule all Metr 698 activities.

4. Faculty Proctor

The faculty proctor for Metr 698/798 is Dr. Monteverdi. ALL Metr 698 and Metr 798 must meet in 604Thwith either Dr. Monteverdi or their "lead" forecaster at an agreed upon time for a one hour group meeting. There will be brief discussions on how Metr 698 is going for the current semester and I will try to take your complaints and suggestions at that time.

Beyond this regular meeting time, I will try to interact with as many of the Metr 698/798 students as possible intermittently. Since I normally am "around" even if I am not present in the lab, feel free to try to find me in the Department of Geosciences office if something comes up.

5. Grading

(i) Students doing posting and meeting once per week with faculty proctor at group meeting. C

(ii) Students doing (i) and displays. B

(iii) Students doing (i), (ii) and GatorWeather (one gives you a B+) forecasts. A

Advanced students must mentor to get an A. Mentoring involves proctoring the forecast preparation, leading discussions on the meteorological issues, and dealing with collegial interactions. The latter involves keeping the group going with proper decorum and discipline. The Lead Forecasters should not have to deal with egregious rudeness (cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, inaction) and I've instructed the Lead Forecasters to contact me if these become major issues.

Students who do not meet regularly with instructor at group meeting but complete all other assigned tasks will receive a two grade deduction to a C. Further deductions will be made based upon the scheme listed above.

Students who miss one to two group meetings without excuse will be given a 1/3 and 2/3 grade deduction. Students who miss three group meetings will receive a one grade deduction. Students who miss four to six group meetings will receive a two grade deduction. Students who miss more than six group meetings will receive a three grade deduction. There will also be deductions for systematic tardiness to group class meeting, determined by me.

Intern Forecasters must meet and work with Lead Forecasters on a regular basis. Grades on the basis of (i) and (ii) will be evaluated partially by Lead Forecaster.

 

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