METEO 003 Section 002

Intro to Meteorology

Meteo 003.002                                              

Fall 2017
Section 2: MWF 1220-1310
MF(lecture) and W(lab or exams)in room 109 Walker

Bill Syrett
606C Walker Bldg

Syllabus subject to change! Check the course homepage or Canvas frequently!

Text: A World of Weather, 5th Ed, by Grenci and Nese, 2012, Kendall/Hunt

You are strongly encouraged to buy a NEW text.  You are responsible for missing/drawn-on lab pages!

Academic Integrity Required! This course follows E&MS Policy:

Students with Disabilities: The Office of Disability Services ( requests and maintains disability-related documents; certifies eligibility for services; determines academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services; and develops plans for the provision of academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services as mandated under Title II of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilita-tion Act of 1973.  A list of these services is provided at

Course Homepage, see:

Office Hours: W 0700-1000, others by appointment, 606C Walker

An introductory, comprehensive course about the atmosphere in which we live, the weather which we daily experience and the special atmospheric, oceanic and earth "biospheric" system upon which all life critically depends.

  • 21 Aug Introduction, units, scales and mapping Chapter 1
  • 23 Aug Radiation basics, solar & terrestrial radiation (no lab week 1) Chapter 2
  • 25 Aug Satellites & radar Chapter 5
  • 28 Aug Temperature and its gradients Chapter 3
  • 30 Aug Lab 1: Bring chapters 1, 2, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 01 Sep Temperature, air masses, a first look at fronts Chapter 3
  • 04 Sep No class, but remember Wednesday is lab day, bring lab materials! – Happy Labor Day
  • 06 Sep Lab 2: Bring chapters 2, 3, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 08 Sep Water in the atmosphere, introduction to humidity Chapter 4
  • 11 Sep Humidity in more detail, precipitation formation Chapter 4
  • 13 Sep Lab 3: Bring chapters 3, 4, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 15 Sep Air Pressure Chapter 6
  • 18 Sep Wind Basics: Pressure gradient force, Coriolis effect, friction Chapter 7
  • 20 Sep Lab 4: Bring chapters 4, 5, 6, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 22 Sep The mid-latitude jet stream Chapter 7
  • 25 Sep Catch up and review Review
  • 27 Sep Exam I
  • 29 Sep Atmospheric stability, clouds and cloud types Chapter 8
  • 02 Oct Air pollution basics Chapter 8
  • 04 Oct Lab 5: Bring chapters 6, 7, 8, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 06 Oct Thunderstorms, flooding and hail Chapter 9
  • 09 Oct The general circulation- polar, tropics and subtropics (I) Chapter 10
  • 11 Oct Lab 6: Bring chapters 8, 9, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 13 Oct The general circulation- tropics and subtropics(II) Chapter 10
  • 16 Oct Hurricanes Chapter 11
  • 18 Oct Lab 7: Bring chapters 9, 10, 11, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 20 Oct Cyclogenesis, anticyclogenesis Chapter 12
  • 23 Oct Catch up and review Review
  • 25 Oct Exam II
  • 27 Oct The Norwegian cyclone model Chapter 13
  • 30 Oct Supercell and other severe thunderstorms Chapter 14
  • 01 Nov Lab 8: Bring chapters 11, 12, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 03 Nov Tornadoes (I) Chapter 15
  • 06 Nov Tornadoes (II) Chapter 15
  • 08 Nov Lab 9: Bring chapters 13, 14, 15, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 10 Nov Winter precipitation types Chapter 16
  • 13 Nov Lake effect snow, wind chill Chapter 16
  • 15 Nov Lab 10: Bring chapters 15, 16, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 17 Nov Catch up, travel weather
  • 20, 22, 24 Nov NO CLASS, but remember to forecast! – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
  • 27 Nov Human influence (I), ozone depletion Chapter 18
  • 29 Nov Lab 11: Bring chapters 16, 18, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 01 Dec Human influence (II), land use Chapter 18 43   
  • 04 Dec Human influence (III), global warming Chapter 18
  • 06 Dec Lab 12: Bring chapter 18, pencils and calculator to class (due Friday at start of class)
  • 08 Dec Review

Final Examination: TBD. Conflict Exams TBD.

Lecture Format: Most lectures will be preceded by a weather forecast given by the Campus Weather Service. The Campus Weather video will begin approximately 5 minutes before class time.  There is no obligation to get to class early and no quiz/test questions will be based on this extra material.  I will often discuss a notable or appropriate current weather topic as an introduction to the formal lecture.  When appropriate, necessary or possible, the lecture may be led by special visitors.  It is a given that material from a special lecture will be included in a test or quiz.  Insofar as it is practical, lectures will include supplementary visual and video material.

Examinations and Grading (1500-point system)

  • Exam I: 150 (10%)
  • Exam II: 250 (17%)
  • Pop Quizzes: 300 (20%)
  • Final Examination: 300 (20%)
  • Laboratory Grade: 500 (33%)

TOTAL 500  (100%)

Extra Credit:

  • Semester Project: 100 (7%)
  • Weather Forecast: 50+ (3%)(extra 4% possible)

The midterms and final will consist primarily of (short) essay and short answer questions and they are comprehensive in nature, although at least half of Exam II and the final will cover material taught since the previous test.  Make-ups may be scheduled at the instructor's convenience for reasonable absences.  The make-up should be taken before the scheduled exam time, if at all possible.

To encourage reading of the assigned material and class participation, note that quizzes compose a large part of the final grade.  Quizzes may be announced, but usually will be a surprise.  They will generally be multiple choice or short answer questions that deal with the current material.  Please be sure to bring a pencil or pen and some (preferably loose-leaf) paper to class, and don't be late!  Traditionally, there have been NO make-up opportunities for the in-class quizzes.  However, I will allow quiz make-ups at my convenience- normally during office hours or just before or after class if there is time.  Quizzes must be completed before the next class period or there will be no credit.  Brief notes will be posted on the Web and/or ANGEL but they in no way are meant as a substitute for regular attendance.  The moral- come to class.  Note, however, that the extra credit available is the equivalent of about two or three missed quizzes, so if you miss a quiz you shouldn't be worried as long as you’re willing to do a little extra work.

Note also that the laboratory assignments are worth a third of your total grade.  Lab assignments are due at the beginning of Friday’s class, with few exceptions!  Again, if you are unable to attend because of an emergency, tell the TA as soon as possible and get the assignment- we cannot accept assignments once the next lab begins (a week late).

One source of extra credit is the highly recommended semester project.  This project is designed to raise your level of consciousness regarding the environment in which we live.  You will write a meteorological diary (how does the weather affect you?) which will be kept in a (recommended) 3-by-5 memo notebook.  Carry it with you, especial-ly when you go outdoors and make at least three entries per week, but each day can count for no more than one entry.  Keep each entry relatively short, maybe filling one side of a 3-by-5 page, unless you just can't help yourself. Entries might cover interesting weather conditions of the day, a special meteorological phenomenon or "oddity," a weather reference from another course or a stapled-in copy of a weather cartoon or news report from that day about significant weather or a weather-related tragedy.  Let it be personal, original and creative.  Simply, for example, stapling in the daily forecast or reporting the temperature will not earn you any credit.  There is a deduction for less than 50 entries and no additional credit for more than 50 entries, so plan on 50 good ones!  You’ll cover a greater range of weather if you plan to write one entry every other day- 3 to 4 per week.

We will also include a weather forecasting component as extra credit; there will be more details about this during class.  You are encouraged to read Chapter 17 and do some research to improve your forecast accuracy.  Feel free to talk with me about anything, preferably during office hours, but appointments are welcome, too!

Nondiscrimination Statement: The Pennsylvania State University is committed to equal access to programs, facilities, admission and employment for all persons. It is the policy of the University to maintain an environment free of harassment and free of discrimination against any person because of age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, physical or mental disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information or political ideas. Discriminatory conduct and harassment, as well as sexual misconduct and relationship violence, violates the dignity of individuals, impedes the realization of the University’s educational mission, and will not be tolerated.

Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to:

Affirmative Action Office
The Pennsylvania State University
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Tel (814) 863-0471

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Additionally, I am required to make a report on any reasonable suspicion of child abuse in accordance with the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.

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For more information visit the Penn State LGBTQA Student Resource Center in 101 Boucke Building or at:

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I will practice academic integrity.  Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at Penn State University, allowing the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. In accordance with the University Code of Conduct, I will practice integrity in regard to all academic assignments. I will not engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception because such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

I will demonstrate social and personal responsibility.  The University is a community that promotes learning; any behaviors that are inconsistent with that goal are unacceptable. Irresponsible behaviors, including alcohol or drug abuse and the use of violence against people or property, undermine the educational climate by threatening the physical and mental health of members of the community. I will exercise personal responsibility for my actions and I will make sure that my actions do not interfere with the academic and social environment of the University. I will maintain a high standard of behavior by adhering to the Code of Conduct and respecting the rights of others.

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