ATM 270 Tropical Atmospheric Dynamics
This course is to develop an order-of-magnitude understanding of atmospheric and climate dynamics in Earth’s tropics. A key component of this course is to understand how moist convection (thunderstorms) interacts with atmospheric circulations. Topics will include the Hadley circulation, monsoon, equatorial waves, convective organization, the MJO, tropical cyclones, ENSO and tropical climate stability. Implications on atmospheres over “tropical planets”, such as Venus, Titan and slowly rotating exoplanets will also be discussed.
Class schedule: Lecture: 10:30 - 11:50 am, M/W
This course will be offered as an online course for Fall 2020. There will be a mixture of real-time discussions (via zoom) and videotaped lectures. The real-time discussions will be scheduled during the proposed lecture time, and the lecture videos will be released on the day of the lecture and can be watched at your leisure.
ATM 121a&b or Instructor’s permission.
Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics: Fundamentals and Large-scale Circulation-2nd Edition by Geoff Vallis
Atmospheric Convection by Kerry Emanuel
An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology by James Holton
Homework (30%), Class participation (30%), Class project (40%)
Homework will be distributed and collected in class.
Topics and details will be announced in class. Students will give oral presentations and submit final reports during the last week of instruction. Each student must provide a contribution statement in the final report.
Da Yang: by appointment
All course materials are copyrighted, including slides, videos, homework, and exams. Distribution or posting of course material may be a violation of law and University policy.
Academic misconduct or a violation of course policy will result in sanctions. See the link below.
Syllabus: This syllabus is tentative, and Canvas announcements will be sent out for any changes. (recorded lectures)
Lecture 1: Overview and governing equations
Lecture 2: Dimensional analysis and scale analysis
Lecture 3: Surface winds and the Hadley circulation I
Lecture 4: Surface winds and the Hadley circulation II
Lecture 5: Monsoon
Lecture 6: The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)
Lecture 7: Equatorial waves
Lecture 8: The Walker circulation
Lecture 9: Moist thermodynamics
Lecture 10: Atmospheric moist convection I
Lecture 11: Atmospheric moist convection II
Lecture 12: Revisit Hadley circulation, monsoon and ITCZ with moisture
Lecture 13: Revisit equatorial waves with moisture
Lecture 14: Spontaneous organization of convection and circulation
Lecture 15: The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)
Lecture 16: Tropical cyclones
Lecture 17: El Nino and Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
Lecture 18: Quasi biennial oscillation (QBO)
Lecture 19: Tropical climate stability
Lecture 20: Class project presentations