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MA4H7 Content

Content: Topics would include:

Vertical motion and the role of moisture:

  • Atmospheric stability: Dry and saturated adiabatic lapse rates
  • Water vapour: Relative humidity, evaporation and condensation

Mechanics in a rotating frame (linear theory):

  • Pressure gradients and their origins.
  • Coriolis force, geostrophic wind.
  • Stability and waves in a rotating frame.
  • Stability and waves due to stratification.

Circulation on a global scale (nonlinear theory):

  • Prevailing winds, jet streams, synoptic scale motion.
  • Air masses, fronts, cyclones and accompanying weather patterns

Mesoscale and microscale motion:

  • The planetary boundary layer.
  • Ekman layers.
  • Thunderstorm initiation.


J.C. McWilliams, Fundamentals of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, CUP (2006).

B. Cushman-Roisoin, Introduction to Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Prentice-Hall (1994).

Additional resources:

John M. Wallace and Peter V. Hobbs, Atmospheric science: an introductory survey (2nd ed), Academic Press, 2006.

Roland Stull, Meteorology For Scientists And Engineers: A Technical Companion Book To C. Donald Ahrens' Meteorology Today.