Courses and Syllabi

Course Descriptions and Recent Syllabi

ATMS 103 Introduction to Meteorology (3 hrs)

An informative study of the fundamentals of weather and current issues related to global weather and climate. Fall and Spring.

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ATMS 111 Introduction to Meteorology Lab (1 hr)

A laboratory course designed specifically for students majoring in other disciplines who are interested in learning about aspects of the Earth’s atmosphere to a greater depth than can be gained in a lecture. A significant portion of the laboratory sessions will be spent outside observing weather elements. Pre- or corequisite: ATMS 103. Fall.

ATMS 203 Foundations of Atmospheric Science I (2 hrs)

Basic meteorological, mathematical, and computational skills required for advanced study in atmospheric science. Topics include geographical ideas, map analysis, weather codes, navigating the UNIX environment, and meteorological display and analysis software. Prerequisite: ATMS 103. Fall.

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ATMS 204 Foundations of Atmospheric Science II (2 hrs)

Intermediate meteorological, computational, and mathematical skills required for advanced study in atmospheric science. Topics include an introduction to computer programming, fundamental meteorological equations and their applications, and basics of numerical modeling. Prerequisites: ATMS 203; MATH 191. Spring.

Godfrey Syllabus Miller Syllabus

ATMS 223 Physical Climatology (3 hrs)

Causes of spatial and temporal climate variation from a physical perspective, with special emphasis on energy balance, feedback mechanisms, and climate modeling. Prerequisite: ATMS 103 or permission of instructor. Odd years Fall.

ATMS 230 Fortran for Meteorologists (3 hrs)

Basic Fortran 90 computer programming tailored for meteorological applications. Topics include algorithm development, program writing and execution, and data manipulation. Prerequisite: MATH 167 or equivalent. Spring.

ATMS 271 Map Discussion (1 hr)

Discussion of live weather situations in an interactive setting. Meteorological principles applied to observations, weather maps, diagrams, numerical models, and forecasts. May be repeated for a total of 8 hours credit. Will not count toward atmospheric sciences electives.

ATMS 305 Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Hydrostatics (3 hrs)

The thermodynamics of atmospheric gases, with emphasis on energy conservation, energy transfer, the importance of water vapor, the equation of state, and hydrostatics and atmospheric stability. Prerequisites: ATMS 204; PHYS 221. Pre- or corequisite: MATH 192. Fall.

ATMS 310 Atmospheric Kinematics and Dynamics (3 hrs)

The motion of the earth’s atmosphere in relation to the forces acting upon the fluid. Equations of motion, circulation, vorticity, divergence, viscosity, turbulence and atmospheric energy. Prerequisite: ATMS 305; pre- or corequisite: MATH 291. Spring.

ATMS 315 Radar and Satellite Meteorology (3 hrs)

Theory and application of radar and satellite remote sensing to atmospheric sciences. Weather analysis and forecasting, and climatological implications. Prerequisites: ATMS 204; PHYS 222. See department chair.

ATMS 316 Mesoscale Meteorology (3 hrs)

Atmospheric processes in the scale of 10 to 1000 km including tornadoes, thunderstorms and tropical cyclones; application of current data to mesoscale analysis and forecasting. Prerequisites: ATMS 204. See department chair.

ATMS 320 Meteorological Instruments (3 hrs)

The physical principles of meteorological instruments, including static and dynamic sensor performance, sensor limitations, and major error sources, with an emphasis on practical applications. Prerequisite: ATMS 103 or equivalent training. Pre-or corequisite: ATMS 305. Fall.

ATMS 325 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Meteorology (3 hrs)

Introduces students to the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and demonstrates its applications to meteorology, climatology, and hydrology. Through a series of lectures and computer lab exercises, students will gain an understanding of basic GIS theory, principles, software, and data formats. They will learn how GIS is being utilized in the Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorological communities. Prerequisite: ATMS 203. See department chair.

ATMS 326 Air Pollution Formation and Impacts (ENVR 326) (3 hrs)

An overview of air pollution history, major pollutants, and relevant environmental policies and regulations. Prerequisite: One course from ATMS 103 or ENVR 130. Odd years Spring.

ATMS 328 Broadcast Meteorology (3 hrs)

Introduction to weather basics, newswriting, reporting, and preparation and presentation of weathercasts. Students will acquire communication and presentation skills and on-camera weather broadcasting experience. Prerequisite: ATMS 203. See department chair.

ATMS 345 Tropical Meteorology (3 hrs)

An introduction to tropical climatology, tropical cyclones, observation techniques, tropical waves, ENSO, and connections between the tropics and mid-latitudes. Pre- or corequisite: ATMS 305. Even years Fall.

ATMS 350 Weather Forecasting (3 hrs)

The science and techniques of weather forecasting, applications of map analysis and numerical guidance. Prerequisite: ATMS 203. Spring.

ATMS 355 Physical Oceanography (3 hrs)

An examination of the world’s oceans from a physical perspective, with a particular focus on how oceans interact with the atmosphere. Topics include ocean structure, observation techniques, energy budget, surface and deep water currents, Ekman theory, coastal processes and tides, wave theory, and numerical modeling. Prerequisites: MATH 167; one course from ATMS 103 or ENVR 130. Even years Spring.

ATMS 373 Special Topics: Advanced Computing Techniques in Meteorology (3 hrs)

Information technology skills in a Linux environment with emphasis on atmospheric science applications. HTML, Python, GrADS, CGI scripting, LaTeX, Google maps, graphics, data manipulation. Prerequisites: ATMS 103; ATMS 230 or CSCI 181; or permission of instructor. See department chair.

ATMS 373 Special Topics: Introduction to Python Programming (3 hrs)

An introduction to coding and data analysis in Python. Topics covered may include data types, programming logic, loops, and conditional statements. No prior coding experience is expected or required. See department chair.

ATMS 373 Special Topics: Severe Weather Field Experience (3 hrs)

Participants travel to the Great Plains to forecast and observe severe weather. Operations are based in Norman, Oklahoma, in the heart of tornado alley and close to the location of the climatological maximum in tornado frequency during mid-May. Norman is the home of the National Weather Center, which houses twenty NOAA and University of Oklahoma weather and climate programs including the Storm Prediction Center, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and a National Weather Service forecast office. Participants receive tours of these and many other facilities, including television studios and private companies, and hear prominent speakers discuss important aspects of severe weather forecasting, graduate school applications, and internship opportunities. Prerequisite: ATMS 103 and application. Summer.

ATMS 381–383 Cooperative Education (1-3 hrs)

Majors with at least sophomore status may apply for part-time positions at firms dealing with meteorology. Prerequisite: permission of department chair. May be repeated for a total of six hours of credit. Fall and Spring.

Guidance for enrollment in the cooperative education (ATMS 381–383) courses:

  • If total working hours is 84 or less, sign up for ATMS 381 (1 credit hour)
  • If total working hours is greater than 84, but less than or equal to 140, sign up for ATMS 382 (2 credit hours)
  • If total working hours is greater than 140, but less than or equal to 280, sign up for ATMS 383 (3 credit hours)
  • If total working hours is greater than 280, sign up for ATMS 490 (6 credit hours)

Evaluation Form for Supervisor
Final Report Form for Students

ATMS 405 Meteorological Statistics (3 hrs)

Statistical methods used in climatology, operational weather forecasting, and meteorological research applications. Topics include statistical characteristics of meteorological data, particularly probability distributions and correlation structures, hypothesis testing, forecast evaluation techniques, and other research topics. Prerequisites: ATMS 204; MATH 291. See department chair.

ATMS 410 Synoptic Meteorology I (3 hrs)

A synthesis of the mathematical and analytical aspects of meteorology designed to explain fundamental weather processes and systems; practical application of the diagnostic and predictive equations through the use of weather maps; topics include upper-level systems and jet streams and surface pressure systems. Prerequisite: ATMS 310 or permission of instructor. Fall.

ATMS 411 Synoptic Meteorology II (3 hrs)

A continuation of ATMS 410. Topics include frontal systems, mid-latitude convective systems, tropical meteorology and numerical weather prediction. Prerequisite: ATMS 410. Spring.

ATMS 420 Applied Climatology (3 hrs)

Application of climatological and statistical principles to weather-sensitive fields such as agriculture, construction, transportation and energy conservation. Prerequisite: ATMS 405; or permission of instructor. See department chair.

ATMS 455 Physical Meteorology (3 hrs)

The composition of the atmosphere, atmospheric optics, solar and terrestrial radiation and radiative transfer, cloud microphysics, meteorological acoustics, and atmospheric electricity. Prerequisite: ATMS 305. Spring.

ATMS 464 Scientific Writing (3 hrs)

Writing and research strategies, particularly for meteorological applications. Topics include literature reviews, critical reading, improving writing practices, various types of scientific writings, and presentation skills. Prerequisites: ATMS 103 and Junior standing. Fall.

ATMS 490 Professional and Technical Internship (6 hrs)

Majors with a GPA of 3.0 or better within the major and at least junior status may apply for a semester-long internship with a participating host agency. May not take ATMS 381, 382 or 383 concurrently with ATMS 490. May not earn more than 3 hours credit for ATMS 381, 382, 383 in addition to the credit for ATMS 490. Prerequisite: permission of department chair. Fall and Spring.

ATMS 499 Undergraduate Research in Atmospheric Sciences (1-6 hrs)

Independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor. An IP grade may be awarded at discretion of instructor. May be repeated for a total of 6 hours credit. Fall and Spring.

ATMS 171-3, 271-3, 371-3, 471-3 Special Topics in Atmospheric Sciences (1-3 hrs)

Course not otherwise included in the catalog listing but for which there may be special needs. May be repeated as often as permitted and as subject matter changes. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. See department chair.