Skip to main content

Section 1.2 Topics in meteorology

There are number of key concepts that we will explore as we consider the behavior of the Earth's atmosphere. This includes

  • The fundamental concepts of temperature and pressure and the structure and chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere,

  • The energy cycle of the Earth's atmosphere and how it drives weather and climate patterns; energy transfer, differential solar heating at high and low latitudes, seasonal effects, and the greenhouse effect,

  • The behavior of water in the atmosphere and its central role in shaping weather conditions; relative humidity and dew point, cloud and fog formation, and precipitation,

  • The forces that drive atmospheric winds, from local storm system to global circulation patterns

  • Systems that drive weather changes in the mid-latitudes, including air masses, fronts, and mid-latitude cyclones,

  • Weather forecasting and modeling, and the tools used to characterize atmospheric conditions,

  • Severe weather systems and associated phenomena, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, and hail,

  • Tropical weather systems, including hurricanes and typhoons, and atmospheric-ocean interactions, and

  • The climate of the Earth, from the distant past to the present day, and anthropogenic effects on climate.