Jun 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PHS 108 - Introduction to Weather

Credits: 3
3 Lecture Hours

This is a survey for both science and non-science majors on the basic concepts of weather. Topics include temperature, pressure, wind, humidity, cloud formation, precipitation, storms, weather maps and forecasting, and climate patterns.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, the student will:

  1. State the nature and general composition of the atmosphere, and name the atmospheric properties that are commonly measured, and describe how they are measured.
  2. Distinguish the different air masses, particularly those that affect the weather in the United States.
  3. Describe the different kinds of fronts and their associated characteristics.
  4. Explain the formation, characteristics and effects of thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes.
  5. Describe the formation of rainbows and sundogs through atmospheric optics.
  6. Apply the basic principles and laws of physics to modeling weather events in forecasting and explain how weather data and forecasts are discriminated to the public.
  7. Discuss the natural causes of climatic changes, and explain how air and water pollutants affect global climates and local weather.
Listed Topics
  1. The formation, structure, and composition of the atmosphere
  2. Temperature, pressure, heat, and humidity
  3. The seasons and isolation
  4. The hydrological cycle
  5. Pressure gradients and wind
  6. Cloud formation and precipitation
  7. Atmospheric optics: rainbows and sundogs
  8. Air masses, frontal boundaries, instabilities forming storms
  9. Violent storms: tornadoes and hurricanes and their effects
  10. Weather forecasting and broadcasting
  11. The major climates, historical changes in the climates due to continental movement, variations in the Earth’s orbit, and changes in the solar constant and changes due to atmospheric pollutants
Reference Materials
Approved By: Johnson, Alex Date Approved: 4/2/2009
Last Reviewed: 1/24/2019

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