ATM405: Atmospheric Dynamics I


Spring 2015

Prof. David S. Nolan; contact:, 305-421-4930.

Cox Science Center 217, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:00PM-6:15PM.


I. Describing Atmospheric Flow

A. Mathematical tools

B. Fluid flow kinematics

C. Forces in fluids

D. Coriolis force and centrifugal force

II. Equations of Motion

A. Temperature, pressure, and hydrostatic balance

B. Conservation of momentum in fluids

C. Equations of motion in height coordinates

D. Equations of motion in pressure coordinates

E. Conservation of mass and energy

III. Large-scale Balances and Dynamics

A. Geostrophic balance

B. Thermal wind balance

C. Curved flow and gradient balance

D. Circulation and vorticity

E. Surface friction and boundary layer flow


There will be problem sets (25%), 2 mid-term exams (20% each), and a final exam (35%).


We will use this meteorology textbook:

Martin, J. E., 2006: Mid-latitude Atmospheric Dynamics: A First Course.

Here are some other textbooks that you may find useful:

Holton, J. R., 2004: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology (4th edition).

Holton, J. R., and G. J. Hakim, 2012: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology (5th edition).

Wallace, J. M., and P. V. Hobbs, 2006: Atmospheric Science: An introductory survey
(2nd edition).