ATM 244: Tropical Weather and Forecasting

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Taught every Fall Semester on Coral Gables Campus.

Course Description: Introduction to tropical weather systems, with an emphasis on hurricanes, and syntheses of observational data and numerical model predictions to create forecasts.

Teaching Format: 19 Lectures + 8 Enhanced Interactive Classroom Learning (EICL) sessions.

Learning Objective:to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of tropical weather and the techniques behind how forecasts of tropical weather are made. 

Learning Outcomes:(1) meteorological understanding of tropical weather systems; (2) development of skills in interpreting satellite and aircraft observations; (3) development of skills in synthesizing numerical model forecast output to provide forecasts of tropical weather.

Prerequisites: ATM 103 (Survey of Modern Meteorology), ATM 243 (Weather Forecasting), or by permission of instructor. Expectations coming into class: a basic qualitative knowledge of balanced dynamics, convection, clouds, physical state of atmosphere.  Students should also have the background to interpret weather maps on different pressure levels, and sounding data. 

Text Book:  There is no formal book available for this course. Supporting material includes “Introduction to Tropical Meteorology”, by A. Laing and J. L. Evans, 2ndEdition, 2016.  Available on

Additional materials will be included as needed.


Course Outline:

  1. Overview of the Tropics
  2. Observational Data
    1. Satellite Data: Principles and Tropical Applications
    2. Aircraft Data: Principles and Tropical Applications
  3. Tropical Cyclones
    1. Forecasting, Formation, Track, Structure and Intensity Change, Landfall
    2. Impacts (including storm surge), Hazard and Risk Communication
  4. Other Tropical Weather and Oscillations
    1. Tropical Marine Weather
    2. Seasonal variability: Madden-Julian Oscillation, Monsoons, ENSO
    3. Large-Scale Circulations, Climate Change
  5. Current Research Topics


Guest Lectures:

            Guest lectures are given by experts in the field from the University of Miami, NOAA Hurricane Research Division, and the National Hurricane Center.