Florida State University General Bulletin 1998-1999

FSU Homepage Office of the Registrar On-Line Registration 1997-1999 Graduate Bulletin Table of Contents

Academic Departments and Programs (course descriptions)

Department of METEOROLOGY


Chair: #Peter S. Ray;
Professors: *Barcilon, Fuelberg, T. Krishnamurti, Nicholson, +O'Brien, *Pfeffer, #Ray, #E. Smith;
Associate Professors: Ahlquist, Elsner, Kloesel, Ruscher, Zou;
Service Professor: Stephens, Stuart;
Professors Emeriti: Baum, Gleeson, Long, Staley;
Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Sciences: Baum
* Also Associate, Institute of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics.
+ Joint appointment with the Department of Oceanography
# Also Faculty Associate, Supercomputer Computations Research Institute (SCRI)

The Department of Meteorology was founded in 1949 and throughout its history has been one of the leading meteorology programs in the country. It still is the only meteorology department in the southeastern United States to offer degrees from the bachelor of science (BS) through the doctor of philosophy (PhD). The program at The Florida State University is considered to be one of the top five in the nation.

Members of the Department of Meteorology enjoy the benefits of advanced scientific equipment and a cooperative research environment with the departments of Mathematics and Oceanography, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute (GFDI), and the Supercomputer Computations Research Institute (SCRI). Scientific computations are handled on equipment ranging from PCs and Macintosh computers to networks of scientific workstations and a departmental supercomputer. A high speed network connects the department to other supercomputer centers and research laboratories via a very fast campus backbone and excellent Internet connectivity to the outside world. Half of the faculty are also actively involved in National Weather Service collaboration as Fellows of the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Tropical Meteorology.

The department maintains a full suite of weather applications software, (including those supported by the Unidata program) and receives real-time National Weather Service data feeds from the Internet Data Delivery program. We also manage our own scientific weather satellite receiving stations for instructional and research use. A public area for current weather discussions and classes includes combinations of DIFAX charts and computer displays. An undergraduate computing laboratory is well-populated with networked Sun workstations. The Florida Climate Center and Office of the State Climatologist is housed in the department and is equipped with archives of Florida weather and climate records, including computerized CD-ROM databases. An instrumentation facility is also housed in the department, including data loggers and a variety of modern and historical instruments, and a rooftop meteorological tower for real-time local observations.

The department has a TV studio where students prepare weathercasts for class (MET 3940) and for broadcast on The Florida State University's cable Channel 47 and on the Sunshine Network (cable).

The Florida EXPLORES! Program, a NOAA Cooperative Institute in Tropical Meteorology, and the Center for Ocean-Atmosphere Prediction Studies (COAPS) have all formed within the department in the 1990s. These new programs focus on faculty interactions with science teachers, operational meteorologists, and other researchers in exciting new fields of research. A new building that will house the National Weather Service in Tallahassee is being constructed adjacent to the Meteorology/Mathematics building, which will further strengthen the department's ties to the weather forecast community. Partnerships and internships with the many state government agencies located in Tallahassee continue to offer new opportunities for our students.

National and international honors have been bestowed upon departmental faculty members. Ten members of the meteorology faculty are Fellows of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and a number are Fellows of the Royal Meteorological Society.

For additional information, see the departments web site at http://www.met.fsu.edu

State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites

The State of Florida has identified common course prerequisites for this University degree program. These prerequisites are lower-level courses that are required for preparation for the University major prior to a student receiving a baccalaureate degree from The Florida State University. They may be taken either at a community college or in a university lower-division program. It is preferred that these common course prerequisites be completed in the freshman and sophomore years.

The following lists the common course prerequisites or approved substitutions necessary for this degree program:

  1. MAC 2311;
  2. MAC 2312;
  3. PHY 2048/2048L or PHY 2048C;
  4. PHY 2049/2049L or PHY 2049C.

Requirements for a Major in Meteorology

Please review all college-wide degree requirements summarized in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this General Bulletin. A detailed handout for meteorology majors entitled Undergraduate Program in Meteorology is available in the departmental office.

Meteorology is a quantitative science requiring extensive preparation in mathematics and physics. Freshmen entering the program are urged to take the College-Level Exemption Program (CLEP) or other exemption examinations in order to realize maximum flexibility.

The Department of Meteorology offers two options for earning a bachelor of science (BS) degree: 1) the graduate preparatory option for students seeking a rigorous preparation in meteorology and 2) the applied option for those seeking added breadth in their program in such areas as computer science, statistics, chemistry, radio and television, and applied climatology. The applied option is mainly intended for those who plan to seek employment immediately after completing the BS degree. The graduate preparatory option has stronger requirements in mathematics, physics, and meteorology and prepares students to enter graduate programs in meteorology.

Meteorology majors are advised to complete a graduation check with the academic coordinator at least one semester prior to graduation. Graduating students also must complete a written exit survey in their final semester, and if possible, an exit interview with the departmental representative. This interview will discuss information provided from the written exit survey. The College of Arts and Sciences will not approve graduation without receiving the written exit survey.

Major Options

  1. Graduate preparatory option. MET 2700, 2101, 3300, 3502C, 4301, 4302, 4420, 4450, 4500C, 4501C; and any 4000 level statistics course or one approved by the undergraduate option committee.
  2. Applied option. MET 2700, 2101, 3300, 3502C, 4301, 4420, 4500C; and any 4000 level statistics course or one approved by undergraduate option committee; at least one of the following: MET 4302, 4450, 4501C; and at least seven (7) additional semester hours in approved technical elective courses.

In either option, a grade point average of at least 2.00 is required for all meteorology courses numbered 2000 or higher.

A major in option 1) must complete PHY 2048C, 2049C, and 3101. These three courses constitute a minor in physics. In option 2), PHY 3101 is not required except as a corequisite for MET 4450.

Required courses in mathematics include MAC 1113, 1140, and CGS 3460 or other approved programming course. The following courses that also are required of all meteorology majors constitute a minor in mathematics: MAC 2311, 2312, 2313; MAP 2302 or 3305. MAP 4341 or 3306 is required in option 1) but only as a prerequisite for MET 4302 in option 2).

The bachelor of arts (BA) degree can be obtained by completing the bachelor of science (BS) degree requirements plus additional courses required by the University.

Honors in the Major

The Department of Meteorology offers honors in the major to encourage talented students to undertake independent research. For requirements and other information, see the University Honors Program and Honor Societies section of this General Bulletin.

Requirements for a Minor in Meteorology

Requirements for a minor in meteorology must be discussed on an individual basis with a meteorology faculty adviser. Options are available and need to be matched to the student's academic background. A handout is available in the meteorology department. See the academic coordinator, 404 Love Building.

Class Attendance

The Department of Meteorology does not enforce the first-day attendance policy. Students missing the first day of any class will not automatically be dropped.

Definition of Prefixes

MAP - Mathematics: Applied

MET - Meteorology

OCP - Oceanography: Physical

Undergraduate Courses

ISC 3121. Science, Technology, and Society (3).

PSC 2800C. Earth Science for EC/EE Teachers (4).


SCE 4939r. Seminar in Contemporary Science, Mathematics, and Science Education (1).

Note: for descriptions of the above courses, see interdisciplinary science courses listed in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this General Bulletin.


MET 1010. Introduction to the Atmosphere (3). Structure of the atmosphere; weather processes and weather systems, including climatic processes.

MET 1010L. Introductory Meteorology Laboratory (1). Corequisite: MET 1010. Two (2) hours per week. Data analysis, instruments, and weather system models.

Introductory Courses for Majors

MET 2101. Physical Climatology (2). Prerequisite: MET 2700. Global distribution of principal climatic elements with emphasis on physical causes.

MET 2700. General Meteorology (2). Prerequisite: MAC 2311; Corequisite: PHY 2048C. Atmospheric structure and composition; weather and circulation systems; physics of atmospheric processes.

MET 3300. Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics (2). Prerequisite: MET 2700 with a grade of C or better; Corequisite: MAC 2313. Coordinate systems and forces, equations of motion, thermal wind, thermodynamic energy equation, general circulation, baroclinic disturbances, dissipation of kinetic energy, atmospheric transport of energy.

MET 3502C. Introduction to Synoptic Meteorology (1). Corerequisite: MET 2700. Taking standard meteorological observations, presentation of data in coded form, and analysis and display systems; use of facsimile and computer products for basic interpretation of the atmospheres state.

MET 3949r. Cooperative Education Work Experience (0). (S/U grade only.)

Required Courses for Majors

MET 4301. Atmospheric Dynamics I (4). Prerequisites: MET 3300; MAP 2302 or 3305. Corequisite: MET 4420. Acceleration in rotating curvilinear coordinates; momentum, continuity, and energy equations; geostrophic, gradient, and thermal winds; generalized coordinates; circulation and vorticity theorems; scale analysis; Reynolds stresses; Prandtl and Ekman layers; developing baroclinic systems.

MET 4302. Atmospheric Dynamics II (3). Prerequisites: MET 4301; either MAP 4341, 3306, or a grade of B- or better in MAC 2313. Linear perturbation theory; sound, gravity, and Rossby waves; numerical weather prediction; baroclinic and barotropic instability; energetics.

MET 4420. Atmospheric Physics I (3). Prerequisites: PHY 2048C, 2049C; MET 2700; MAC 2313. Classical equilibrium thermodynamics; first and second law, entropy, phase changes, potentials. Physics of moist air; physics of aerosols; condensation of water vapor on aerosols.

MET 4450. Atmospheric Physics II (3). Prerequisite: MET 4420; Corequisite: PHY 3101. Microphysics and dynamics of clouds; growth of ice crystals. Radiative processes in the atmosphere; radiative transfer equation, absorption by gases, Rayleigh scattering.

MET 4500C. Synoptic Lecture-Laboratory I: Basic Analysis Techniques (3). Prerequisites: MET 3300, 3502C; or consent of instructor. Corequisites: MET 4301 or 5311; MET 4420; CGS 2402 or other programming language. Analysis of scalar and vector fields, introduction to the three-dimensional structure of atmospheric systems, and thermodynamic diagrams.

MET 4501C. Synoptic Lecture-Laboratory II: Four-Dimensional Structure (4). Prerequisites: MET 4301 or 5311; MET 4420, 4500C; CGS 3460 or other programming language; STA 2122 or equivalent. Synoptic calculation and four-dimensional analysis of weather systems.

Elective Courses for Majors

MET 3520r. Current Weather Discussion (1). (S/U grade only.) Prerequisite: MET 3502C. Discussion of facsimile analysis and prediction materials. Three meetings per week. May be repeated to a maximum of four (4) semester hours.

MET 3940r. Weathercasting (1). (S/U grade only.) Prerequisite: MET 1010; or Corequisite: MET 2700. Practice in preparing and presenting weathercasts for radio and television. May be repeated to a maximum of four (4) semester hours.

MET 4130. Advanced Physical Climatology (2). Prerequisites: MET 2101; MAC 2312. Treatment of causes of climate in terms of physical, dynamical, and geographical factors.

MET 4159r. Selected Topics in Meteorology (1-3). Prerequisite: MET 2700. Corequisites: MET 2101, 3300; or consent of instructor. Selected topics in meteorology and climatology not covered in other courses. May be repeated for different material up to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.

MET 4400C. Meteorological Instrumentation and Observations (3). Prerequisites: PHY 2048C and MET 2700, both with a grade of C or better. Two (2) hours lecture, three (3) hours laboratory. Theory and practice of calibration and operation of basic sensors. Measurement of temperature, heat flow, fluid flow, pressure, and moisture.

MET 4900r. Honors Work (3). May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.

MET 4905r. Directed Individual Study (1-3). May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.

MET 4945r. Meteorology Internship (1-9). (S/U grade only.) Prerequisite: Instructors approval. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours. Supervised internship individually assigned to accommodate students background and objectives. Credit proportional to scope and significance of work.

Graduate Courses

Dynamical Meteorology

MAP 5431. Introduction to Fluid Dynamics (3).

MAP 6434r. Advanced Topics in Hydrodynamics (3).

MET 5311. Advanced Dynamic Meteorology I (3).

MET 5312. Advanced Dynamic Meteorology II (3).

MET 5340r. Large-Scale Atmospheric Circulations (3).

MET 5541r. Dynamical Weather Prediction (3).

MET 6308r. Advanced Topics in Dynamical Meteorology (3).

MET 6309r. Advanced Topics in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (3).

OCP 5253. Fluid Dynamics: Geophysical Applications (3).

Physical Meteorology

MET 5411. Radar Meteorology (3).

MET 5421. Radiative Transfer (3).

MET 5425. Advanced Atmospheric Physics I (3).

MET 5450. Advanced Physical Meteorology II (3).

MET 5455. Cloud Physics (3).

MET 5471. Planetary Atmospheres (3).

MET 6480r. Advanced Topics in Physical Meteorology (3).

Synoptic Meteorology

MET 5500C. Advanced Synoptic LectureLaboratory I (3).

MET 5501C. Advanced Synoptic LectureLaboratory II (4).

MET 5510C. Midlatitude Synoptic Scale Systems (4).

MET 5511C. Meso-Meteorology Lecture Laboratory (4).

MET 5533. Tropical Meteorology I (3).

MET 5534. Tropical Meteorology II (3).

MET 5540. Meteorological Prediction (2).

MET 5550. Statistical Weather Prediction (3).

MET 6561r. Advanced Topics in Synoptic Meteorology (3).


MET 5105. Global Climate System (3).

MET 5135. Dynamic Climatology (3).

MET 6155r. Advanced Topics in Climatology (1-3).

Other Courses

MET 5905r. Directed Individual Study (1-3). (S/U grade only.)

MET 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1-3).

MET 5910r. Supervised Research (1-9). (S/U grade only.)

MET 5920r. Colloquium: Topics in Meteorology Research (1). (S/U grade only.)

MET 5930. Masters Seminar (2).

MET 5971r. Thesis (1-6). (S/U grade only.)

MET 5979r. Supervised Teaching (1-9). (S/U grade only.)

MET 6906r. Directed Individual Study (1-3). (S/U grade only.)

MET 6930r. Doctoral Seminar (1).

MET 6980r. Dissertation (1-12). (S/U grade only.)

MET 8964r. Preliminary Doctoral Examination (0).

MET 8966r. Masters Comprehensive Examination (0).

MET 8976r. Masters Thesis Defense (0).

MET 8985r. Dissertation Defense (0).

OCP 5271. Turbulence (3).

OCP 5551. Physics of the Air-Sea Boundary Layer (3).

For listings relating to graduate course work for thesis, dissertation, and masters and doctoral examinations and defense, consult the Graduate Bulletin.


MICROBIOLOGY: see Biological Science