Synoptic meteorology practicum

Physics, Second Cycle
1 ali 2 year
Hours per week – 2. semester:

Completed course Dynamical Meteorology 1
Completed projekt homeworks and an oral project presentation is a prerequisite for the theoretical part of the examination.
Attendance of the course lecture and labs is mandatory.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Synoptic practicum consists of seven block, each lasting 2 weeks, and it is split into introductory theoretical part (lectures) and exercises based on weather maps, satellite images and other classical tools of synoptic analysis. Each block is completed by a project report and there is a final individual project presentation by students.
Synoptic weather maps: subjective and objective analysis of surface and upper-level maps.
Introduction to prognostic maps and post-processing of NWP model outputs. Thermodynamical stability analysis.
Atmospheric fronts and air masses: definition of fronts and air masses. Frontogenesis and frontolysis, frontogenetic function. Semi-geostrophic theory.
Analysis of frontal processes on synoptic maps.
Q vector and upper-level frontogenesis: definition of Q vector. Relationship between the Q vector, frontogenesis and synoptic-scale vertical motions.
Satellite imagary. Diagnosis of upper-level fronts and vertical motions on maps and satellite images.
Baroclinic waves and cyclonic development: Polar front and Bergen model of baroclinic development. Application of quasi-gesotrophic theory on case studies.
Influence of orography on large-scale atmospheirc circulation: Basics of general circulation of atmosphere and influence of orography. Stationary orographic waves. Vertical momentum transport.
Orographic lee cyclogenesis: theories of orographic lee cyclogenesis with focus on the Alpine lee cyclones. Application on weather maps. Synoptic climatology of the Alpine region and Slovenia.
Synoptic preconditioning of mesoscale processes: weather types in Europe and Meditteranean in associated mesoscale phenomena. Interaction of synoptic flow with mesoscale orography. Analysis of typical weather processes and extreme events.

  1. J.E. Martin: Mid-Latitude Atmospheric Dynamics. J. Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  2. J.R. Holton: An introduction to dynamic meteorology. Academic Press.
  3. H.B. Bluestein: Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology in Midlatitudes, Volumes I,II. Oxford University Press.
Objectives and competences

Application of theoretical concepts and models from Dynamics meteorology I course in the analysis of weather systems in midlatitudes.
Understanding and application of the concept of atmospheric front in synoptic analysis.
Development of ability for practical work with weather observations and outputs of prognostic models for the analysis of synoptic weather.
Basic understanding of the role of orography in large-scale circulation and interaction of synoptic flow with Alps. Synoptic climatology of Alpine and Mediterranean region.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: Application of theory and simplified models of synoptic-scale dynamics to interpret weather maps.
Understanding of mid-latitude weather systems based on data and model outputs.
Understanding of differences between simplified analytical solutions and real state presented on weather maps.

Application: Students will learn to recognize, define, and solve problems in atmospheric dynamics on synoptic scales as well as to recognize and discuss differences between theoretical solutions and real atmopsheric motions.

Reflection: The course builds systematic understadning of atmospheric dynamics on synoptic scales. Students are trained to recognize and analyze weather map based on underlying physical laws.

Transferable skills: Understanding of differences between simplified solutions and real state of a complex system. Understanding synoptic-scale weather development.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, discussion and training by using weather maps and satellite images, homework projects and students weather presentations.


A number of projects (7) to be delivered during the course, project presentation
theoretical examination
Grades: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (inagreement with the Statutes of the Univesity of Ljubljana)

Lecturer's references

SKOK, Gregor, BACMEISTER, Julio T., TRIBBIA, Joe. Analysis of tropical cyclone precipitation using an object-based algorithm. Journal of climate, ISSN 0894-8755, 2013, vol. 26, iss. 8, str. 2563-2579.
SKOK, Gregor, HLADNIK, Veronika. Verification of gridded wind forecasts in complex alpine terrain: a new wind verification methodology based on the neighborhood approach. Monthly weather review, ISSN 0027-0644, 2018, vol. 146, no. 1, str. 63-75.
SKOK, Gregor, ROBERTS, Nigel. Estimating the displacement in precipitation forecasts using the Fractions Skill Score. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, ISSN 0035-9009, 2018, vol.144, iss. 711, str. 414-425.
CEGLAR, Andrej, HONZAK, Luka, ŽAGAR, Nedjeljka, SKOK, Gregor, ŽABKAR, Rahela, RAKOVEC, Jože. Evaluation of precipitation in the ENSEMBLES regional climate models over the complex orography of Slovenia.
International journal of climatology, ISSN 0899-8418, 2015, vol. 35, iss. 9, str. 2574-2591.
ŽABKAR, Rahela, HONZAK, Luka, SKOK, Gregor, FORKEL, R., RAKOVEC, Jože, CEGLAR, Andrej, ŽAGAR, Nedjeljka. Evaluation of the high resolution WRF-Chem (v3.4.1) air quality forecast and its comparison with statistical ozone predictions. Geoscientific model development, ISSN 1991-959X, 2015, vol. 8, no. 7, str. 2119-2137.