Mar 05, 2024  
2012-2013 Official General Catalog 
2012-2013 Official General Catalog [Archived Catalog]

PHS 114 - Meteorology: Investigating the Weather

Does Binghamton have some of the worst weather in the nation?  Is severe weather getting worse?  How accurate are the weather forecasts?  If you have ever wondered about these questions and others, this course will help you find these answers.  This introductory course intends to educate you on the fundamentals of the Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate.  Topics including: the atmosphere and its energy transformations, the seasons, atmospheric optics, water vapor, precipitation, and the wind are woven together to enable you to understand how weather works and what constitutes severe weather.  Other topics of study might include El Nino, ozone depletion and global warming.  You will participate in the act of doing science by investigating a weather topic.  After taking this course, you should have a better understanding of the science of meteorology, how science progresses, and why Binghamton has such cloudy weather.  Laboratory activities including weather data collection and analysis are included in this course.

Credits: 4
3 Class Hours, 3 Laboratory Hours
Course Profile
Learning Outcomes of the Course:

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

1.  Describe the layers of the atmosphere, both in chemical composition and temperature distribution.
2.  Define temperature, pressure, and humidity.
3.  Identify different types of meteorological instrumentation.
4.  List the types of precipitation and their causes.
5.  Describe the process of cloud formation.
6.  Identify different cloud types.
7.  Define lapse rates and their uses in meteorology.
8.  Describe the earth’s heat balance through convection, conduction, radiation, absorption, and scattering.
9.  Describe seasonal variations at different locations and state their causes.
10.  Describe the general circulation patterns of the earth, on both a large and small scale.
11.  Define the jet stream and its effect on U.S. weather patterns.
12.  List the air masses that effect the continental U.S.
13.  Describe cyclogensis, pressure systems and their formation with respect to fronts and their effect on our weather.
14.  Describe the conditions necessary for severe weather development.