This self-paced distance learning course introduces the power of dynamical thinking. To apply this thinking to the real-time atmosphere is a challenge, even to seasoned atmospheric scientists. This short course is your first step toward dynamical reasoning using satellite water vapour imagery.
Goals and Objectives
The learner will use WV imagery to:
- Identify the presence of vorticity centres, conveyor belts, and deformation zones
- Determine the relative height of those features within a system
- Create a three-dimensional mental model of the atmosphere depicted in the imagery
- Identify and predict vorticity maxima in order to predict areas of positive vorticity advection
- Identify and predict vorticity minima in order to predict areas of negative vorticity advection
- Identify the related axes of maximum winds, shear zones, deformation zones, and air masses
- Analyze the air masses and circulations
- Analyze the related paired and companion vorticity centers
- Analyze the related axis of maximum wind and wind maxima
- Analyze the location, orientation and shape of the deformation zone
- Define the physical characteristics of conveyor belts.
- Identify and locate conveyor belts on water vapour imagery.
- Estimate areas within a conveyor belt where airflow is staying on or leaving an isentropic surface.
- Define the three-dimensional airflow in each conveyor belt by:
- Indicating rising and sinking motions
- Locating the col/saddle point in the deformation zone
- Identifying the cyclonic and anti-cyclonic branches
- Locating the end of the cyclonic and anti-cyclonic branches
- Define the three-dimensional structure (heights) of conveyor belt tops.
Satellite imagery is a key stepping stone in making a full analysis of the three-dimensional atmosphere. When making forecasts based on those imagery, what is the framework for understanding the atmosphere? The answer is fluid dynamics.
Water vapour imagery brings the shallow-water model into plain sight. This short course helps you combine the water vapour channel with your understanding of fluid dynamics to bring a new point of view to your meteorological analysis. Jets, deformation zones, vorticity centers, and conveyor belts all play together in the shallow-water model that is our atmosphere, and this course will help you understand them and their interplay.
More MetEd lessons to help you expand your learning:
- Dynamic Feature Identification: Deformation Zone Distribution
- Dynamic Feature Identification: Deformation Zone Diagnosis
- Recognition and Impact of Vorticity Maxima and Minima in Satellite Imagery
Other resources to explore: