Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: NS-MO402M
Dynamical meteorology
Course infoSchedule
Course codeNS-MO402M
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / LevelM (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Science; Graduate School of Natural Sciences;
Contact persondr. A.J. van Delden
dr. A.J. van Delden
Feedback and availability
Other courses by this lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. A.J. van Delden
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
SEM1  (05/09/2016 to 03/02/2017)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotD: WED-afternoon, Friday
Study mode
Enrolment periodfrom 30/05/2016 up to and including 26/06/2016
Course application processOsiris
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Post-registration openfrom 22/08/2016 up to and including 23/08/2016
Waiting listNo
  1. Reviews the basic equations that are used to describe the physical state of the atmosphere.
  2. Gives an overview of conceptual models of the structure of the atmosphere and associated “weather systems”, such as cloud and precipitation systems, jets, the polar vortex, the tropical Hadley circulation, mid-latitude cyclones and associated thermal fronts.
  3. Introduces theoretical concepts such potential temperature, potential vorticity, thermal wind balance, hydrostatic-, inertial- and baroclinic- instability, equivalent potential temperature, frontogenesis and potential vorticity inversion.
  4. Discusses waves, from sound waves to Rossby waves, and wave propagation in the atmosphere.
  5. Uses the quasi-geostrophic approximation to present a theory of the formation of mid-latitude cyclones
  6. Introduces the Q-vector and the omega-equation to give insight into the formation of large scale layered cloud and precipitation systems and to interpret the life-cycle of mid-latitude cyclones
  7. The student is required to do a case studying in which she/he formulates a hypotheses, collects appropriate data, analyses this data in order to test his/her hypothesis, and presents the results of this study in an oral presentation and a written report

Introduction into the theory of motions associated with weather systems in the atmosphere. The principal processes that will be discussed are wave motions associated with compressibility, gravity and rotation, motions associated with adjustment to hydrostatic, geostrophic and thermal wind balance and motions associated with hydrodynamic instability. Potential vorticity and frontogenesis are central concepts. Examples of weather systems that will be discussed are seabreeze circulations, thunderstorms, fronts and cyclones.

Entry requirements
You must meet the following requirements
  • Assigned study entrance permit for the master
Required materials
Recommended materials
Lecture notes (
"An introduction to dynamical meteorology", fourth edition (2004) by J.R. Holton, Academic Press.
Python (laptop)
Instructional formats


Test weight100
Minimum grade5.5

There two exams and one retake. The student has the obligation to give an oral presentation on a case study

Kies de Nederlandse taal