Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science




Meteorologists devote their lives to one purpose: to forecast the weather. But many other scientists work to build our understanding of the atmosphere, which is the basis for better prediction that meteorologists can use. Atmospheric science is the foundation upon which all meteorology is based.

Just as with all other physical sciences, mathematics is the language of atmospheric science. If you had our first-year meteorology course, you learned about weather forecasting and some of the physical basis behind the forecasts. This course will introduce you to even more physical concepts of atmospheric science and some of the mathematics that describe and quantify those physical concepts.

You have learned some of the mathematics that you need for this course and will be learning more about vectors and vector calculus soon. In this lesson, we will practice some of the mathematics. You will also prepare an Excel workbook that will help you with some of this course’s assessment problems.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • correctly use significant figures, dimensions, and units
  • solve simple problems using integral and differential calculus
  • prepare and use a course Excel workbook for course calculations 


If you have any questions, please post them to the Course Questions discussion forum. I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.