Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics

Lecture: George C. Craig

Wednesday10-12 A248
Thursday12-14 A248

Excercises: Kirstin Kober

Wednesday12-14 A248

Goal of lecture

This course offers an advanced treatment of the dynamics of the midlatitude atmosphere, emphasising the use of conserved quantities such as potential vorticity to gain insight into the behaviour of the complex dynamical system that is the earth's atmosphere.

Course Content

1. Equations of motion and the quasi-geostrophic approximation
2. Balanced flow and potential vorticity
3. Time-evolution and secondary circulation
4. Rossby waves and baroclinic instability
5. Turbulence and predictability


General Reference:
Vallis, G.K., Atmospheric and oceanic fluid dynamics (Cambridge University Press)

Simple treatment with lots of physical examples:
Jonathan Martin: Mid-Latitude Atmospheric Dynamics. Wiley, 2006

Supplementary material, emphasising links to theoretical physics:
Salmon, R., Lectures on geophysical fluid dynamics (Oxford University Press)

Supplementary material, emphasising mathematical rigour:
Majda, A., Introduction to PDEs and waves for the atmosphere and ocean (American Mathematical Society)

German language:
Etling, D., Theoretische Meteorologie: Eine Einführung (Springer Verlag)

Lexture Notes

A first draft of a script is available. Warning: there are still many errors!

Download as pdf

Papers referred to in lectures

Thorncroft et al.: Baroclinic Lifecycles

Ahmadi-Givi et al.: PV Analysis of a Cyclone

Slides used in lectures


General Circulation