METR 5403/4403: Applications of Meteorological Theory to Severe-Thunderstorm Forecasting -- Spring 2017

Contact Information

Dr. Ariel Cohen

Office hours: Most MW 5:15 PM-7:00 PM, and by appointment
E-mail: Ariel.Cohen(AT)
CV: Click here

Richard Thompson

CV: Click here

Dr. Steven Cavallo

Office: NWC 5349
CV: Click here

Andrew Moore

Office: NWC 5115

General Information

Classes:Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00 PM-5:15 PM
Location:NWC 1313
Web page:
First class:Wednesday, January 18
Midterm exam 1:Wednesday, March 22
Midterm exam 2:Administered Wednesday, January 18 and collected Wednesday, April 5
Last class:Wednesday, May 3
Final exam:Friday, May 12, 10:30am-12:30pm
Prerequisites: Junior, Senior, or Graduate Student status in the School of Meteorology or with special permissions.


  • [1/18/17] Welcome to Spring Semester 2017! Click here for the class flyer!
  • [1/18/17] Rich Thompson's "The Meteorology of Tornado Forecasting" workshop: Click here for the recorded lectures and presentations.
  • [1/19/17] Office hours today 1:30-3:00 pm by the Flying Cow cafetorium.
  • [1/19/17] Videos from class yesterday are posted on the link provided on our class Facebook site.
  • [1/19/17] Monday's extra optional session with Rich Thompson will be in NWC 1313 8:20 PM-11:30 PM. Extra credit and pizza to be provided.
  • [1/19/17] Study buddy group assignments will be provided next week.
  • [2/1/17] Food and extra credit for those who attend "Operational Applications of Dual-Polarization Radar" by Joey Picca on Tuesday, February 21 from 6 PM to 9 PM.
  • [2/1/17] View Rich Thompson's videos from last week by the end of this month.
  • [2/2/17] Start bringing colored pencils to class next week! Manual analysis instruction with Steve Weiss is next week! Guidelines are provided in the "Important Documents" section below.
  • [2/6/17] Next Monday, we will start off class in the atrium by "Science On A Sphere" at 4 PM for our group photo with students and instructors. This is open to anyone involve in the class during the past few years, so spread the word to past students of this class!
  • [2/10/17] Monday's class, after the class photo, will now be in NWC 1350.
  • [2/10/17] On Monday, we will start off class in the atrium by "Science On A Sphere" at 4 PM for our group photo with students and instructors. This is open to anyone involve in the class during the past few years, so spread the word to past students of this class!
  • [2/10/17] Bring all manual analysis materials to class next week -- charts from Steve Weiss, colored pencils, erasers, etc.
  • [2/16/17] Class on Monday, Feb. 20 will be in NWC 3910. We will have a change in the lecturer. Andrew Moore will be teaching on Monday, and you will receive Homework 1 and Quiz 2 back. There will be pizza..
  • [2/16/17] Wednesday's class with Rich Thompson will now be a hands-on forecast-practice class. To accommodate this adjustment, you are to watch ALL 5 of his videos related to supecells and tornadogenesis prior to class on Monday, Feb. 27. This is an assigned requirement.
  • [2/16/17] Homework 2 is due on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
  • [3/15/17] Room change for Midterm Exam 1 on March 22: NWC 1350.
  • [3/15/17] Watch videos on the Statistical Severe Convective Risk Assessment Model (SSCRAM) by March 27.
  • [3/27/17] Midterm Exam 2 hint -- Problem 13: Zonal gradient in buoyancy implies that we are referring to gradient surrounding a given location.
  • [3/27/17] Assignments for Wednesday presentations on indices: Click here!
  • [3/29/17] Examples for Homework 3: Click here for Example 1! Click here for Example 2! Click here for Example 3!
  • [4/1/17] Class on Monday, 4/3, will extend until around 6:00 PM, though attendance after 5:15 PM is optional.s
  • [4/7/17] On Wednesday, April 12, student-teacher conferences will be held on the 2nd floor of the NWC. This will be our opportunity to exchange feedback on the course on a one-on-one basis. Come ready to discuss what participation score you think you have earned (out of 100 points), and how you can improve this score in the remaining weeks of class. Click here for the conference schedule.
  • [4/14/17] Wednesday of next week -- I have NWC 5600 reserved 6pm-9pm for us to practice the steps of analyzing surface and upper air charts. We can project observations to the board and then identify contours and boundaries. Food will be provided. Also, please let me know if there are any derivations you want to see again from earlier in the semester. While I realize they are recorded...if you want to see any with opportunities for questions, let me know and we can make some time. Also, we can talk about this more in class on Monday, but as far as an alternative time to the Final Exam -- I'm willing to consider an evening on Wednesday or Thursday during the week before Final Exams -- if we can get everyone together at the same time.
  • [5/2/17] Office hours today in the NWC atrium from 3:45 PM to 4:45 PM for the Final Exam.
  • [5/2/17] The Final Exam will be held in NWC 5600 on Wednesday, 5/3/17 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

    Important Documents

    Date OutHandoutComments
    01/18/17 Syllabus (Click Here) Includes semester schedule.
    01/18/17 Homework 1 (Click Here) Due Monday, February 13, 2017 at the beginning of class. In Problem 1, I'm asking you to consider the differences between the convective environments influenced by positively tilted troughs versus negatively tilted troughs. When I use the word, "attendant," I'm referring to "associated with." Then when I use the word, "equivalent," I'm referring to -- all else the same. In other words, imagine leaving all mass-field-driven kinematic patterns and thermodynamic patterns identical between the two cases, just adjust the tilt of the trough, and what happens to the convective environment?
    01/25/17 Spring Semester 2017 Group Assignments (Click Here)
    02/08/17 Chart Analysis Guidelines (Click Here) Guidelines for manual analysis of surface and upper air charts.
    02/13/17 Homework 2 (Click Here) Due Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at the beginning of class.
    02/28/17 MIDTERM EXAMINATION 1 STUDY GUIDE (Click Here) Happy Studying!
    03/29/17 Homework 3 (Click Here) Due Monday, April 10, 2017; Monday, April 17, 2017; Monday, April 24, 2017; and Monday, May 1, 2017 at the beginning of class.
    04/14/17 Updated Spring Semester 2017 Group Assignments (Click Here)
    04/20/17 Manually analyzed charts (Click Here)
    04/28/17 FINAL EXAM STUDY GUIDE (Click Here) Updated May 1, 2017.
    05/01/17 FINAL EXAM COVER PAGE (Click Here)


    PBL paper / Southeast cold season tornado environments -- relevant for A. Cohen's talk.

    Sanders and Doswell paper on surface analysis in preparation for map analyses with S. Weiss.

    The Statistical Severe Convective Risk Assessment Model -- relevant for J. Hart's lecture.

    The Challenge of Forecasting Significant Tornadoes from June to October Using Convective Parameters -- relevant for J. Hart's lecture.

    MWR review paper on reexamination of QG omega equation -- suggested by R. Edwards.

    "Tropical Cyclone Tornadoes: A Review of Knowledge in Research and Prediction" -- relevant for talk by R. Edwards.

    "Reversible CAPE in Tropical Cyclone Tornado Regimes" -- relevant for talk by R. Edwards.

    "Predicting the Movement of Mesoscale Convective Complexes"

    "Cold Pools and MCS Propagation: Forecasting the Motion of Downwind-Developing MCSs"

    Northeast U.S. Severe Thunderstorms

    Northwest Flow, Part 1

    Northwest Flow, Part 2

    Indices in severe-thunderstorm forecasting -- from NWS WFO Louisville.

    [OU Meteorology] [The University of Oklahoma]
    5/2/2017, Ariel Cohen