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Mesoscale Meteorology

The atmosphere has various spatio-temporal scales. Scales of direct relevance to us are precisely mesoscale. Mesoscale phenomena are larger and smaller than those of the boundary layer and the dominating synoptic weather systems, respectively. Most mesoscale phenomena are familiar to us. The course presents in a didactive way the theory covering mesoscale.

The mesoscale course deals with weather phenomena of scales in the range 10-100 km, and therefore affects our daily life. The outstanding feature of the course is that it goes through all mesoscale phenomena ranging from sea breeze to convective storms. It provides the students with the right means to solve mesoscale problems.

The course is composed of a mixture of theory and practical. The practical part consists of two lab works based on computer modelling. One lab is on sea breeze, and the second lab is chosen among four topics, enamely, low-level jets, gravity waves, slope flows and flows into a basin. The course therefore enables students to discuss the dynamics of mesoscale phenomena, familiarize with numerical models and  interpret the obtained results.

The course opens the possibility to students to work with research groups working on the mesoscale phenomena in universities or national weather services. It also gives them a unique opportunity to work with organizations and companies, such as insurance agencies, that work on mesoscale phenomena.

  • Course structure

    Students with background in climate and atmospheric circulation (MO4001), boundary layer in the atmosphere and ocean (MO8010), and geophysical fluid dynamics (MO8009), can easily follow the course. The mesoscale course covers the theory of atmospheric dynamics on the mesoscale. It starts with a description of scales in the atmosphere, then presents semi-geostrophy and frontogenesis. Sea breeze, inertial stability, gravity waves and inertial oscillations are then presented. The course then presents orographically and thermally-driven flows including barrier, coastal and low-level jets, as well as slope flows. The course then ends with organized convection and storm dynamics.

    Teaching format

    The course is composed of lectures, slides presentation, tutorials and laboration, as well as home assignment. The lectures cover all the theory spanning mesoscale phenomena. The powerpoint presentations present results obtained from experiments and applications from numerical model simulations.

    To get acquainted more with the theory the lectures are complemented with tutorials in the form of corrected exercises and home assignments. The practical work consists of two computer labs. The first lab is about modeling see breeze, and the second lab consists of four topics covering low-level jets, gravity waves, slope flows and flow into a basin, which are chosen by one or more groups. Both labs are to be written and presented orally.


    Course material

    Grading criteria, course literature and other material and correspondence related to the course will be available on the course Athena-site at once you have registered for the course.


    The examination is done by a written exam covering the course content. In addition, home assignments and project work from the labs are included in the grading. The final grade is obtained as a weighted average of the written exam  (60%), home assignment (10%) and project work (30%). The passing grades are A-E, and the grade of each part has to be at least 50%. The project work is graded as a weighted average of the written report (70%) and the oral presentation (30%).


    Here is a link to a list of examiners for 2020:

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    You can search for schedules from previous years in TimeEdit, by entering the course code.

    Link to TimeEdit

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
    • Markowski, P., and Richardson, Y. 2010: Mesoscale Meteorology in the Midlatitudes, Wiley-Blackwell
    • J. Holton and G. Hakim , 2013: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, Academic Press.
    • Ray, P. S. (editor), 1986: Mesoscale Meteorology and Forecasting, American Meteorological Society
    • Blumen, W., 1990: Atmospheric Processes Over Complex Terrain, American Meteorological Society.


  • More information

    Upcoming courses

    The course is given every autumn semester.

  • Contact

    Student counselor

    Phone: +46 8 16 24 18