Welcome to American Weather

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

negative-nao

What is the Best School to Learn about Weather?

52 posts in this topic

I would love to see a list of a good series of books to read for home study. I don't plan on returning to school, but I would like to read the kinds of textbooks a meteorology student would read. I was a freshman at my local Penn State campus back in the mid-90s, and I loved my Intro to Meteorology course. I even was a tutor for that class.

I still have my Meteorology Today Ahrens 5th edition. I plan to re-read that book, I'd like to know what to read next. Thanks to the internet, I can search online and find textbooks that would be required for certain classes, but I have no idea if they're good choices as far as books go or not. Also, I don't have any math experience beyond precalculus, so is it even worthwhile for me to pursue this as a hobbyist?

This is a good intro to meteorology book, and non-mets looking for a good intro book would do well with this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an alum of Plymouth State, figured I'd chime in. It's a terrific program with a strong reputation in the field. Its reputation is well established and the meteorology education I received there is second to none. Due to the small size of Plymouth, the met department really places an emphasis on a good student to faculty ratio, making it possible to interact with the faculty on a regular basis outside of classes. Many alumni from Plymouth have gone on to become very successful in the field gaining admission to top graduate programs in atmospheric science and obtained employment at the NWS, TV stations, and other private sector organizations.

Met classes at Plymouth really use the right mix of theory and forecasting. That said, I will say the program is a bit more operationally focused than some of the other met schools out there as there does seem to be quite an emphasis on forecasting and computer applications. The computer stuff is incredibly important nowadays in this field. Even if you don't learn it in your classes, definitely try to learn some programming in languages such as FORTRAN, Perl, and Shell. Met software apps like GEMPAK, GrADS, FX-Net, etc. are useful skills to know as well. In addition to its undergrad program, Plymouth has an MS in Applied Meteorology program, which really teaches you a lot of the computer apps and programming stuff. It is different from most grad programs in the field which really emphasize the theory more than anything.

The professors in the program are fantastic and care greatly for their students. The program is not easy in the least, but you will receive help if you ask for it. The facilities are great and the computing resources are at least as good as - if not better - than some of the big met schools. Plus, who could beat being located at the foot of the beautiful White Mts. of NH? There are ample outdoor opportunities (including top notch skiing) nearby and Plymouth is a great little New England town where people will actually hold the door for you and usually stop if want to cross the street (well, almost always). Some people may find Plymouth, NH to be a bit isolated during the winter months, but Boston is quick 2 hour scoot down 93.

There are lots of good schools to learn about weather at. It's really a matter of what the best fit for you is. If you want a big college football team to be proud of and that big school party scene, don't go to Plymouth. If you want a small, but top notch meteorology program in a great location, I would seriously look into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I appreciate the suggestions!

Along with the Holton and Wallace & Hobbs books...I'd recommend Atmospheric Physics by Salby. It's pretty much the 2 semester standard at most schools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Millersville State University in Pennsylvania is one of the best undergrad met programs in the country. The faculty are take an active role in developing the students in understanding the workings of the atmosphere, as well illustrating the interaction between the various earth sciences (air-sea interaction et al).

You never are a number at Millersville, as class sizes even in the Gen Ed's (Music and Culture, Physical Geography) are only 40 - 50 kids. Faculty are always willing to undertake research projects with students, and this is especially helpful if you plan on going to a masters degree. Also, the local AMS chapter has won several Chapter of the Year awards.

From a forecasting standpoint our weather center is a great place to relax after class and chat about current event in the weather world, as well as glean knowledge from the weather center director who has over 20 years experience!

Program information: http://www.millersvi...ci/meteorology/

School information: http://www.millersville.edu/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Millersville State University in Pennsylvania is the BEST undergrad met program in the country. The faculty are take an active role in developing the students in understanding the workings of the atmosphere, as well illustrating the interaction between the various earth sciences (air-sea interaction et al). From a forecasting standpoint our weather center is a great place to relax after class and chat about current event in the weather world, as well as glean knowledge from the weather center director who has over 20 years experience!

Program information: http://www.millersvi...ci/meteorology/

School information: http://www.millersville.edu/

No single school is the "best" (at least at the undergraduate level) so... no. Not that Millersville isn't a good school, but let's not get carried away here. We could all use superlatives in our descriptions if we felt the need to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will add to my above post that the program at Millersville seems to be moderately geared towards forecasting. We also have a forecasting class that is offered as an elective.

There is also a Broadcast Meteorology class which is taught by an on-air met from a local TV station. What more can you ask for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No single school is the "best" (at least at the undergraduate level) so... no. Not that Millersville isn't a good school, but let's not get carried away here. We could all use superlatives in our descriptions if we felt the need to.

Yeah, as I seem to say every couple of months when someone makes this thread, pretty much everyone is going to tell you how great their school is because most people enjoy their college experience. It's best to look at a bunch of schools, narrow down what you want (big school, small school, budget, close to home, etc.) and then visit, visit, visit. That's probably the best way to know what's right for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, as I seem to say every couple of months when someone makes this thread, pretty much everyone is going to tell you how great their school is because most people enjoy their college experience. It's best to look at a bunch of schools, narrow down what you want (big school, small school, budget, close to home, etc.) and then visit, visit, visit. That's probably the best way to know what's right for you.

Or apply to a bunch and visit the ones you get into, lol. I visited 2 schools in total before I made my decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or apply to a bunch and visit the ones you get into, lol. I visited 2 schools in total before I made my decision.

Yeah, I applied to three, got in, narrowed it to two, visited both, and ended up liking the one I didn't think I would much better than the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I get some advice on Meteorology books?

I just want to know what/where is the cheapest place/website to buy them? Because the school bookstore inflates the prices so much its ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I get some advice on Meteorology books?

I just want to know what/where is the cheapest place/website to buy them? Because the school bookstore inflates the prices so much its ridiculous.

They're typically cheaper online used at Amazon and other retailers, but they're still expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I get some advice on Meteorology books?

I just want to know what/where is the cheapest place/website to buy them? Because the school bookstore inflates the prices so much its ridiculous.

we would always check out the typical places like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc. for new books. If you are looking to just get the book, try half.com, which is run by ebay. You can buy and sell textbooks there, so you can get some really good deals if you don't mind them being lightly used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, as I seem to say every couple of months when someone makes this thread, pretty much everyone is going to tell you how great their school is because most people enjoy their college experience. It's best to look at a bunch of schools, narrow down what you want (big school, small school, budget, close to home, etc.) and then visit, visit, visit. That's probably the best way to know what's right for you.

That's how I arrived at PSU to be honest. It's the best school closest to home for me IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ill follow Quincy's format for Millersville from my perspective.

Dislikes:

  • The math department has a couple professors that are horribly difficult. Unfortunately, they are also among the few that teach the upper level math that you need (calc 2/3 and ODE). This may not be a totally bad thing though, because it forces to you to study extremely hard and by the end of the course you know your stuff. It also heps to separate the men from the boys early on.
  • Lancaster city is not the most friendly city in some parts. Not overly bad, but enough that I wouldn't advise walking alone.
  • I honestly cant think of anymore.

Likes:

  • Smaller program so there is never an issue of a class being too big or a professor being backed up with students to the point that they can not help you.
  • The professors are amazing. They will do anything for their students and they always have an open door policy. I have not once been turned away and even had professors stay AFTER hours to help me when my schedule would permit no other time or when the tutor session just went longer that expected. Between all of the professors, every major end of the field (thermodynamics, Boundary layer, mesoscale, synoptic scale, boundary layer, climate, and field research) is accounted for by a professor and each professor teaches the classes in their specialty.
  • The overall class unification is unreal. I know that this is going to sound cliché, but the students in the department are like one big happy family. Everybody knows everybody for the most part.
  • Research opportunities are plentiful and the department is actively involved in meteorological community research
  • There is a "campus weather service" which is run by a dedicated and decently respected forecaster who is always willing to share his knowledge.
  • Internships and job offerings are passed along to students regularly (at least 2 emails every week about an opportunity).
  • Students are encouraged and taken on field trips and to conferences when possible. Senior class goes on a pretty much paid trip to the national AMS conference every year and just last year the space weather class went to the space weather conference out in Boulder, CO. The Stat Met class goes down to NCEP for a full day tour every year (a lot of which is given by Uccellini himself). The radar class goes up to State College NWS.

Other non-school likes:

  • Not really in the middle of nowhere (contrary to popular belief). You are not to far from anything really.
  • There is a movie theater within a 10 minutes of campus.
  • There are many local eateries within easy walking distance of campus that reasonably priced and have amazing food.
  • Fast food chains and sit down chains are abundant within a 15 minute drive.
  • Bus takes you pretty much where ever you need to go for free or at the very least a $1.50 if you really need to go far.
  • Bus goes practically right to the AMTRAK and Greyhound station. You can usually get to Philly and Harrisburg for under $35 round trip I think.
  • One "uppity" bar within a 5 minute walk of campus (cant really speak for this one as its a little upscale for my tastes so Ive only been a couple times).
  • One "dive" bar called "Jack's" that is a mere 5 minute walk from campus. It is usually overrun by locals during the workweek that keep the jukebox going and the drinks are cheap (85% of all drinks are under $4 when they are NOT on special). The lighting is low and bartenders are friendly, but they also keep the place well under control. Simply put, its a good place to go for some cheap drinks with your friends.

great write-up. I loved my time at Millersville and would go back to do it all again in a heartbeat. I completely agree with what you said about the class unity and the professors. We even got the professors to come to some of our off-campus parties, which was a lot of fun. The students that you spend your time with make the experience. We used to develope Jeopardy type games before the big test and would sit in the classrooms and drill each other with questions until we all understood the material. 18 hour days were no uncommon, but it's not bad as long as you are having fun while doing it. best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys! Hopefully I can survive taking 7 classes this semester at Lyndon State College.

Modern Physics

Dynamics II

Analysis and Forecasting II

Remote Meteorology

Complex Analysis

Chemistry

GIS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, as I seem to say every couple of months when someone makes this thread, pretty much everyone is going to tell you how great their school is because most people enjoy their college experience. It's best to look at a bunch of schools, narrow down what you want (big school, small school, budget, close to home, etc.) and then visit, visit, visit. That's probably the best way to know what's right for you.

Yep. Always the centric responses. lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, as I seem to say every couple of months when someone makes this thread, pretty much everyone is going to tell you how great their school is because most people enjoy their college experience. It's best to look at a bunch of schools, narrow down what you want (big school, small school, budget, close to home, etc.) and then visit, visit, visit. That's probably the best way to know what's right for you.

EXACTLY! No one school is going to the best. It all has to do with the individual and what exactly they are looking for. As you said, the best thing to do is to get a list of a couple to a half dozen schools together and go from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great write-up. I loved my time at Millersville and would go back to do it all again in a heartbeat. I completely agree with what you said about the class unity and the professors. We even got the professors to come to some of our off-campus parties, which was a lot of fun. The students that you spend your time with make the experience. We used to develope Jeopardy type games before the big test and would sit in the classrooms and drill each other with questions until we all understood the material. 18 hour days were no uncommon, but it's not bad as long as you are having fun while doing it. best of luck!

LOL yes it is. Nothing like buying your prof ( who shall remain unnamed) a couple shots/drinks at the local bar on a weeknight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the Wallace and Hobbs suggestion (we are using it for my Physical Meteorology class).

I haven't taken Dynamics yet so I can't attest to any specific books, but the book we are going to use is Mid-Latitude Atmospheric Dynamics. Also, for my Thermodynamics class, we used Atmospheric Thermodynamics which I really thought was a good book and explained things well (although there is a fair amount of math in any of these books, of course...)

Both written by UW-Madison professors :D

I would definitely suggest UW-Madison to any high school seniors looking for a met degree. The curriculum is thorough, starting with dynamics/physics and building up to synoptic and mesoscale topics, there's specialized classes where you can conduct field or lab experiments, and class sizes are small (literally 10 people were in my synoptic class) so you get as much attention/help as you want. There's also alot of research opportunities, since there's way more faculty and researchers than students in the building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.