Poster Session P2.132 What's New with the Online Textbook for Tropical Meteorology?

Thursday, 13 May 2010
Arizona Ballroom 7 (JW MArriott Starr Pass Resort)
Arlene Laing, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO; and J. L. Evans and M. Pope

Handout (289.6 kB)

The COMET Program ( is an established leader in providing multimedia education materials with an emphasis on mesoscale processes and phenomena. The rapid evolution of delivery technology for distance learning materials has enabled the COMET Program, under a multi-agency cooperative agreement, to develop cutting edge training in such a way that it not only serves our core sponsors, but also is freely available to both the academic and private sectors via the MetEd Website ( MetEd currently has over 550 hours of Web-based training in its continually expanding multimedia library with more than 100,000 registered users (~representing over 200 different countries).

In the past two decades, interest in tropical weather and climate has grown, in part, because of the widespread impact of tropical phenomena such as hurricanes, ENSO, as well as land surface changes. Within this period, our understanding of the tropical atmosphere and its interaction with the ocean and land has expanded greatly. Meanwhile, undergraduate education has been challenged by the lack of an appropriate tropical meteorology textbook that integrates the new knowledge. At the same time, new technology has expanded opportunities for learning. In response to the need, the COMET program launched an online tropical meteorology textbook, Introduction to Tropical Meteorology.

Chapters appear as they are completed at This Web-based tropical meteorology textbook covers fundamental science of the tropical atmosphere and synthesizes the tremendous increase in our knowledge of tropical meteorology during the past two decades. Each chapter is reviewed for scientific accuracy and appropriateness of academic level by scientists and professors with expertise in diverse aspects of tropical meteorology.

Completed and anticipated chapter topics for 2010 include, Tropical Remote Sensing Application; Tropical Cyclones; Tropical Variability; Distribution of Moisture and Precipitation; Mesoscale and Local Weather Systems; Global Circulation and the Tropics; Observations, Analysis, and Prediction of Tropical Weather. The latter chapter has a special focus section on the Australian-Indonesian Monsoon as well as interviews with tropical forecasters from the National Hurricane Center in Miami and the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in La RĂ©union.

A variety of methods and strategies are used to teach the content, including graphics and animations, interactive exercises, focus areas, case studies, review questions, and quizzes. Each section of a chapter has links to additional resources that augment the material. The book may be used as a traditional textbook in its printed form while sections of the online version may be used as laboratory exercises or for independent learning. While the book is aimed at undergraduate students who have completed introductory meteorology and who know basic thermodynamic and dynamic meteorology, it is also a resource for early graduate students, professionals, and anyone interested in tropical weather and climate.

by on 12-1-2009-->

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner