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AMS Weather Studies Course Information
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Textbook Highlight

Each chapter opens with a Case-in-Point, an authentic, relevant, and real-life event or issue that highlights or applies one or more of the main concepts covered in the chapter. In essence, the Case-in-Point previews the chapter and is intended to engage reader interest early on.

Chapter 12 (Tropical Weather Systems), for example, opens with a discussion of Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav and their impacts on the Gulf Coast. The Case-in-Point is followed by a sample Driving Question, a broad-based query that links chapter concepts and provides a central focus for that week’s study.


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Development for this course was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.

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Weather Studies: Introduction to Atmospheric Science


Weather Studies Textbook
  • Revised and updated science and topic coverage
  • New Enduring Ideas at the end of each chapter
  • Many new or significantly revised Essays
  • Updated review and critical thinking questions for all chapters
  • Greatly expanded collection of full-color photographs and line art

The American Meteorological Society is releasing the fifth edition of Weather Studies in fall 2012. This full-color, hardcover edition, authored by Joseph M. Moran, includes 15 chapters exploring the atmosphere from an Earth system perspective. In this fifth edition, we have updated the science and case studies, added new photographs and line drawings, and introduced QR codes enabling access to animations. New, expanded or significantly revised topics include the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere (Chapter 2), record low levels of ozone in the Arctic stratosphere (Chapter 3), atmospheric rivers (Chapter 6), acid deposition (Chapter 7), upgrade of weather radar (Chapter 7), La Niña of 2011 and associated weather extremes (Chapter 9), local and regional circulation systems (Chapter 10), the record-breaking 2011 tornado season (Chapter 11), derecho and bow echo (Chapter 11), Hurricane Irene (Chapter 12), and the role of feedback in climate variability and change (Chapter 15).

The Weather Studies text may be used in conjuction with the Investigations Manual and course website (license required) or by itself (license not required). If you are a faculty member interested in using the Weather Studies textbook in a current or future course offering, you may request an examination copy of the Text and Investigations Manual.

Orders for the Weather Studies textbook and/or other course materials should be placed through your college bookstore. Go to the Order Class Materials page for details. If you would like to order the Weather Studies text individually, please visit the AMS Online Store.

Brief Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Monitoring Weather (pg. 1) (copyright notice)
Chapter 2: Atmosphere: Origin, Composition, and Structure (pg. 27)
Chapter 3: Solar and Terrestrial Radiation (pg. 61)
Chapter 4: Heat, Temperature, and Atmospheric Circulation (pg. 105)
Chapter 5: Air Pressure (pg. 141)
Chapter 6: Humidity, Saturation, and Stability (pg. 165)
Chapter 7: Clouds, Precipitation, and Weather Radar (pg. 203)
Chapter 8: Wind and Weather (pg. 247)
Chapter 9: Atmosphere’s Planetary Circulation (pg. 277)
Chapter 10: Weather Systems of Middle Latitudes (pg. 321)
Chapter 11: Thunderstorms and Tornadoes (pg. 361)
Chapter 12: Tropical Weather Systems (pg. 403)
Chapter 13: Weather Analysis and Forecasting (pg. 439)
Chapter 14: Light and Sound in the Atmosphere (pg. 471)
Chapter 15: Climate and Climate Change (pg. 493)
Appendix I: Conversion Factors (pg. 543)
Appendix II: Milestones in the History of Atmospheric Science (pg. 545)
Appendix III: Climate Classification (pg. 555)
Glossary: (pg. 563)
Index: (pg. 595)

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