Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Master's Degree Programme on SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES OF NAVIGATION
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
Second semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

Knowledge and ability to understand - The students shall prove that they have learned the concepts necessary for the desing of a weather forecast, as well as that they know how to interpret the numerical and experimental data available for the diagnosis and the prediction of meteorological conditions. Moreover, the students shall be able examining various scenarios, also different from those presented from the teacher during the course, and they shall be able to adopt the best approach to solve problems.

Autonomy of judgment - The students shall be able to carry out independently the exercises provided by the teacher.

Communication skills - The students shall have the ability to engage a discussion about the topics covered during the course by correctly using a scientific language.

Learning capabilities - The students shall be capable to update their knowledge, using text, scientific papers (also in english language), as well as web sites, in order to deepen the topics covered by the course.


Basics knowledge of Maths and Physics, oceanography and Meteorology


• Introduction;
• Tropospheric circulation; governing equations; thermal wind relation and temperature advection;
• Vertical motion estimates: the kinematic method; the adiabatic method; surface pressure tendency; divergence;
• Atmospheric boundary layer: genesis, structure, evolution;
• Relative and absolute vorticity; shear and curvature effects; vorticity equation; vorticity equation at synoptic scale; the barotropic vorticity equation and Rossby waves; downstream development;
• Quasi-geostrophic theory: the basic equations; quasigeostrophic vorticity equation; omega equation; interpretation of omega equation; quasigeostrophic height tendency equation; digging e lifting trough; examples;
• Isentropic analysis: construction and interpretation of isentropic chart; Representation of vertical motion on an isentropic surface; comparison between isentropic analysis and quasigeostrophic omega equation;
• The potential vorticity: definition according to Ertel; conservation of potential vorticity; the potential vorticity distribution and the dynamic tropopause; Upper-level and low-level potential vorticity anomalies; examples of synoptic analysis based on potential vorticity equation;
• Extratropical cyclones and anticyclones: the cyclogenesis according to the Bergen school; two-levels model; cyclogenesis: vorticity view; pressure view; PV framework; warm conveyor belts; cut-off; water vapour eddy; comma; explosive cyclogenesis: analysis of a case study; anticyclones;
• Fronts: definition and frontal properties; kinematic frontogenesis: the frontogenetic equation; warm fronts; cold fronts (katafront structure and anafront structure); occluded fronts (warm and cold type occlusions) ;
• Weather forecast: diagnosis and prognosis, primary and secondary charts; the ensamble method.

This course aims at providing the theoretical and practical knownledge for the design of a weather forecast. The course is structured into three parts. The first one deals with some basilar topics, related to the atmosheric general circulation, the governing equations and some fundamental concepts. The second part is focused on some dynamical tools, such as quasigeostrophic theory, the isentropic analysis and the potential vorticity. This is followed by a phenomenological presentation of cyclones and fronts, and by a description of the main meteorological charts and product used for weather forecast.

Teaching Methods

Frontal lessons


"Midlatitude Synoptic Meteorology (Dynamics, Analysis and Forecasting)", by Gary Lackmann, American Meteorological Society: Boston, MA, 2011, 345 pp., ISBN 978‐1‐878220‐10‐3;

"An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology", by James R. Holton, 2004;

"Manuale di Meteorologia Sinottica (Modelli Concettuali sull’area mediterranea)", Centro Nazionale di Meteorologia e Climatologia Aeronautica, 2006;

"Meteorology for Scientists and Engineers", second edition by Roland Stull;

lectures notes edited by the teacher.

Learning assessment

The exam consists of an oral examination aiming at veryfying the achievement of the previously defined educational goals.
Successful candidates must achieve a minimum evaluation of 18/30.
The autonomous capacity of reading and comprehension, the clarity and mastery of argumentations will also be evaluated.

More information

Lectures are in Italian. The professor is fluent in English and is available to interact with students in English, also during the examination.