Academics

student weather anchor on tv news.

Meteorology

Program Details

The discipline of meteorology is the study of the physical characteristics of the lower atmosphere and the processes that generate the weather. Students who complete the major will be exposed to concepts, methodologies, and practical applications related to both weather analysis and forecasting. The core of the degree includes courses in synoptic meteorology (study of atmospheric circulation, cyclonic rotation, weather forecasting, and weather map analysis) and dynamic meteorology (atmospheric gases and motions, and heat exchanges). Through this structure, students learn how to forecast weather and use the specialized equipment and reporting techniques associated with weather observations, weather radar, and remotely sensed information.

Student Activities

Special Opportunities in Meteorology

In addition to the in-class educational experience, students are involved with real-world applications of meteorology. Such applications include creating forecasts that are aired on local radio stations, delivering the weather segment of the television news on WWIR (on-campus TV station), posting weather forecasts on the Geography department’s website, and engaging in internships at a National Weather Service regional office or the weather department of television stations. The department has several instruments Department of Geography, College of Arts & Sciences facilities to enhance the student experience, including a weather station, weather radar, a weather laboratory, and a Computer/Geographical Information Systems (GIS) laboratory.

  • State-of-the-art Geospatial Technologies
  • Premium undergraduate education
  • Hands-on experience
  • Public speaking and presentation skills
  • Internship opportunities
  • Applied geography emphasis
  • Develop geospatial skills
  • Low student-teacher ratios
  • Courses taught by Ph.D.s
  • Senior capstone thesis project
  • Open-door policy
  • Strong dedication to success of students
  • Guaranteed valuable research experience
  • Conference attendance
  • Augmented reality
  • Internship in the GIS Center

After College

With completion of the degree in Meteorology, students will meet the National Weather Service (NWS) curricular requirements for employment as a meteorologist. Our graduates have been highly successful in finding employment in four areas:

  1. Weather Forecasting – Forecasting has always been at the heart of meteorology and has seen exciting advances, which aid in the ability to predict the weather. The largest employer of weather forecasters is the NWS, where meteorologists produce forecasts for the United States with sophisticated computer models.
  2. Atmospheric Research – Research meteorologists often work closely with scientists in basic physical disciplines such as chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as with oceanographers, hydrologists, and researchers in other branches of environmental science.
  3. Broadcast Meteorology – Broadcast meteorologists deliver their own local and national forecasts on television and radio.
  4. Private Sector Meteorology – Private forecasting organizations provide highly specialized forecasts for clients with very specific needs such as short-term, small-scale snow forecasts for city public works managers, weather reports for commodities traders who are concerned about the effects of weather on crop production and prices, and game-day weather reports for athletic events such as professional football games and golf tournaments.

Possible Careers

  • Digital Mapping
  • Disaster Response
  • Environmentalist
  • Urban Planning
  • Transportation Planning
  • Land Use Planning
  • Tourism Planning
  • Environmental Planning
  • Economic Development Planning
  • Public Health Planning
  • Historic Preservation Planning
  • GIS related Professions
  • Homeland Security
  • Utilities/Construction Company
  • Real Estate Business
  • International Business
  • Location or Geographic Analyst
  • Marketing Researcher
  • Remote Sensor Specialist
  • Public Education

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

METEOROLOGY (METR)

120 (Formerly GEOG 120) Introduction to Weather and Climate. (4) (General Education/Natural Sciences) Concepts and processes that govern weather and climate systems: solar energy distribution and seasons, world climates, temperature, humidity, wind and force balances, clouds and precipitation, stability, fronts, cyclones, and severe weather (including tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.). Laboratory. IAI: P1 905L.

220 (Formerly GEOG 220) Severe and Unusual Weather. (3) Study of severe weather causes and impacts on local communities. Apply current technologies and data sources to analyze winter weather events (blizzards, ice storms, etc.) and warm season events (thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, lightning, floods, hurricanes). Prerequisite: METR 120.

300 (Formerly GEOG 300) Weather Instruments. (3) A survey of the instruments and reporting techniques associated with standard weather observations, which will enable students to identify meteorological phenomena and report their occurrences in an understandable format. Prerequisites: METR 120 and MATH 133. 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

322 (Formerly GEOG 322) Synoptic Meteorology I. (4) Study of large-scale (synoptic) atmospheric circulations and the relationship between upper air circulation, vertical motion, and surface development, particularly cyclogenesis. Emphasis on weather analysis through observational data and computer models. Prerequisite: METR 120 and MATH 133.

327 (Formerly GEOG 327) Environmental Climatology. (3) This course deals with the mechanisms of heat flow, radiation exchanges, and water vapor flux and with the effects of climate on organisms, ecosystems, and human societies as well as changes in global environment. Prerequisite: METR 120 or consent of instructor.

329 (Formerly GEOG 329) Dynamic Meteorology I. (3) Examination of atmospheric thermodynamics and cloud processes, including hydrostatic equilibrium, equation of state, atmospheric moisture, adiabatic processes, the use of thermodynamic charts, precipitation development, and lightning mechanisms. Prerequisites: METR 322 and MATH 134.

333 (Formerly GEOG 333) Meteorological Data Analysis. (3) Various meteorological data analysis software packages will be used to enhance synoptic/ dynamics concepts learned in concurrent courses. These tools will be used to produce and present an analysis of a meteorological case study. Prerequisite or Corequisite: METR 322 or consent of instructor.

337 (Formerly GEOG 337) Understanding Climate Change. (3) This course introduces basic physical principles underlying climate change, time scales of climate change, the nature and the role of technology and computer models in the context of climate change research, and social and political dimensions of climate change. Prerequisite: METR 120 or consent of instructor.

422 (Formerly GEOG 422) Synoptic Meteorology II. (4) Quantitative treatment of dynamical and thermodynamical processes involved in synoptic meteorology. Evolution of fronts and cyclones, isentropic analysis, vertical cross sections, interpretation of satellite imagery and numerical model data, all in the context of theory and case studies. Prerequisite: METR 322 and MATH 134.

425 (Formerly GEOG 425) Satellite and Radar Meteorology. (3) The theoretical principles and application of satellites and radar in synoptic meteorology and climatology. Applications of satellite and radar imageries include clouds, wind, atmospheric water vapor precipitation, and storm prediction. The course includes operational procedures fundamental to weather radar. Prerequisite: METR 322 or permission of instructor.

429 (Formerly GEOG 429) Dynamic Meteorology II. (3) Examination of atmospheric fluid motion, including atmospheric kinematics, real and apparent forces, geostrophic and gradient winds, thermal winds, vorticity, quasi-geostrophy, and their application to numerical weather prediction. Prerequisites: GEOG 301; METR 322, 329; and MATH 231.

432 (Formerly GEOG 432) Physical Meteorology. (3) Examination of atmospheric radiation and chemistry, including optical effects, acoustical phenomena, tropospheric and stratospheric chemical processes, and how these disciplines combine to determine Earth’s radiative equilibrium. Prerequisite: METR 322 and MATH 133, or permission of instructor.

Contact

Department of Geography

Chairperson: Dr. Sam Thompson
Office: Tillman Hall 312
Telephone: (309) 298-1648
Fax: (309) 298-3003
E-mail: S-Thompson@wiu.edu

Geography Department Website
Geography Directory
Meteorology Advisor

College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)

Dean: Dr. Susan Martinelli-Fernandez
Associate Dean: Dr. James A. Schmidt
Interim Associate Dean: Dr. Kyle R. Mayborn
Assistant Dean (WIU—QC): Dr. James A. Rabchuk
Office: Morgan Hall 114
Telephone: (309) 298-1828
Fax: (309) 298-2585
E-mail: Arts-Sciences@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/cas

CAS Website

Website: Quad Cities Advising
outside of Morgan Hall