Course Outline for Meteorology 497
Senior Seminar
Spring 2014

Location: Shineman Center  380
Class Hours: MWF: 3:00 - 3:55 PM

Instructor: Dr. Skubis                                 Office: Shineman Center 341                             Phone: 312-2799

Course Description: Provides the Capstone experience for all meteorology students. An original research topic is chosen with several oral progress and draft written reports given during the semester. A component of the study will also include the result of hands-on research of meteorological data. The final written reports and oral presentations culminate the Capstone experience at the end of the semester. The talk will have an audience of faculty and students.

Prerequisites: Senior standing in the Meteorology Program.

Course Material:

a.) Selection of a broad topic.
b.) Using library and scientific organization's online resources to retrieve, search, and read journals and textbooks.
c.) Narrowing of the topic.
d.) Reading and discussion of technical papers.
e.) The creation of an annotated bibliography.
f.)  Development of an outline.
g.) American Meteorological Society (AMS) referencing and paper format.
h.) Writing the draft paper.
i.)  Oral progress reports.
j.)  Evaluation of the draft paper by professors and fellow students.
k.) Writing the final paper.
l.)   Putting together a presentation for a timed final talk with questions.
m.) Participate in the asking of questions during the presentations.


Written Draft: 10%
Oral progress reports: 5%
Final written paper: 60%
Final Talk: 25%

Office Hours: MWF: 4:00pm - 4:30pm, TTh: 2:30pm - 3:00pm and by appointment.

Calendar:    Link to schedule


Barrass, Robert, 1978: Scientists Must Write, Halsted Press, 175 pp. 
Katz, Michael, J., 1985: Elements of the Scientific Paper: A step-by-step Guide for Students and Professionals, Yale Univ. Press, 130 pp.
Rodrigues, Dawn and Myron C. Truman, 1999: Writing Essentials with Quick-Reference Coverage of Writing Online, 2nd Ed., Norton & Co., 204 pp.
Seitter, Keith L. and Arlyn S. Powell, Jr., 1992: "Authors' Guide' Bulletin American Meteorological Society, Vol 73, No. 8, p 51-532. AMS Authors' Resource Center (ARC)   AMS Author's Guide   AMS Author's Brief Guide     AMS Guidelines for Preparing References

The AMS has an official word Manuscript Template for AMS Journal Authors       Downolad AMSWordTemplate.doc

A self-made Microsoft Word document template for the AMS format can be downloaded here   Download

Place this file into your documents directory.  To create your new document with this template either left button double click or right click and choose New.  Now inside the document named document1 notice that clicking on the task bar Format and then Style... shows the proper styles.  Start typing in text and creating your paper and save the file under File Save As....  The template will stay with this document so simply edit the document.

A self-made Microsoft Word document in the AMS format describing the section layout can be downloaded here

Download Article_AMSlayout.doc

AMS glossary on-line

Trying to find an synonymous word or definition of a word use Microsoft's Word Thesaurus or connect to


In search for a journal article on the web



Oswego College Penfield Library


 Research Guides by Subject
 A-Z List of Databases & Indexes
 Journals and Newspapers by Title (electronic & paper)  «--------

Click on Subjects tab and choose science from drop down list.

Under Physics choose Meteorology. Climatology (~67)

Recommend going through Academic Search Complete or OmniFile Full Text Select

Instructions to access the journals 

American Meteorological Society (AMS)

AMS journals, 2 years or older, are available in pdf format from

Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences Journal of Climate
Journal of Applied Meteorology Journal of Hydrometeorology
Journal of Physical Oceanography Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Monthly Weather Review Weather, Climate, and Society 
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology Meteorological Monographs
Weather and Forecasting Earth Interactions

Advance search of AMS journals

Royal Meteorological Society (RMS)
Penfield Library Journal Collection, 2nd Floor / v.54 (1928) - v.124 (1998)

Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
International Journal of Climatology
Meteorological Applications
Atmospheric Science Letters

Left panel: Publications

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Earth Interactions
J. Geophys. Res. - Atmospheres
Penfield Library
09/01/2009 to present in Research Library (ProQuest)
J. Geophys. Res. - Oceans
J. Geophys. Res. - Earth Surface
Review of Geophysics

Left panel: Publications

Web sites to retrieve data or graphics

Iowa Environmental Mesonet - Iowa State University Department of Agronomy
Under RawData choose GEMPAK data archive; available going back to 2001.

National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and the Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL)

N. America soundings from 1994 to present.
  Radiosonde Database Access:

University of Wyoming N. America soundings
Text or graphical retrieval from 1973 to present       Radiosonde Database Access:

Case studies from 1993 to 2002 from the  NWS/COMET Web-Based Case Study Library:

NOAA Central Library U.S. Daily Weather Maps Project  (historical daily weather maps from 1871 thru 2002)

Climatic Diagnostics Center (CDC), interactive graphic generation and data retrieval of the

NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis I data
from 1948 to present:
The raw data, which requires a read program, can be acquired from
      try for instance:  Links to interactive plotting and analysis pages
NCEP-DOE Reanalysis 2 data from 1979 to present
North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) from 1979 to present (~32km resolution)

Choose data to plot at Earth System Research Laboratory: Physical Sciences Division (PSD)

Retrieve data and plot NCEP/DOE Reanalysis (Reanalysis-2) , CDAS-NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, NARR: North America Regional Reanalysis - BAMS dvd update, GFS, NAM, and more

Retrieve surface observation data from the National Climatic Data Center
Free access with .edu IP address

Satellite images
Satellite images back to 1980
Satellite images back to 1995
Satellite images back to 1996
NOAA's Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS) is an electronic library of NOAA environmental data. This web site provides capabilities for finding and obtaining those data (satellite data and more)

NEXRAD National Mosaic Reflectivity Images  1995 - current
Select: National Mosaic Reflectivity Images and then select the Day, Month, and Year for the desired image.

NEXRAD level II and III Radar data from 05/07/1992 - 02/20/2005 can be selected at the web link below and retrieved via FTP
The NEXRAD level III data can be put directly into GARP for viewing.

Data Support Section (DSS) of the Scientific Computing Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Unidata IDD Archive: Model Outputs, Observations
NCEP North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR)

Some data is free but most of the data must be retrieved by person holding an authorized computer account.

Mesoscale Microscale Meteorology NCAR/UCAR        Data back to 1996

Great Lakes water temperatures from 1994-present in data and graphic form

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
(GLERL) ftp site:
Login as
user:          anonymous

Or go to the web site

SPC National Severe Weather Database browser (Online SeverePlot 3.0)

National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC)
  Interactive snow infomation  2002 to present
  National Snow map

Job Opportunities in Atmospheric Sciences

Job listings at the National Weather Association
Job listings at the American Meteorological Society

NOAA's National Weather Service
List of ~300 Commercial Weather Vendor WEB sites serving the U.S.
The following link has a pruned list from the above site.  The criteria were sites with information on location and possible employment.

A Career Guide for the Atmospheric Sciences

Free Software Web sites:

A graphics software called irfanview to view and modify images (e.g., negate a saved GARP gif image in order to change the black background to white and save on ink, change the contour colors by accessing Image → Palette →  Edit palette or swap colors by accessing  Image → Swap Colors)

Recommend the download of

To animate a group of gif images as an animated gif file download unfreez.exe from
Simply place the executable file onto your desktop and execute by double clicking the icon.  Bring up windows explorer and simply drag the gif files from windows explorer to the unfreez window.  The placement of the files into the unfreez window, from top (start) to bottom (finish), is the same order the images will be animated.  A time saver is to drag a group of gif files over to the unfreez window with the cursor on the first file of the group.  A recommended delay time is 20 cs (centiseconds or 10-2 seconds).

This a a complete office suite called LibreOffice with nearly the same features as the Microsoft Office Suite. This software was purchased by Sun Microsystems in 1999 and given a name of StarOffice. Fews years back became open source and developed as OpenOffice. Recently changes to download LibreOffice for Windows or Linux  follow the link:   or

GNOME desktop Gnumeric spreadsheet software is an open source quality program

A recommended full package graphics software to create, view, and modify images is the GNU Image Manipulation Program or GIMP.
For the windows version of GIMP download  GIMP for Windows from the same web site.

To view postscript and pdf files and convert postscript to pdf or a graphics file download AFPL Ghostscript 9.02 and Ghostview 5.0.  Just link to the web site:

A recommended text editor for the Linux or Windows system is the Vim editor
Edit data files, compare files, and view and edit in hexidecimal.

An alternate equation editor for windows based word processors like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Word
Equation Magic Lite is an OLE-based equation editor for Win 95/98/NT/ME/2000.

Some Microsoft products
Microsoft's Power Point Viewer
Microsoft's Excel Viewer

Download an Excel spreadsheet to compute Meteorology major and overall GPA            Met_GPA.xls
Only enter the letter grades and the rest will automatically be created.

Download the most recent version of the Meteorology BS Degree General Outline      
⇒   Met_BSoutline.pdf

Senior Seminar 2004

Thompson, T., 2004: Lake effect snow: A case study for the lake effect snow event of Jan. 28-31, 2004.

Varner, E., 2004: Tornadoes and severe weather outbreaks: Two case studies of tornadoes, 3‑4 April, 1974 and 3 May, 1999.

Johnson, B., 2004: Ice Storms: A case study of the Northeast US / New England  ice storm of 4-10 January 1998.

Beiler, S., 2004: Lake effect snow on the Great Salt Lake of Utah, United States: A case study of the 25-27 February, 1998 lake effect snow event.

Senior Seminar 2005

Ingredients for Explosive Cyclogenesis Over the Great Lakes: A Life and Death Scenario for the Crews of Merchant Vessels,
 i.e., the Story of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Burnett, Katie

Acid Deposition in the Northeast and Factors Affecting Deposition.

Conselyea, Kaci

Gravity Waves: Stationary Gravity Wave Solutions Under Different Flows and Static Stability over the Northeast United States.
Fabrizio, Anthony

Ingredients for Lake Effect Snow and a Comparison of Models Case Study.
Ford, Kevin

The March 12-13, 1993 Superstorm:
The Dynamical Ingredients for a Powerful Coastal Storm.
Giglio, Robert

Hurricane Charlie 2004: An Unforecasted Rapid Intensification
and Dynamical Factors Favorable for Rapid Intensification.
Henson, Donovan

Climatology and Dynamical Ingredients for Low Level Jets.
House, Andrea

Hurricane Season 2004: How Florida Became a Bull's-eye.  
Factors Influencing the Genesis and Tracks of Tropical Cyclones.
Juda, Tracey

Understanding Hurricane Tracks and Intensities: Comparison of Hurricane Forecast Models and Factors Influencing Tracks.
Kozlowski, Joshua

Teleconnections: The North Atlantic Oscillation: Relation to Climate.
Dynamical Factors Controlling the NAO pattern.
Laakso, Andrew

Effects of Burn-scars in the Boreal Forest on the Local Climate: Radiation and Boundary Layer Mixing Influences.
Paiewonsky, Pablo

Case Study of the May 3rd, 1999 Tornado Outbreak and Tornadogenesis.
Pepe, Thomas

Formation of Sea-Breezes and Influences on Thunderstorms and a Case Study of  a Sea-Breeze and Supercell Development.
Rockwell, Jason

Elevated Convection: Dynamical Factors for Formation and Severe Potential, with a case Study on the April 18, 2004 New York State Severe Thunderstorms Outbreak.
Rowland, Sean

Climatology of New England Tornadoes and Case Studies of Significant Events
Tardif, Elliot

Fog Formation: Climatology and Necessary Ingredients with
A Closer Inspection of Advection Fogs.
Vrydaghs, McCall

Senior Seminar 2006

The Dryline and its Effect on Convective Initiation
Chris Thuman

Derechos: A Mesoscale Convective System
John Thomas

An Analysis of the Sensitivity of Model Simulations of Lake-Effect Snowstorms to Heat and Moisture Fluxes
Matthew Szwejbka

A Study on the Mount Saint Helens Volcanic Eruption
Holly Sobocinski

Modeling Sulfur Dioxide Dispersion in Rochester, NY with the ISC3
Sarah Payne

The Coupling of Upper Level Jet Streaks: A Case Study
Robert Schultz

A Closer Look at a New York Ice Storm
Brent Antkowiak

North American Monsoon
Chris Wilcox

The 2005 Hurricane Season: A Climate Perspective, Past and Present
Robert Metcalfe

Lake Effect Thundersnow Off of Lake Ontario
Michael Renzi

Superstorm 1993: The Perfect Atmospheric Conditions for the Strongest Blizzard of the 20th Century
Mark Molnar

Senior Seminar 2008

Improved Nor'easter Classification
Meredith Mandel

An Analysis of Snow Removal Techniques: Lake Effect Region vs Mid-Atlantic Region
Ryan Coyle

The Effects of the 1998 Derechos in the United States
Heather Binner

Economic Impact of Weather on Agricultural Commodities
Eric Wenke

Biases associated with Medium Range Forecasting from Numerical Models with regards to Northeast Snowstorms
Andrew Reynolds

An Analysis of the Validity of the Correlative Equation for the EF-Scale
Vanessa Richards

The Affects of Volcanic Eruptions on Long and Short Term Weather
Heather Turnbull

Modeling Atmospheric Blocking
Michael Kelleher

The Influence of Lake Ontario on Pollutants
Edward Townsend

Case Studies of Storm Surges
Griffin Perry

Erosion Along Long Island
Kevin Gambino

Global Warming and Lake Effect Snowfall Trends
Wes Butler

Notable Nor'easters Affecting Eastern New York State

Byron McMichael

Lake Effect Snowstorms in a Broader Meteorological Context
Jeremy Fuller

Upwelling and Mixing of Ocean Waters Caused by a Tropical Cyclone
Andrew Aizer

Weather Phenomena in Africa
Thomas Esterguard

Senior Seminar 2011

Mid-Atlantic Severe Weather
Jeff Boeckl

Lake Storm Carp and the Canadian Connection
Clint Chiodo

An Idealized Study of Supercell Intensification over a River Valley
Evan Duffey

Importance of Meteorologists during the Normandy Invasion of World War II, D-Day, June 6, 1944
Christina Faraone

A Study of the Fujiwhara Effect using a Shallow Water Model
Gary Frisch

Analysis of a Long-lived Tornadic Supercell
Keith Jaska

A Numerical Simulation of an Anticyclonic Supercell
Timothy Kress

A Case Study of the Interstate-75 Crash Due to Dense Fog
Matt Lezak

Philadelphia Urban Heat Island
Matt Mackowiak

Potential Available Wind Power at SUNY Oswego
Brittney Manzer

Forecasting Hurricane Eyewall Replacement Cycles
Charles Matthews

Tornadogenesis Associated With Landfall Hurricanes
Jeffrey McBride

Significant Tornadoes in New York
Drew Montreuil

Forecast Accuracy of Broadcast Meteorologists
Dan Perruzzi

Heat Conduction and Geothermal Energy
Dan Phoenix

Lack of United States Landfalling Tropical Systems during the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Brett Rathbun

La Niña Causes and Effects: What went Wrong in the Northeast this Winter Season
Brian Sabino

Wind Energy Potential from Air Flow around Tug Hill
Scott Shibley

Case Study of the July 28th, 1993 Severe Storms in Northeast Ohio
Anne Steigerwald

Senior Seminar 2012

A Long Lasting Lake-Effect Storm Event in the Buffalo Area, 12/24/2001 to 1/1/2002
Brendan Hammer

An Enhancement of the Saffir-Simpson Scale
Christine Stacy

The Hydrology Dynamics of the June 2006 Flood in the Susquehanna River
Lacey Pitman

Historic Severe Weather Outbreak of April 25-28, 2011
James Falkowski

Solar Energy in the Northeast United States: Feasibility
Laurel Zimmer

The Dynamics behind Redevelopment of Nor’easter Systems
Joseph Finlon

A Comparative Analysis to the Winter of 2011-2012
Sarah Plotycia

A Case Study of the Valentine’s Day 2007 Interior Northeast Snowstorm With Significant Meso-Scale Banded Snowfall
Michael Murphy

An Investigation of Two Late Season Tornadoes
Stephen Travis

Improving the WRF Model Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) Performance during the 02 February 2011 Snow Event
Sean Kliphon

Evaluating WRF Model Planetary Boundary Layer Schemes
Brittany Gibbons