In-class Quiz #2 will be administered at the beginning of class on Monday, March 12. It will be closed book, closed note, and closed computer (and other electronic devices).
You will have around 20 minutes to complete the quiz. Like the other in-class quizzes, it will be worth 3.33% of your course grade (after the worst of your four in-class quizzes is automatically dropped.)
The question(s) will be short answer, short essay, and/or simple meteogram analysis and interpretation. The question(s) might test nothing more than basic factual knowledge, but they might also test conceptual understanding, reasoning
ability, and perhaps your ability to communicate your understanding and reasoning.
We will begin covering new material as soon as the quiz is over.
Topics eligible for coverage on the quiz consist primarily of topics addressed in lecture, in lab sessions (not including lab activities themselves but including background information provided for them), and in reading assignments.
(The mechanics of preparing and submitting forecasts for the ongoing forecasting assignment will not be addressed by this quiz.)
Some topics addressed in lecture and/or lab include (follow links to handouts and supporting materials for details):
- Temperature patterns
- Patterns of solar radiation and explanations for them
- Effects of sun angle on insolation at the earth's surface
- Figure 2-1: Solar radiation intensity and sun angle: the "spreading out" effect [PDF file]
- Figure 2-2: Solar radiation intensity and sun angle: the "distance traveled through the atmosphere" effect [PDF file]
- things that can happen to solar radiation when it enters the atmosphere:
- reflection or scattering back to space;
- absorption (converting its energy into heat in the atmosphere); or
- transmission (passing through unaffected and reaching the earth's surface, where it could be reflected back to space or absorbed and converted into heat)
- Concept map summary of factors affecting insolation at the earth's surface
- Thought Questions on the Seasons (with responses added)
- Note that the two solstices and two equinoxes are defined based on the orientation of the earth's axis of rotation relative to the sun, and each of the four seasons (outside the tropics) are defined as periods between a solstice and an equinox. (For example, winter is the 3-month period between the winter solstice and the spring (vernal) equinox, while spring is the 3-month period between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.)
The significance of the solstices is that they are the days when the axis of rotation is oriented the most directly toward or away from the sun. (The equinoxes are half way between the solstices, when the axis of rotation is oriented neither toward nor away from the sun but rather to one side.)
On the days of the solstices at any particular location outside of the tropics, the angle of the sun above the horizon (sun angle) at solar noon is either at its highest or lowest for the year. (Within the tropics, the times of year when sun angles are highest and lowest are not the same as they are outside the tropics; for that reason, the concepts of "winter", "spring", "summer", etc. don't apply there.) Also, on the days of the solstices the number of hours of daylight are the greatest or least for the year. The combination of sun angle (affecting insolation) and number of hours of daylight help determine the total amount of solar radiation received by any particular location over the course of a full day.
- Because of the way that the seasons are defined outside the tropics (in terms of the days of the year of the solstices and equinoxes), fall and winter have the same average number of hours of daylight and solar noon sun angle, and spring and summer have the same average number of hours of daylight and solar noon sun angle. (This is perhaps counter to our intuition, but it's true!)
- Temperatures and other aspects of weather don't precisely follow the seasons. For example, on the average winter is colder than fall (though winter and fall have the same average sun angle and number of hours of daylight) and summer is warmer than spring (even though spring and summer have the same average sun angle and number of hours of daylight).
- Tornados in Indiana on Friday, March 2.
- Some fundamental physical principles that govern the way that the physical world behaves:
- Weather satellite images
- interpreting these requires understanding of basic laws of radiation and how electromagnetic radiation interacts with material objects (that is, stuff made out of atoms and molecules)
- concept of albedo (fraction or percentage of radiation striking an object that the object reflects)
- Types of Models that we use to understand and try to predict the behavior of the physical world [PDF file]
Relevant Reading Assignments
Relevant Clicker Questions
Assignments, Labs, Quizzes, Handouts, etc. |*|