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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3701 Modelling Extreme Weather Events

10 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Juliane Schwendike

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Pre-requisite qualifications for SOEE 3701 are:
SOEE1301 or equivalent including a post A-level module covering partial differential equations.

SOEE1400 or equivalent.


SOEE1301Intermediate Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical S
SOEE1400Intro Meteorology Weather Fore

Module replaces

SOEE3700 Practical weather Forecasting

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is a practical course, designed to enable students to run a state-of-the-art computer model for simulating extreme weather events called the Weather, Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Participants will run the model for two extreme weather events: a hurricane, which led to significant damage in the US, and an extratropical storm that brought high impact weather to the UK. We will analyse the model runs, visualize the model data, and use the plots to understand important aspects of these extreme weather events and their impacts. In addition, the model will be used to run a real-time weather forecast. Using the model output and other information sources, you will generate a weather forecast for the general public, and presenting this forecast will form part of the course. A short series of lectures describing the science behind modelling extreme weather events will support the practical sessions.


- to understand and appreciate the dynamical and physical processes of selected extreme weather events;
- to gain an understanding of the physical processes affecting extreme weather events and their representation in computer models of the atmosphere;
- to gain expertise in the critical analysis and appreciation of data provided from model simulations;
- to enable students to run a state-of-the-art computer model for extreme weather events;
- present complex meteorological data and forecasts to users, in written and televised formats.
- understand the value of forecasts to diverse users;

Skills outcomes
Skills Outcomes:
- the ability to use and run a state-of-the-art computer model of the atmosphere;
- to critically evaluate and analyse complex data produced by computer models of the atmosphere;
- to understand key characteristics of selected extreme weather events;
- to be able to use model output data to generate a forecast suitable for the general public, and to provide critical evaluation of the quality of the results;
- to improve scientific appreciation of the limitations of computer models of the atmosphere and the methods of obtaining a numerical solution of the equations;
- to understand the representation of atmospheric processes in the computer models.


Lectures on empirical and weather prediction techniques
- Lectures describing the basic science behind the modelling weather events
- Lectures on selected extreme weather events
- Classwork / practical sessions on running the WRF model and analysis software
- Specific application to extreme weather events and real-time weather situations
- Critical interpretation sessions of the data produced by the model
- Lectures on the representation of basic physical and thermodynamical processes simulated in computer models of the atmosphere.
- Lectures on the principles of broadcast meteorology and practical sessions presenting and recording a weather forecast.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours20.00
Private study hours50.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

20 hours independent online learning using the WRF model and running the example cases.

Private study:
- 20 independent study
- 15 hours report writing.
- 15 hours preparing weather forecast

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored by:
- Course work submissions
- Feedback during practical computer classes
- Peer assessment of progress within groups

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportProject Report 1500 words50.00
Oral Presentation3 minute forecast + 500 word scientific justification50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/07/2024


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