NFYK16007U Dynamical models for climate and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)

Volume 2016/2017

M.Sc. Physics


This is a course on atmospheric dynamical modeling and related numerical weather prediction (NWP). I.e., the course focuses on all spatial scales larger than about 1 km. The course is intended for students who are interested in geophysical fluid dynamical (GFD) modeling with emphasis on NWP (i.e. time scales less than 1 month) and in the atmospheric component of climate modeling including regional climate modeling.


In more detail the course covers the following subjects:

  • The governing equations and approximations based on scale analysis
  • Waves and oscillations permitted by different sets of governing equations
  • Numerical methods and approximations. Stability
  • The dynamical core
  • Parameterization of un-resolved processes: radiation, convection, PBL …
  • Integrated atmosphere-aerosol-chemistry models
  • Data assimilation
  • Predictability and chaos
  • Ensemble forecasting
  • Validation
  • The atmospheric model component in climate / Earth system models
  • Regional climate modeling
  • Computational aspects


The course will include examples from the real world and in particular we will investigate the ECMWF IFS and the regional climate model HIRHAM.

Learning Outcome

The course will give the students an understanding of the design and application of GFD modeling with emphasis on atmospheric models in NWP, in climate modeling and for more theoretical studies in numerical experimentation.

The student will know how a dynamical atmospheric model operates, what its main components are, and for which applications it can be used. The students will also have insight in how atmospheric models are validated and what there limitations are.

This course will provide the students with a strong background for further studies within geophysical fluid dynamical modeling, not only of the atmosphere but also for the oceans since many features of the models are similar. After taking this course the students will have the needed introductory competence to start working in an NWP or climate modeling research lab.

The teaching material will be announced on Absalon. It is certain, though, that the material will include recent published papers.

Bachelor in physics or mathematics
Class room teaching with a mixture of lectures (traditional lectures, discussion hours and student presentations), numerical exercises including quantitative validation of actual weather forecasts, and theoretical exercises. There will also be an excursion to the DMI (Centre for Meteorological Models and the Danish Climate Centre)
Laptop is required. Restricted elective for specialisation in "Geophysics".
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Practical exercises
  • 14
  • Preparation
  • 135,5
  • Theory exercises
  • 14
  • Total
  • 206,0
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 minutes
The oral exam will be without aids in an unknown subject.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
more internal examiners

The same form as the ordinary exam

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome