ESE 134: Cloud and Boundary Layer Dynamics


Prof. Tapio Schneider
CliMA House (516 S Catalina Ave)


Garratt, J. R., 1994: The Atmospheric Boundary Layer. Cambridge UP. [Excerpts available digitally from Caltech library (password required).]

Houze, R. A., 1994: Cloud Dynamics. Academic Press.

Stull, R. B., 1988: An Introduction to Boundary Layer Meteorology. Elsevier.

Wyngaard, J. C., 2010: Turbulence in the Atmosphere. Cambridge UP.

Supplementary Reading:

Vallis, G. K, 2019: Essentials of Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid DynamicsCambridge UP.

Emanuel, K A., 1994: Atmospheric Convection. Oxford UP.

Chris Bretherton’s lecture notes for the Boundary Layer Meteorology class at UW

David Romps’ lecture notes on Moist Convection from Les Houches summer school 2017

Teaching Assistants

Ignacio Lopez-Gomez
CliMA House (516 S Catalina Ave)
Zoom office hours: Tuesdays 3-4pm


Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-10:25am
Zoom ID 469851353 (password required)

Lectures Recordings and Notes
Available via Caltech Box (password required)


  • Homework 1 [PDF]

    Due Date: April 23
  • Homework 2 [PDF]

    Due Date: April 30
  • Homework 3 [PDF]

    Due Date: May 7
  • Homework 4 [PDF]

    Due Date: May 14
  • Homework 5 [PDF]

    Due Date: May 26
  • Homework 6 [PDF]

    Due Date: June 2

Grading Policy


  • Homework assignments: 70%
    • Homework assignments will be distributed on Thursdays and are due the following Thursday.
    • There will be about 6-7 assignments; 5 have to be completed.
  • In-class writing project: 30%.

Attendance and Participation
Attendance in the Zoom meetings is strongly encouraged. We will strive to make the class as interactive as possible.

Academic Integrity
In homework and writing assignments, you can consult any source you wish. But it is essential to cite the sources you used and give appropriate credit where you use another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words. You can find more information at:

Collaboration Policy
Collaboration on homework sets and on the writing assignments is strongly encouraged. Full discussion of the problem and solutions is allowed. This includes talking about the concepts relevant to the problem, as well as the details of the solution. However, you may not consult any prepared solutions for the problems, whether they are this years or from previous years, or from Caltech or external sources. Please cite all sources you used and state clearly with whom you collaborated. For the homework sets, please turn in individual solutions.

Schedule and Handouts

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Writing Projects

  • Paper


    Student/Presentation Date

  • Static stability

    Polina/Dave 4/15
  • Buckingham Pi theorem and the ideas behind similarity theory

    Emily/Alexandra 4/22
  • Growth of a nonprecipitating convective layer

    Dima/Clare 4/29
  • Overview of moist static energy and moist potential temperatures

    Costa/Ryan 5/6
  • Overview of stable boundary layers

    Matthew/Omar 5/13
  • Stratocumulus-cumulus transition: Overview of theory and observations.

    Julie/Yangcheng 5/20
  • Mesoscale convective systems

    Henry/Jordan 5/27

Class Feedback

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