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Compulsory for main focus meteorology: Clouds and Precipitation
Identification number

180 h

Term of studying
1. -3. Semester
Frequency of

Winter term

1 semester
1 Type of lessons
a) Lectures
b) Exercise
Contact times
30 h
30 h
Self-study times
60 h
60 h
Intended group size

Aims of the module and acquired skills

  • Understanding the role of clouds for meteorology and in the climate system
  • Knowledge of cloud microphysical processes
  • Understanding the mechanisms for precipitation formation and efficiency
  • Ability to interprete remote sensing observations of clouds and precipitation
  • Understanding the links of cloud physics with dynamic meteorology, atmospheric radiative transfer and climatology.
  • Computer practice for problem solving, critical assessment and discussion of scientific work presentation technique, time managagement
3 Contents of the module
  • Basic overview of clouds in the atmosphere
  • Thermodynamic concepts
  • Homogeneous & heteorogeneous nucleation; Köhler theory
  • Development of cloud droplet spectra (diffusional growth, collision-coalescence, entrainment, turbulence, breakup)
  • Ice nucleation, ice crystal habits and ice microphysical processes
  • Precipitation formation, thunderstorm development and life cycle, severe storms
  • Modification of clouds
  • In-situ measurements and remote sensing of cloud parameters including radar polarimetry
  • Representation of clouds in numerical weather prediction and climate models, e.g. DWD models COSMO and ICON
4 Teaching/Learning methods

Lectures and exercises - Excercises with compulsory attendance
5 Requirements for participation

Formal: None.

With regards to content: Basics of mathematics, physics and meteorology (mandatory)

Type of module examinations

Written Examination (graded)

7 Requisites for the allocation of credits

Successful participation in the exercises (50 % of the possible points have to be obtained) and passing of the examination.

At the end of the semester or the beginning of the following semester a possibility to repeat the examination is offered. A failed examination may be repeated twice. Additional possibilities to repeat an examination exist according to the examination regulations (§ 20 section 1).

Assessments which have been passed are not allowed to be taken again, with one exception: If at the end of a module which consists of a lecture and tutorial classes, the student takes the assessment at the first available date after having received admission to the module exam, he/she is then allowed to take the examination again at the next available date for the purpose of improving the grade, even if he/she passed the assessment the first time – in this case, the better of the two grades will count towards the final degree grade (§ 20 section 9).

The module mark is the grade obtained in the assessment. In the case of two passed assessments the module mark is the better grade
8 Compatibility with other Curricula
  • Other modules of equal value can be admitted and announced by the examination board after agreement.
  • Suitable as an elective course for mathematics, physics and geoscience students
9 Significance of the module mark for the overall grade

10 Module coordinator

S. Crewell
11 Additional information

Recommended Literature:

Rogers, R. R. & M. K. Yau, 1989: "A short course in cloud physics", 3rd Edition, Butterworth- Heinemann, Int. Series in Nat. Philosophy, Vol. 113

Further Literature:

Pruppacher und Klett, 1997: „Microphysics of cloud and precipitation“ AOS Library, Vol. 18, Kluwer Academic Publishers