During the past decade, the science of dynamic meteorology has continued its rapid advance. The scope of dynamic meteorology has broadened considerably. Much of the material is based on a two-term course for seniors majoring in atmospheric sciences.

This book presents a cogent explanation of the fundamentals of meteorology and explains storm dynamics for weather-oriented meteorologists. It discusses climate dynamics and the implications posed for global change. The new edition has added a companion website with MATLAB exercises and updated treatments of several key topics.

Key Features

  • Provides clear physical explanations of key dynamical principles
  • Contains a wealth of illustrations to elucidate text and equations, plus end-of-chapter problems
  • Holton is one of the leading authorities in contemporary meteorology, and well known for his clear writing style
  • Instructor's Manual available to adopters


  • A companion website with MATLAB® exercises and demonstrations
  • Updated treatments on climate dynamics, tropical meteorology, middle atmosphere dynamics, and numerical prediction


The primary market for An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, 5E in the US is as the top-ranking textbook for graduate and advanced undergraduate students taking relevant coursework in meteorology, atmospheric science, and oceanography. The secondary market for this title is as a reference for scientists practicing in the fields of atmospheric science, meteorology, geophysics, oceanography, and physics.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Dynamic Meteorology

1.2 Conservation of Momentum

1.3 Noninertial Reference Frames and “Apparent” Forces

1.4 Structure of the Static Atmosphere

1.5 Kinematics

1.6 Scale Analysis

Suggested References

Chapter 2. Basic Conservation Laws

2.1 Total Differentiation

2.2 The Vectorial Form of the Momentum Equation in Rotating Coordinates

2.3 Component Equations in Spherical Coordinates

2.4 Scale Analysis of the Equations of Motion

2.5 The Continuity Equation

2.6 The Thermodynamic Energy Equation

2.7 Thermodynamics of the Dry Atmosphere

2.8 The Boussinesq Approximation

2.9 Thermodynamics of the Moist Atmosphere

Suggested References

Chapter 3. Elementary Applications of the Basic Equations

3.1 Basic Equations in Isobaric Coordinates

3.2 Balanced Flow

3.3 Trajectories and Streamlines

3.4 The Thermal Wind

3.5 Vertical Motion

3.6 Surface Pressure Tendency

Chapter 4. Circulation, Vorticity, and Potential Vorticity

4.1 The Circulation Theorem

4.2 Vorticity

4.3 The Vorticity Equation

4.4 Potential Vorticity

4.5 Shallow Water Equations

4.6 Ertel Potential Vorticity in Isentropic Coordinates

Suggested References

Chapter 5. Atmospheric Oscillations: Linear Perturbation Theory

5.1 The Perturbation Method

5.2 Properties of Waves

5.3 Simple Wave Types

5.4 Internal Gravity (Buoyancy) Waves

5.5 Linear Waves of A Rotating Stratified Atmosphere

5.6 Adjustment to Geostrophic Balance

5.7 Rossby Waves

Suggested References

Chapter 6. Quasi-geostrophic Analysis

6.1 The Observed Structure of Extratropical Circulations

6.2 Derivation of the Quasi-Geostrophic Equations


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© 2013
Academic Press
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About the editor

Gregory J Hakim

Gregory J. Hakim is Professor and Chair of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. His research focuses on problems in climate reconstruction, predictability, data assimilation, atmospheric dynamics, and synoptic meteorology. He teaches courses in weather, atmospheric sciences, atmospheric structure and analysis, atmospheric motions, synoptic meteorology, balance dynamics, and weather predictability and data assimilation.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


"The book is very clearly and well written...the author succeeds in presenting the fundamentals while providing a motivating discussion on the full scope of dynamic meteorology and its applications." -Jorg Matschullat, Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Center, in ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY, VOL. 49, MARCH 2006 Praise for previous edition: “...reflects the full scope of modern dynamic meteorology, while providing a presentation of the fundamentals.” –BULLETIN AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY “The careful presentation of introductory material and clear discussion of dynamical principles make this an excellent basic account of dynamical meteorology.” –JOURNAL OF FLUID MECHANICS