12.307 | Spring 2009 | Undergraduate

Weather and Climate Laboratory


Project 3: Convection

In this project we enquire in to the nature of the convective process. We will simulate convection in the laboratory using a tank of water with a heating pad at its base and study convection in the atmosphere using thermodynamic diagrams.

Project Description (PDF)

Notes on relevant theory:

Convection of an incompressible fluid (PDF)

Convection in a compressible atmosphere (PDF)

Tank Experiment

A description of the Convection Experiment can be found at the Weather in a Tank Web site

Atmospheric Data

Dry convection

Example: Aberdeen, SD July 15-16, 2006 - Surface Map

Case Study: Yuma, AZ June 18, 2007 - see Surface Map


  • Altitude, Pressure, Temperature, and Dew Point data every two hours 
  • Station surface data including incoming solar radiation 

Create your own plots:

Moist convection

Example: Tallahassee, FL, April 14, 2008

Case Study: Charleston, SC April 13, 2008

Other links:

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Activity Assignments