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Table of Contents

1. Course title

Cloud Physics


2. Course code


Aikaisemmat leikkaavat opintojaksot 53634 Pilvifysiikka, 5 op

3. Course status: compulsory

-Which degree programme is responsible for the course?
Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences

-Which module does the course belong to?
ATM300 Advanced Studies in Atmospheric Sciences (compulsory for Study Track in Meteorology)

-Is the course available to students from other degree programmes?

4. Course level (first-, second-, third-cycle/EQF levels 6, 7 and 8)

Master’s level, degree programmes in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine = secondcycle
degree/EQF level 7
Doctoral level = third-cycle (doctoral) degree/EQF level 8

-Does the course belong to basic, intermediate or advanced studies (cf. Government Decree
on University Degrees)?
Advanced studies

5. Recommended time/stage of studies for completion

-The recommended time for completion may be, e.g., after certain relevant courses have
been completed.


  • Can be taken in the early or later stages of studies. 

6. Term/teaching period when the course will be offered

-The course may be offered in the autumn or spring term or both.
-If the course is not offered every year, this must be indicated here.
-Specification of the teaching period when the course will be offered

  • Given every year in the spring term.

7. Scope of the course in credits

  • 5 cr

8. Teacher coordinating the course

  • Dmitri Moisseev

9. Course learning outcomes

-Description of the learning outcomes provided to students by the course
- See the competence map (

  • You will learn how clouds work and how cloud droplets and ice crystals form and grow
  •  You will understand how ice crystals evolve into diverse shapes and what a snowflake can tell about clouds above
  • You will also learn how precipitation develops in warm and colds clouds
  • Modern cloud and precipitation observation methods will also be introduced

10. Course completion methods

-Will the course be offered in the form of contact teaching, or can it be taken as a distance
learning course?
-Description of attendance requirements (e.g., X% attendance during the entire course or
during parts of it)
-Methods of completion

  • Exercises and final exam

11. Prerequisites

-Description of the courses or modules that must be completed before taking this course or
what other prior learning is required

  • Thermodynamics:  Suitable courses at the University of Helsinki are Atmospheric Thermodynamics (53604)

12. Recommended optional studies

-What other courses are recommended to be taken in addition to this course?
-Which other courses support the further development of the competence provided by this

13. Course content

-Description of the course content

  • Brief overview of thermodynamics and cloud macrophysics (cooling mechanisms, mixing and stability)
  • Cloud microphysics, formation of the liquid and solid phase, vapor-growth of liquid drops and ice crystals, growth by collection
  • Warm Clouds, evolution of supersaturation and precipitation formation 
  • Cold Clouds, ice initiation, glaciation, secondary ice production,  snow and cold rain 
  • Weather modification and cloud seeding, a brief introduction to aerosol-cloud interactions
  • Representation of clouds in numerical weather prediction models
  • Observations of clouds and precipitation

14. Recommended and required literature

-What kind of literature and other materials are read during the course (reading list)?
-Which works are set reading and which are recommended as supplementary reading?

  • D. Lamb and J. Verlinde, Physics and Chemistry of Clouds

15. Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

-See the competence map (
-Student activities
-Description of how the teacher’s activities are documented

  • Weekly lectures and exercises (individual work).  Total hours 135.

16. Assessment practices and criteria, grading scale

-See the competence map (
-The assessment practices used are directly linked to the learning outcomes and teaching
methods of the course.

  • Final grade is based on exercises (30%) and final exam (70%).

17. Teaching language

  • English