I am trying to learn meteorology through self-study. I have found quite a few lectures on YouTube, but they tend to be for non-scientists.

I have a strong engineering and physics background and am looking for a text that presumes you can think through thermodynamics. Many of the ones I can see a sample of online at Amazon sort of hide the real depth to help the reader not need to understand that sort of background.

Does anyone know of a good textbook that one would use at the undergrad level if you were trying to major in meterology, as opposed to a survey type course?

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    $\begingroup$ What part of meteorology? If you want a good general study, I'd recommend Wallace and Hobbes amazon.com/…. $\endgroup$ Mar 22, 2018 at 20:18

2 Answers 2


So meteorology is unique in that it changes depending on the scale and process. For a general taste of meteorology, I suggest Wallace and Hobbes. You may note similarities among most of my recommendations, but that may just be a bias from my personal experience.

One of the most problematic elements of meteorology is atmospheric dynamics. A common resource is Holton's book.

For thermodynamics, a common book used in my undergraduate studies was Bohren and Albrecht. Although you may have experience in thermodynamics, atmospheric thermodynamics is often treated differently, with different quantities. You may recognize some of the equations used, but the variables derived are used throughout atmospheric science.

For mesoscale (medium-sized) meteorology, Markowski and Richardson have a good book.

For atmospheric radiation, Petty has a basic book.

In my synoptic meteorology class, we were assigned this book, but I don't recall ever really using it. This book looks more comprehensive (in fact, I might get it for myself).

For boundary layer meteorology, try Roland Stull's book.


Wallace and Hobbes is a very good book for general aknowledge. I strongly recommend it. I study oceanograpy down in Brazil and my professor use it with us so we can get the main atmospheric concepts, but it is what it is: introductory. If you want to do real weather prediction efforts, you need to search for graduation courses in the area, since it is one of the most complexes sciences we have.


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