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This updated and enhanced seventh edition of ESSENTIALS OF METEOROLOGY is written by the most widely read and authoritative author in introductory meteorology-Donald Ahrens. Ahrens's ability to explain relatively complicated ideas in a student-friendly, manageable fashion allows even non-science students to visualize the principles of meteorology. The text's clear and inviting narrative is supplemented by numerous pedagogical features that encourage observing, calculating, and synthesizing information. New concept animation boxes direct students to online animations which help students to immediately apply the text material—and understand the underlying meteorological principles. A new icon directs students to Online Appendices which enable students to explore data such as world temperature extremes and precipitation extremes over a 30 year period. Suggested activities to interact with the data make it easier to assign student projects for developing critical thinking and quantitative skills using meteorological data.

C. Donald Ahrens, Modesto Junior College

Don Ahrens is Professor Emeritus at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, California. The bestselling author of two Cengage Learning texts, Professor Ahrens received the Textbook and Academic Authors Association's McGuffey Longevity Award for the 9th Edition of his market-leading METEOROLOGY TODAY. He has influenced countless professionals in the field of atmospheric science as well as hundreds of thousands of students who use his books to better understand weather and climate. In 2007, the National Weather Association awarded Professor Ahrens a lifetime achievement award for these accomplishments.
  • More on Scientific Method: A new Focus Box in Chapter 1 highlights Meteorology and the Scientific Method. In addition a new icon in the text directs students to a set of online appendices which enable students to explore data such as world temperature extremes and precipitation extremes over a 30 year period. Students are provided activities to interact with the data, thereby developing both quantitative and critical thinking skills context of the scientific method.
  • Icon for Online Appendices: A new icon now directs students to an online database of meteorological data and formulae making it easier for instructors to assign projects involving meteorological data analysis.
  • New Concept Animation boxes provide students a brief summary of important topics and refer the reader to a high quality animation to view and visualize the concept in action.
  • New Global Geoscience Watch Activities help students learn how to use an extensive database of meteorological articles and other materials that are updated several times a day and are available exclusively for users of this book.
  • A removable Cloud Chart allows students to identify clouds wherever they go and is particularly useful for outdoor projects.
  • "Did You Know" boxes focus on recent weather events and provide additional information on exciting weather phenomena. Interspersed throughout the text, "Did You Know" sections highlight interesting weather facts and recent meteorological events. Topics include the history of meteorology, temperatures in high atmosphere, sun burning and ultraviolet rays, gas laws, and atmospheric elevation.
  • In-text brief "Reviews" enable students to check their understanding of concepts before moving on.
  • Incorporating recent findings and events, the text includes new, revised, or updated material on such topics as the carbon cycle and latitudinal variation in energy balance; the seasons and the sun's position in the sky; relative humidity; North Atlantic oscillation and Arctic oscillation; thunderstorms, including supercell thunderstorms; Superstorm Sandy and other major weather events; recent climate change; and trends in air pollution.
  • Rich with features and easy to use, the PowerLecture presentation tool lets you quickly build media-enhanced lecture presentations using Microsoft® PowerPoint®. You can integrate dynamic models of meteorological processes into your lectures to engage your students-and help them cement their understanding. The DVD includes ready-to-use lecture outlines and templates; all art and figures from the text, which can also be printed and used as transparencies; animations of the text's Active Figures (available to students on CourseMate); videos on various hot topics; JoinIn student response slides; zoom and stepped art; and the Instructor's Manual and Test Bank in electronic format.
  • Global Climate and Climate Change chapters updated with latest reports and data. Reports and developments from the most recent Copenhagen Climate Council are integrated into the chapters on Global Climate and Global Change.
  • Did You Know Boxes extensively rewritten and expanded. This important learning feature points out important examples of weather events being discussed in the text. They are an integral part of the learn-by-observing weather approach developed throughout the text and a large percentage are being rewritten to reference more current weather events.
  • Global Geoscience Watch now offers a Meteorology portal. Adopters will now be able to bundle Geoscience Watch to gain access to a new Meteorology portal. This comprehensive online resource leverages expert perspectives of meteorological research, current coverage of weather events, and comprehensive news and research articles to offer a unique active learning opportunity for students.
  • Engagement Tracker:How do you assess your students' engagement in your course? How do you know your students have read the material or viewed the resources you have assigned? How can you tell if your students are struggling with a concept? With CourseMate, you can use the included Engagement Tracker to assess student preparation and engagement. Use the tracking tools to see progress for the class as a whole or for individual students. Identify students at risk early in the course. Uncover which concepts are most difficult for your class. Monitor time on task. Keep your students engaged.Interactive Teaching and Learning Tools:CourseMate includes interactive teaching and learning tools, including quizzes, flashcards, videos, animations, interactive eBook, and more. These assets enable students to review for tests, prepare for class, and address the needs of students' varied learning styles.
  • Thorough coverage features a topic presentation that moves from atmospheric elements, air temperature, and air pressure to atmospheric motion, cyclonic development, severe weather, and finally to climate and global change. The modular organization gives you the flexibility to cover chapters in any order you wish.
1. The Earth's Atmosphere.
2. Warming the Earth and the Atmosphere.
3. Air Temperature.
4. Humidity, Condensation, and Clouds.
5. Cloud Development and Precipitation.
6. Air Pressure and Winds.
7. Atmospheric Circulations.
8. Air Masses, Fronts, and Middle Latitude Cyclones.
9. Weather Forecasting.
10. Thunderstorms and Tornadoes.
11. Hurricanes.
12. Climate Change.
13. Global Climate.
14. Air Pollution.
15. Light, Color, and Atmospheric Optics.

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • ISBN-10: 1305221923
  • ISBN-13: 9781305221925
  • STARTING AT $23.99

  • STARTING AT $28.49

  • ISBN-10: 128546236X
  • ISBN-13: 9781285462363
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $142.50
  • RETAIL $189.95

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Instructor Companion Website

ISBN: 9781337112703
Everything you need for your course in one place! This collection of product-specific lecture and class tools is available online via the instructor resource center at You'll be able to access and download materials such as PowerPoint presentations, images, instructor’s manual, videos, and more.

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access

ISBN: 9781337112727
Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text’s test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.