This web site consists of three core parts:
a set of short articles about the atmosphere, organised by topic;
a number of good web links to weather and climates world-wide, organised by topic and by region;
real-time weather displays, showing almost all recent and current public-domain data .
This web site has been in development since late 1997. It started as a complement to Climates and Weather Explained, which consists of a book (432 pp, published by Routledge, 1997) and a CD-ROM. The book is intended as a convenient, non-technical introduction to atmospheric sciences, a field of study that has mushroomed over the last few decades, both in content and in relevance to mankind. The book alone provides a comprehensive survey.
However, the book is strengthened by considerable supplementary material on the CD-ROM. In structure and contents, the book and the CD are intertwined. For instance, the CD has multiple-choice questions and exercises for each chapter of the book. The chief feature of the CD is the set of 177 Notes, examining in more depth particular issues mentioned in the book. The Notes are generally aimed at a slightly more advanced audience, for instance many Notes contain equations. The book refers to the Notes where relevant, thus it provides the context for the Notes on the CD.
Now the book and CD are augmented by about 400 short articles (shorticles for short) on this web site. These shorticles are equivalent to Notes in design and purpose. The text of the shorticles is clarified by numerous illustrations and supported by journal references. Many shorticles summarise recent developments in atmospheric research. The shorticles are generally written by the authors of Climates and Weather Explained, although some have been written by other scientists, and there is an open invitation to contribute original shorticles. Some shorticles contain external web links, and an up-to-date list of web links to weather and climate information world-wide is organised separately.
The framework of Chapters and Sections is the common thread through the book, CD-ROM and web site. This web site also contains some advice on scientific report writing. The suggestions are the result of years of reading atmospheric science journals as well as student essays, and our analysis has been published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It is possible that this web site will mature into a key component of a second edition of Climates and Weather Explained.
About 800 visits to this web site were counted in 1998, and 2500 in 1999. Questions or suggestions about the web site or Climates and Weather Explained are always welcome.