Essentials of Meteorology,
9th Edition

C. Donald Ahrens, Robert Henson

ISBN-13: 9780357857557
Copyright 2024 | Published
509 pages | List Price: USD $156.95

ESSENTIALS OF METEOROLOGY: AN INVITATION TO THE ATMOSPHERE, Ninth Edition, is written for students interested in gaining insights into the dynamic workings of the atmosphere. The authors' ability to explain even complicated ideas in an easy-to-understand way enables both science and non-science majors to visualize and understand important principles of meteorology. Online animations help bring text material to life and make it easier to understand the underlying concepts, and appendices offer the chance for in-depth exploration of meteorological data, such as world temperature and precipitation extremes over a 30-year period.


1. Earth's Atmosphere.
2. Warming and Cooling 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. Global Climate.
13. Earth’s Changing Climate.
14. Air Pollution.
15. Light, Color and Atmospheric Optics.

  • C. Donald Ahrens

    Don Ahrens is Professor Emeritus at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, California. 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 him a lifetime achievement award for these accomplishments. The bestselling author of two Cengage texts, Professor Ahrens received the Textbook and Academic Authors Association's McGuffey Longevity Award for the 9th Edition of his market-leading METEOROLOGY TODAY.

  • Robert Henson

    Robert Henson is a meteorologist and science writer at The Weather Company and a former science writer at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the organization that manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research. An expert on tornadoes, thunderstorms and hurricanes, he also has analyzed how TV weathercasters cover major storms and report on climate change. Henson is the author of four books on meteorology, including THE THINKING PERSON'S GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE (previously THE ROUGH GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE), which was shortlisted for the UK Royal Society Prize for Science Books.

  • Each chapter now opens with a succinct list of five to ten key concepts students need to master in the material to come, and subheads are tagged to help orient them to the sections relevant to each of these learning objectives.

  • A new opening section on the nature and importance of the scientific method is followed by a capsule summary of extreme weather events, including recent hurricanes and wildfires and the record-setting heat, cold and tornadoes in the U.S. in 2021. In addition, a revised “What Is a Meteorologist?” feature spotlights the diversity of meteorologists and their professional work.

  • The Ninth Edition references new phenomena such as the stratospheric polar vortex and sudden stratospheric warming; lightning megaflashes that can span multiple states; the recently introduced category of gargantuan hail; and the connections between warming temperatures, enhanced drying and wildfire risk.

  • Content on thermometers, barometers and other key instruments has been updated with enhanced material on modern, digital instrumentation, providing important coverage of current tools and technology alongside discussion of traditional analog instruments.

  • A new Focus box on satellite meteorology explores the many benefits of the enhanced, fourth-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

  • The text includes new, revised or updated material on such topics as the recent increase in massive wildfires across the U.S. West, the sequence of devastating Atlantic hurricanes from 2017 onward and several noteworthy extremes from 2021, including the deadly and costly Southern Plains cold wave of February, the unprecedented heat wave in the northwest United States and southwest Canada in June, and an onslaught of destructive tornadoes in December.

  • The rapidly evolving scientific and societal contexts of climate change are addressed throughout the text, with more definitive language used where confidence is greater. In addition, a dedicated chapter on climate change explores the findings and implications of the Sixth Assessment Report (2021-22) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • The text features a sequential structure and modular content, beginning with coverage of atmospheric elements, air temperature and air pressure, and proceeding to explore atmospheric motion, cyclonic development, severe weather and finally climate and global change. This flexible organization makes it easy to cover chapters in any order you wish.

  • Weather averages and extremes are presented in multiple ways to maximize student interest. For example, a visually appealing graphic portrays all-time high and low temperatures recorded in each of the 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Data from the newly updated U.S. database of climate norms (1981-2020) is also included throughout the text, and in discussing global heat records and other extremes, the authors emphasize the crucial importance of careful observing practices.

  • MindTap for Meteorology is a valuable interactive resource for today's digital learners, providing access to the entire text, as well as engaging animations, assessments and review materials.

  • In-text brief reviews enable students to assess their understanding of key concepts before moving on to subsequent material.

  • A detailed cloud chart allows students to compare and contrast cloud types at a glance and more readily identify clouds wherever they go. The chart is particularly useful for outdoor projects.

  • The instructor's companion site is a feature-rich, easy-to-use collection of helpful resources, including PowerPoint® presentations, an instructor's manual, test banks, the MindTap Educator Guide and more.

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.

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