Moisture in the air
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Moisture in the Air. Key Terms. Evaporation – the process by which water molecules escape into the air. Humidity – water vapor or moisture, in the air. Relative humidity – the percent of moisture the air holds relative to the amount it could hold at a certain temperature.

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Key terms
Key Terms

  • Evaporation – the process by which water molecules escape into the air.

  • Humidity – water vapor or moisture, in the air.

  • Relative humidity – the percent of moisture the air holds relative to the amount it could hold at a certain temperature.


Measuring relative humidity
Measuring Relative Humidity

  • Psychrometer – device used to measure relative humidity.

    • Consists of 2 thermometers.

    • One is covered with a moist cloth.

    • When air passes over wet cloth, water evaporates and temperature cools.


Measuring relative humidity1
Measuring Relative Humidity

  • Differences in temperature between 2 bulbs is used to determine relative humidity

  • Compare temp difference (degrees difference) to dry thermometer temp

    • Look up relative humidity in chart


Clouds
Clouds

  • Form when moisture in the air condenses on small particles of dust or other solids in the air.

  • Mixture in which particles of water are suspended in air.


Cloud formation
Cloud Formation

  • Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air.

  • As air rises it cools.

  • Air becomes saturated with water.

    • Holds maximum amount of water.

  • Water vapor in air condenses  clouds form.

    • Dew point – the temp. at which water vapor condenses.


Cumulus clouds
Cumulus clouds

  • “Fluffy” clouds

  • Flat bottom

  • Usually indicate fair weather

    • Can produce thunderstorms


Stratus clouds
Stratus Clouds

  • Smooth, gray

  • Cover the entire sky

  • Associated with light rain and drizzle

  • When close to ground  fog


Cirrus clouds
Cirrus Clouds

  • Thin and feathery, made of ice crystals

  • Can be seen in fair weather

  • May indicate that rain or snow will fall in several hours.

  • A.k.a. – mares’ tails


Special types of clouds
Special Types of Clouds

  • Cirrostratus -high-level clouds composed of ice crystals

    • can cover the entire sky

    • relatively transparent, as the sun or the moon can easily be seen through them

  • Cumulonimbus – thunderclouds

  • Nimbostratus - dark, low-level clouds accompanied by light to moderately falling precipitation


Precipitation
Precipitation

  • Water vapor that condenses and falls to Earth

    • Ex. – rain, sleet, snow

  • Formation:

    • Cloud droplets increase in size by colliding and combining with other droplets

    • Droplets become to heavy, and are pulled down by gravity


Snow

  • Forms when water vapor turns directly into a solid

  • 6-sided flakes (ice crystals)


Hail

  • Forms in cumulonimbus clouds

  • Small chunks of ice

  • Formed when water droplets hit ice pellets in clouds and freeze

  • Can be held in clouds by winds and grow in size before falling


Measuring rainfall
Measuring Rainfall

  • Rain gauge

    • Straight sided container with flat bottom

    • Collects rain over a given period of time

    • Usually measure in mm or cm


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