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Weather Systems & Cloud Types. Air Masses. Bodies of air that bring distinctive weather features to the country. A mass of air in air that is very uniform in temperature, pressure, and humidity. Polar = cold Tropical = warm Maritime = moist Continental = dry.

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Presentation Transcript
air masses
Air Masses
  • Bodies of air that bring distinctive weather features to the country.
  • A mass of air in air that is very uniform in temperature, pressure, and humidity.
    • Polar = cold
    • Tropical = warm
    • Maritime = moistContinental = dry
air masses layers of atmosphere
Air Masses & Layers of Atmosphere
  • May cover several millions of square kilometers and extend vertically throughout the troposphere
pressure of air masses
Pressure of Air Masses
  • Air Pressure = weight of air acting on an area
  • Warm Air has more KE and spreads out more.
  • Therefore, it’s less dense and has less weight .
  • This means less pressure.
  • Cold Air has less KE and spreads out less.
  • Therefore, it’s more dense and has more weight .
  • This means more pressure.
pressure systems
Pressure Systems
  • Uneven heating of the Earth’s surface causes differences in air pressure
    • Warm Air  Low Pressure System
    • Cold Air  High Pressure System
  • WarmAir Masses have high KE, spread out,
  • are less dense, and have LOWPressure.
  • The warm air evaporates water. It has high humidity Storms
  • ColdAir Masses have less KE, sink together,
  • are more dense, and have HIGH Pressure.
  • The cold air can’t evaporate water. It has low humidity Dry air
weather fronts
Weather Fronts

A front is the transition zone between

two air masses of different density.

Fronts extend not only in the horizontal direction,

but in the vertical as well.

wind patterns
Wind Patterns
  • Air flows from areas of high pressure into those of low pressure
  • Northern Hemisphere: air flow from areas of high to low pressure is deflected to the right; producing a clockwise circulation around an area of High pressure.
  • Counter-clockwise circulation around an area of Low pressure.
weather forecasting
Weather Forecasting
  • Tools Used:
    • Thermometer (temperature)
    • Barometer (pressure)
    • Hygrometer (humidity)
    • Radar (storm & cloud movement)
    • Satellite imagery (storm & cloud movement)
  • National Weather Service Boise Site:
  • http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/boi/
  • Weather Channel Site:
  • http://www.weather.com/
climate
Climate
  • Average of all weather conditions in area over a long time
    • Ex: temperature, precipitation
  • Climate is cyclically influenced by ocean currents & temperatures
    • El Niño & La Niña
  • These variations alter:
    • surface wind
    • surface ocean temperatures
    • deep ocean temperatures
climate cycles
Climate Cycles
  • Caused by variations in ocean currents & temperatures
    • Cycles occur every 3-7 years
    • El Niño: characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific
    • La Niña: characterized by unusually coldocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific
normal vs el ni o ocean temperatures
Normal vs. El Niño Ocean Temperatures

Unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific

Winters are warmer than normal in the Northern States &

cooler than normal in the Southern States

normal vs la ni a ocean temperatures
Normal vs. La NiñaOcean Temperatures

Unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific

Winters are cooler than normal in the Northwest &

warmer than normal in the Southeast

cloud characterization
Cloud Characterization
  • Clouds are characterized by:
    • Height above the ground
      • Cirro
      • Alto
      • Nimbo
    • Type of cloud
      • Cirrus
      • Cumulus
      • Stratus – any cloud type can form layers
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