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The Weather. Atmospheric Movement in Weather Change. Weather. The short-term (a few hours or days) condition of the atmosphere at a given location. Water and air move constantly---together they create WEATHER!

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The Weather

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Atmospheric Movement in Weather Change

  • The short-term (a few hours or days) condition of the atmosphere at a given location. Water and air move constantly---together they create WEATHER!
    • The weather of an area is due to four atmospheric factors: heat energy, air pressure, winds, and moisture.
  • Meteorologists are scientists who study and predict the weather

Earth's Atmosphere

Weather is the condition of

Earth’s atmosphere at a particular time and place.

composition of the atmosphere
Composition of the Atmosphere

Oxygen and nitrogen = 99% of dry air.

  • Carbon dioxide and argon make up most of the other one percent (1%).
  • The remaining gases are called trace gases because only small amounts of them are present.
composition of the atmosphere1
Composition of the Atmosphere
  • Nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere
    • Makes up a little more than three fourths of the air we breathe
    • Essential to living things
      • Most living things cannot obtain nitrogen directly from the air
        • Bacteria convert nitrogen into substances
        • Plants then absorb the nitrates from the soil and use them to make proteins.
        • Animals must eat plants or other animals.
getting energy

Getting Energy

All energy on Earth comes from the Sun


Radiation – is the absorption of energy.

Energy travels from the sun in electromagnetic waves. These waves are absorbed by the things on earth.


Heat is transferred to the air when the air touches the ground.

(Ground is warmed by radiation)


The warmer something gets the more energy its molecules have.

The more energy molecules have the faster they move.

The faster molecules move the more volume (space) they take up.


The solar radiation heats the surface of the earth.

Heat is transferred to air molecules that come in contact with the ground.


As the

Hot Air Rises…

Cooler air is pulled in from other places

Do you know what this is called?

air pressure
Air Pressure
  • Air pressure occurs as a result of the weight of the air pressing down on the Earth. Caused of course by Earth’s gravity.
  • A change in air pressure usually indicates a change in weather is going to occur.
  • A body of air that has similar temperature, humidity, and air pressure is called an air mass.

There is a column of air above you all the time. The weight of the air in the atmosphere causes air pressure.

Air pushes in all directions—down, up, and sideways


Does air get

warmer or cooler

as you go higher?


How is heat



the atmosphere?


As the air becomes less dense it rises

Ground warmed by radiation

increasing altitude
Increasing Altitude
  • Altitude, or elevation, is the distance above sea level
  • Air pressure decreases as altitude increases.
  • As air pressure decreases, so does density.
why does air pressure decrease as altitude increases
Why does air pressure decrease as altitude increases ?
  • If you are on the top of a mountain, the air pressure is lower because the column of air above you is shorter.
  • If you are at sea level, the column of air is taller (pushing down on you), and that means there is more air pressure.
An air mass with low pressure is likely to be stormy.
  • An air mass with high pressure is likely to be fair.
  • Air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure.
  • This movement occurs as the differences in air pressure cause wind.
the wind
The Wind

Winds are the result of uneven heating of the Earth’s surface

This uneven heating causes differences in air pressureto develop.

where does wind go
Where Does Wind Go?

Winds always blow from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure.

The closer wind is to the low pressure area the faster it blows.


Moves pressure systems from West to East.

Jet Stream

Atlantic Ocean

Pacific Ocean

Gulf of Mexico


Air Masses

Air masses are large bodies of air classified by their temperature (warm or cold) and amount of water (wet or dry).





Wet and

Warm Air