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National Weather Service Shreveport The Atmosphere. The Atmosphere. Layers of the Atmosphere Air Pressure Transfer of Heat Energy Earth-Atmosphere Energy Balance Hydrologic Cycle. The gases that makeup the Atmosphere. Layers of the Atmosphere. Troposphere

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National Weather Service Shreveport

The Atmosphere

the atmosphere
The Atmosphere
  • Layers of the Atmosphere
  • Air Pressure
  • Transfer of Heat Energy
  • Earth-Atmosphere Energy Balance
  • Hydrologic Cycle
layers of the atmosphere
Layers of the Atmosphere
  • Troposphere
      • Lowest Layer
      • This is where we live
      • 8 to 12 miles in height
      • Weather occurs
      • Temp decreases with height
  • Stratosphere - Second lowest layer - Temp increases with height - Ozone (03) layer - Absorbs most of the damaging ultraviolet sunlight (UV-B)
  • Mesosphere - From ~30 to 53 miles up
  • - Temp decreases - Majority of meteors burn up
  • Thermosphere - Upper atmosphere 53 to ~430 miles up
  • - Very few molecules

Still would feel cold

Ozone Layer

upper air radiosondes
Upper Air - Radiosondes

Radiosondes are released from the inflation building and move up through the atmosphere (20 miles) sending back weather information along the way.

launch of a weather balloon
Launch of a Weather Balloon

The balloon with the radiosonde is launched twice 11z and 23z (GMT)...unless otherwise necessary.

air pressure
Air Pressure
  • Density of Molecules decreases with height.
  • Although the atmosphere goes up to 184 miles, half of the atmosphere is in the first 18,000 feet or 3.4 miles.
  • Less molecules (same composition) higher up makes it is harder to breath than at sea level.
  • Air Pressure is converted to Sea Level Pressure to observe surface low and high pressures. (otherwise the Rocky Mts. would be always be low pressure and the oceans would be areas of high pressure).
  • Pressure also dependent upon Temperature (We will perform an experiment on this)
draw isotherms
Draw Isotherms.

26.64 -- 902 Hurricane Katrina (2005)

2 experiments
2 Experiments
  • Crunch Time (5-10 min)
    • Effect of Heat on Pressure
    • Items used:
      • 2 empty 2-liter bottles
      • hot tap water
  • Go with the Flow (3-5 min)
    • Creating Low Pressure
    • Bernoulli’s Principle
    • Items used:
      • 2 empty soda cans
      • level surface
crunch time experiment
Crunch Time Experiment

Capped Bottle eventually collapsed. WHY?????

- Air inside that bottle cooled off

- Cooling takes place because the atoms inside the bottle loose energy as they collide with the bottle side that is exposed to the cooler surrounding air.

But why did it collapse…

- As atoms loose energy…their velocity decreases resulting in a decrease of pressure in the bottle.

- Since the pressure inside the bottle is less than outside…the bottle is crushed.

The uncapped bottle remains unchanged. WHY??

As air cools inside the bottle, outside air moves into the bottle to equalize the pressure on both sides.

go with the flow
Go with the Flow
  • Air flows from high to low pressure.
  • The air blown between the cans created an area of low pressure between the cans and induced high pressure surrounding the cans. This caused the cans to move from high to low pressure. This is known as Bernoulli’s Principle.
transfer of heat energy
Transfer of Heat Energy
  • Radiation
  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • The transfer of heat energy by electromagnetic radiation.
  • Earth is heated by this process. - various substances on earth (dirt, rocks, water, concrete, sand, etc.) absorb this energy and their heat level is raised. They transmit that heat through mainly convective heat transfer to the surrounding atmosphere, and eventually to us.
  • The transfer of heat energy from one substance to another or within a substance.
  • Very effective in heating metals
  • Air is a poor conductor.
  • The transfer of heat energy in a fluid.
  • Commonly seen in the kitchen when you see boiling water
  • Air in the atmosphere acts a fluid
transfer of heat energy summary
Transfer of Heat EnergySummary
  • Radiation
  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Max Min Temperature System (MMTS)
    • Thermistor
  • Cotton Region Shelter
    • Max and Min Thermometers
      • Alcohol (min)
      • Mercury (max)
the effects of clouds
The Effects of Clouds
  • Nighttime: clouds keep the earth warmer
  • Daytime: clouds keep the earth cooler
greenhouse effect
Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, for example) trap energy from the sun. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space and Earth’s average temperature would be about 60ºF colder. Because of how they warm our world, these gases are referred to as greenhouse gases.

Prevents heat loss mainly from convection (air movement carrying away the heat)

hydrologic cycle25
Hydrologic Cycle
  • Evaporation
    • change of water from a liquid to a gas.
    • Stepping out of a shower or swimming pool
  • Transpiration
    • evaporation of water from plants
  • Condensation
    • water vapor returns to a liquid (i.e., clouds, fog, mist, dew or frost)
  • Precipitation
  • Runoff
    • Excessive precipitation that cannot be absorbed by the ground.
  • Water Everywhere (10 min)
    • See Hydrologic Cycle in action
    • Items used:
      • sandwich bag
      • glass jar
      • hot tap water
      • ice cubes

A sunburn is caused by which method of heat transfer:

A.) Radiation

B.) Convection

C.) Conduction

D.) Visible Light

Answer: Radiation


The layer of the atmosphere where most of the world’s weather occurs is:

A.) Thermosphere

B.) Stratosphere

C.) Troposphere

D.) Hemisphere

E.) Mesosphere

Answer: Troposphere


At night, temperatures will normally be cooler under cloudy skies than under clear skies.

A.) True

B.) False

Answer: False


The brief cloud that forms when you exhale on a cold winter day was formed because of:

A.) Precipitation

B.) Convection

C.) Evaporation

D.) Condensation

E.) Runoff

Answer: Condensation


The hydrologic cycle is:

A.) Convection, conduction, condensation, Radiation

B.) Rain, Sunshine, Condensation, Flood

C.) Evaporation, Transpiration, Condensation, Precipitation, Runoff

Answer: C


If you feel the heat in the handle of a cooking pot, that heat was transferred to the handle by:

A.) Convection

B.) Conduction

C.) Radiation

Answer: Conduction


It is _____ to breath on top of a mountain than at sea level because there are ______ oxygen molecules at the summit.

A.) easier / more

B.) harder / more

C.) easier / less

D.) harder / less

Answer: harder / less

  • Jetstream website – Southern Region Headquarters , National Weather Service