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Weather Fronts. Concept 1: Fronts are where active weather occurs Concept 2: Temperature is dependent upon the air mass present. Maritime air masses assemble over oceans:

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weather fronts

Weather Fronts

Concept 1: Fronts are where active weather occurs

Concept 2: Temperature is dependent upon the air mass present

slide2

Maritime air masses assemble over oceans:

-maritime tropical air masses-form over the ocean near the equator and bring hot, humid summers or stormy winters if they bang into cold, northerly air heading south.

-Maritime polar air masses-form over the Pacific Ocean and the North Atlantic. They carry cool, moist air.

  • Continental air masses build over land:

-continental tropical air masses occur in the summer and form over Mexico. They bring hot air to the southwestern states.

-continental polar air masses form over northern Canada and may cause the mercury in the thermometers to drop down.

When the sun pumps lots of heat into Earth’s atmosphere, it creates air masses with many different temperatures and humidities. As these masses bump and jostle each other, they create weather. Meteorologists define air masses by where they form.

points of contacts between air masses are called fronts
Cold fronts

Warm fronts

  • If a cold air mass overtakes a warm air mass, a cold front forms.
  • Usually moves from northwest to southeast;
  • If a warm air mass overtakes a cold air mass, a warm front forms.
  • A warm front usually moves from southwest to northeast.
Points of contacts between air masses are called fronts.
slide4

Rainstorms and snowstorms-result from the collision of different fronts;

  • A blizzard results when wind speeds exceed 56 km/h and the temperature is less than -7 degrees C.
  • Thunderstorms form when a cold front moves in and meets a warm front.
  • Spinning air masses called cyclones form when cool air swoops in to replace rising warm air in a region of low pressure (result: bad weather); anticyclones bring clear, dry and fair weather.
  • Cyclones called hurricanes form powerful storms over tropical oceans.
  • Whirling funnel clouds over land called tornadoes form in low cumulonimbus clouds.
Strong cold fronts moving quickly into warm, moist air often result in strong storms and yield a variety of severe weather conditions.
weather forecast

One way meteorologists identify air masses is to chart relative temperatures;

  • Points with the same temperature are connected with a line on the weather map;
  • These lines of equal temperatures are called isotherms;
  • After the weather data has been collected, meteorologists are able to plot and to interpret this information to make a skilled weather forecast.
Weather forecast