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Meteorology. Pg.75. Causes of weather. Greek meaning of meteor- high in the air Types of atmospheric meteors: Hydrometeors- cloud droplets and forms of precipitation Lithometeors - smoke, haze, dust, and other condensation nuclei Electrometeors - thunder and lightning. Climate vs. weather.

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Causes of weather
Causes of weather

  • Greek meaning of meteor- high in the air

  • Types of atmospheric meteors:

    • Hydrometeors- cloud droplets and forms of precipitation

    • Lithometeors- smoke, haze, dust, and other condensation nuclei

    • Electrometeors- thunder and lightning


Climate vs weather
Climate vs. weather

Weather is the current state

Climate is the long term variations in weather

Climate is usually measured over the course of 30 years


Distribution of radiation
Distribution of radiation

Sun’s rays are more spread out when they strike at a lower angle

Why its cooler in the morning and evening than mid-day

Same amount of energy is spread out more

Poles receive less radiation


Balancing radiation
Balancing radiation

continual motion of air allows for distribution of heat and radiation

tropics are able to maintain constant temperatures instead of constantly rising

Any type of weather changes brings redistribution of heat energy


Air masses
Air masses

When air over a warm surface is warmer than surrounding air and stays for a long period- air mass

Takes on the characteristics (including temp) of the area over which it forms

The area is called the source region

Can form over land or water

Over land-drier air masses


Classifying air masses
Classifying air masses

  • Warm and dry continental tropical (cT)

  • Warm and humid maritime tropical (mT)

  • Cold and dry continental polar (cP)

  • Cold and humid maritime polar (mP)

  • Arctic (A)

    • Same as continental polar but much colder

    • Associated with high pressure


Source regions
Source regions

All 5 air masses are found in North America

mP- forms over North Atlantic and North Pacific; primarily affects the west coast

cP- forms over interior Canada and Alaska; frigid winters but pleasant spring and summers because dry

mT- Caribbean sea and Gulf of Mexico; brings hot oppressively humid weather to eastern US and Canada

cT- desert Southwest and Mexico; hot and dry

A- develops over latitudes above 60o N in Siberia; during winter receives almost no radiation


Air mass modifications
Air mass modifications

Stability of an air mass is important- factor in ability to produce clouds

When an air mass moves to another location, it takes on new characteristics of source region

Undergoes air mass modification

Eventually loses all characteristics of original region