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Weather

Air Masses, Fronts, Clouds, Storms

TermDefinition
Water Cycle a model that shows different processes that water goes thru as it’s cycled through the Earth
Evaporation liquid water that changes to a gas
Condensation water vapor that rises in the atmosphere, cools and returns to a liqui state
Humidity the measure of the amount of water vapor in the air
Relative Humidity the percentage of water vapor that is in the air compared to how much it will actually hold
Psychrometer measures the relative humidity in an area
Dew Point the temperature at which condensation begins
Cirrus wispy, feathery, “curly” clouds that form at higher altitudes
Stratus clouds that form in “sheets” or flat layers - usually lower in the atmosphere and gray in color
Cumulous clouds that are puffy and white and look like cotton - found above most stratus clouds
Rain Guage used to measure the amount of rain that has fallen - an open ended tube
Air Mass huge body of air in the lower atmosphere that is similar in temperature, humidity and air pressure - classified according to temperature and density
Tropical warm air masses from the tropics - ow air pressure air masses
Maritime air masses that form over oceans - very humid air masses
Polar cold air masses that form either north or south of 50 degrees latitude - high pressure air masses
Continental air masses that form over land - drier air masses
Jet Stream bands of high speed winds that generally blow about 10 km above earth’s surface that carry air masses from west to east
Front the boundary where air masses meet as large masses of air move across land and water
Occluded Front warm air masses are caught between two cooler air masses - temperature at the ground becomes cooler as cooler air moves beneath the warmer air - associated with cloudy, rainy weather
Stationary Front when a cold and warm air mass meet and neither can move the other - causes these masses to “stall out” - often brings rain, snow and fog for days until it moves out
Wam Front a fast moving air mass overtakes a slower colder air mass - if the air mass is humid, light snow or rain - may cause rain and snow for several days - warm and humid after the front passes
Cold Front a faster cold air mass pushes up a slower moving warm air mass - can cause heavy rains and thunderstorms - cause abrupt weather changes - can cause a drop in temperature of 15 or 20 degrees in just a few hours as it moves out
Cyclone form in areas of low pressure - winds swirl and are deflected so that they turn in a counter-clockwise direction (Northern Hemisoher) - associated with clouds, wind and precipitation
Anticyclone form in areas of high pressure - winds swirl and are deflected so that they turn in a clockwise direction (Northern Hemisphere) - associated with dry, clear weather
Storm violent disturbance in the atmosphere- involve sudden changes in air pressure
Storm Surge a “dome” of water that sweeps cross the coast as a result of a hurricane - can cause flooding - damage to property, beaches, and shorelines
Evacuate move away temporarily to avoid extremely dangerous conditions
Lightning a sudden spark or electrical reaction due to movement of positive and negative charged particles as they move from cloud-cloud, cloud -ground
Thunderstorm small storm usually associated with heavy precipitation, thunder and lightning
Hurricane tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 119 km/h - form in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa in the Northern Hemisphere
Cumulonimbus clouds that begin lower in the atmosphere but begin to build higher in the atmosphere - often form the shape of an anvil - produce thunderstorms
-nused timbus means rain
-alto means high
Hurricanes Form... over warm, moist water in a low pressure area - begin as a tropical disturbance - if wind speeds continue to increase, storms are upgraded - my become as strong as 320 km/h
Tornadoes Form... most commonly in thick, black cumulonimbus clouds - the same clouds that cause thunderstorms - can reach windspeeds up to 500 km/h