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Wind Belts

The general circulation of winds arises from the global redistribution of heat from warm low
latitudes to cold high latitudes, driven by the development of surface pressure gradients. Wind
blows from high to low pressure regions, although airflow is deflected by the Coriolis force as a
result of the Earth's rotation, and tends to follow more east-west trends rather than north-south
Air movement at or near the equator is light. At sea the region became known to sailors as the
Doldrums. Air from the subtropical zones in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres converges
here in a zone called the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). These low latitude wind belts
became known as the Northeast and Southeast Trades, which merchant ships used to cross the
Atlantic Ocean from Europe to the New World. In the Indian Ocean, Northeast Trade winds
blow throughout the winter months. During the Northern Hemisphere summer however, the
ITCZ is shifted well to the north of the equator, when the midday Sun is overhead at the Tropic
of Cancer at latitude 23.5° north. The Southeast Trade winds now cross the equator, and are
deflected to the right by the Coriolis force, forming the Southwest Monsoons. This summertime
airflow picks up considerable moisture crossing the Indian Ocean, and brings a heavy and
prolonged wet season to India and Southeast Asia through April to September, known as the
The temperate mid-latitudes are influenced by a stream of westerly airflow. In the Northern
Hemisphere the winds became known as the Southwest Antitrades, which prevail for much of
the year. In the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream enhances the warmth of the southwesterly air masses,
which influence the mild weather of the UK and Western Europe. This warm flow of air collides
with the Polar Easterlies from the Arctic region, generating a zone of cyclonic low pressure,
where frontal depressions frequently form. In the Southern Hemisphere, the westerlies are known
as the Roaring Forties, which blow more or less continuously around the Earth due to the
absence of significant landmasses.
Philippine wind system
These two types of wind are caused by different high and low pressure cells situated
near the islands. Wind flows from high pressure towards low pressure. Sometimes if
a high pressure is situated to the north and east of the island with low pressure to
the south or west, you end up with an east or northeast wind (Amihan). The other
way around for habagat.

El Nino/La Nina strongly influences which wind regime you are in. During El Nino,
high and low pressure set up one way, but in La Nina they set up the other way so
the winds are in different direction.

The direction of the wind also influences which parts of the islands get rain and
which parts get little or none. When wind is blowing upslope, it tends to enhance
rainfall, and on the other side of the mountain, it doesn't rain (rainshadow effect).
So these winds are important in deciding where rain is going to be plentiful and
where there is going to be little.

Cold front
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For the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, see Cold Front (Enterprise).

The symbol of a cold front: a blue line with triangles pointing in the direction of travel
A cold front is defined as the leading edge of a cooler and drier mass of air, replacing (at ground
level) a warmer mass of air.

• 1 Development of cold front
• 2 Precipitation
• 3 Temperature changes
• 4 Association with warm fronts
• 5 Formation
• 6 See also
• 7 References
• 8 External links

[edit] Development of cold front

The cooler, denser air wedges under the less dense warmer air, lifting it, which can cause the
formation of a narrow line of showers and thunderstorms when enough moisture is present. This
upward motion causes lowered pressure along the cold front. On weather maps, the surface
position of the cold front is marked with the symbol of a blue line of triangles/spikes (pips)
pointing in the direction of travel. A cold front's location is at the leading edge of the temperature
drop off, which in an isotherm analysis would show up as the leading edge of the isotherm
gradient, and it normally lies within a sharp surface trough. Cold fronts can move up to twice as
fast and produce sharper changes in weather than warm fronts. Since cold air is denser than
warm air, it rapidly replaces the warm air preceding the boundary. Cold fronts, are usually
associated with an area of low pressure, and sometimes, a warm front.
In the northern hemisphere, a cold front usually causes a shift of wind from southeast to
northwest, and in the southern hemisphere a shift from northeast to southwest. Common
characteristics associated with cold fronts include:
Prior to the Passing of While the Front After the Passing of the
Weather phenomenon
the Front is Passing Front
Temperature Warm Cooling suddenly Steadily cooling
Lowest, then
Atmospheric pressure Decreasing steadily Increasing steadily
sudden increase
Winds • Southwest to Gusty; shifting • North to west
southeast (northern (northern
hemisphere) hemisphere)
• Northwest to • South to west
northeast (southern (usually
hemisphere) southwest)
Thunderstorms, Showers, followed by
Precipitation/conditions* Brief showers
sometimes severe clearing
Increasing: Cirrus,
Clouds* cirrostratus, and Cumulonimbus Cumulus
Poor, but
Visibility* Fair to poor in haze Good, except in showers
Dew Point High; steady Sudden drop Falling

definition: A boundary between 2 air masses, 1 cold and the other warm
[edit] Precipitation

Illustration of a cold front

A cold front commonly brings a narrow band of precipitation that follows along the leading edge
of the cold front. These bands of precipitation are often very strong in nature, and especially in
the Spring and Summer months, can bring severe thunderstorms and/or tornadoes. In the spring,
these cold fronts can be very strong, and can bring strong winds when the pressure gradient is
tighter than normal. In the summer, cold fronts can cause severe thunderstorms and hailstorms,
but in the winter, cold fronts sometimes come through an area with little or no precipitation. In
the autumn months, cold fronts rarely bring severe thunderstorms, but are known for bringing
heavy, and widespread rainstorms. These rainstorms sometimes bring flooding, and can move
very slowly because cold fronts are more prone to slow movement in the fall. In the winter, cold
fronts can bring severe cold spells, and heavy snowstorms. If moisture is not sufficient, cold
fronts can pass without producing any precipitation at all, and the skies could be cloudless. Cold
fronts do not produce the moisture, it will just condense against the cold air into cloud and rain
droplets if there is enough water vapor in either airmass. Because the cold air wedges under the
warm air, it forces it to rise, creating instability. If moisture is sufficient, it will condense,
creating storms, clouds, and/or rain.
[edit] Temperature changes
Cold fronts are the leading edge of a frigid air mass, hence the name "cold front". They can bring
several cold spells in the fall (autumn) and winter. Very often, cold fronts are associated with
deadly cold weather. Sometimes, though, cold fronts have no significant effect on the weather.
The cold fronts in the late fall become more polar in nature, and tend to bring very cold weather,
and temperature drops by up to 30°F. When cold fronts come through, there is usually a quick,
yet strong gust of wind, that shows that the cold front is passing. The effects from a cold front
can last only a few hours to several weeks, depending on when the next weather front comes
through.The air behind the front is cooler than the air it is replacing. the warm air is forced to rise
so it cools. as the cooler air can not hold as much moisture as warm air, clouds form and rain
[edit] Association with warm fronts

Occluded cyclone example. The triple point is the intersection of the cold, warm, and occluded
Cold fronts are very often associated with a warm front, squall line, or other weather front. Very
commonly, cold fronts have an adjacent warm front that is ahead of the cold front. This is known
as an occluded front. This forms an area where warm air is occurring and interacting with the
cold front. In this area known as a warm sector. In the warm sector, very often severe
thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hailstorms occur, because of the sharp difference between the
warm air that is associated with the warm front, and the cold air that is associated with the cold
front. A cold front is considered a warm front if it retreats, and called a stationary front if it stalls.
[edit] Formation
Cold fronts form when a cooler air mass moves into an area of warmer air. The warmer air
interacts with the cooler air mass along the boundary, and usually produces precipitation.

Occluded front
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A cyclone in the early stages of occlusion

Occluded front symbol

An occluded front is formed during the process of cyclogenesis when a cold front overtakes a
warm front. When this occurs, the warm air is separated (occluded) from the cyclone center at
the Earth's surface. The point where the front and the occluded front meet (and consequently the
nearest location of warm air to the center of the cyclone) is called the triple point.[1]
There are two types of occlusion, the warm, and the cold. In a cold occlusion, the air mass
overtaking the warm front is cooler than the cool air ahead of the warm front, and plows under
both air masses. In a warm occlusion, the air mass overtaking the warm front is not as cool as the
cold air ahead of the warm front, and rides over the colder air mass while lifting the warm air.
A wide variety of weather can be found along an occluded front, with thunderstorms possible,
but usually their passage is associated with a drying of the air mass. Additionally, cold core
funnel clouds are possible if shear is significant enough along the cold front. Occluded fronts are
indicated on a weather map by a purple line with alternating semicircles and triangles pointing in
direction of travel. Occluded fronts usually form around mature low pressure areas.

Atmospheric pressure
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(Redirected from Atmospheric Pressure)
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"Air pressure" redirects here. For the pressure of air in other systems, see pressure.
Atmospheric pressure is sometimes defined as the force per unit area exerted against a surface
by the weight of air above that surface at any given point in the Earth's atmosphere. In most
circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused
by the weight of air above the measurement point. Low pressure areas have less atmospheric
mass above their location, whereas high pressure areas have more atmospheric mass above their
location. Similarly, as elevation increases there is less overlying atmospheric mass, so that
pressure decreases with increasing elevation. A column of air one square inch in cross-section,
measured from sea level to the top of the atmosphere, would weigh approximately 65.5 newtons
(14.7 lbf). The weight of a 1 m2 (11 sq ft) column of air would be about 101 kN (10.3 tf) .