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Meteorology Notes

What is meteorology?
atmospheric phenomena.

Meteorology is the study of

Short-term variations in atmospheric
phenomena that interact and affect the
environment and life on Earth are called
Climate is the long-term average of
variations in weather for a particular area.

What is an air mass?

An air mass is a large volume of air
that has the same characteristics, such as humidity and temperature, as its
source region.
A source region is the area over which an
air mass forms.
Types of air masses
1.The origins of maritime tropical (MT) air
are tropical bodies of water.
2.The southwestern United States and
Mexico are the source regions of
continental tropical (CT)air, which is hot
and dry, especially in summer.
3.Maritime polar (MP)air masses form
over the cold waters of the North Atlantic
and North Pacific.
4.Continental polar (CP) air masses form
over the interior of Canada and Alaska,
and carry frigid air southward in the
5.Earths ice- and snow-covered surfaces
above 60 N latitude in Siberia and the
Arctic Basin are the source regions of
arctic air masses.

What causes wind?

Global Wind Systems

The directions of Earths winds are
influenced by Earths rotation.
This Coriolis effect results in fluids and
objects moving in an apparent curved
path rather than a straight line.

1.Polar easterlies
The polar easterlies are the wind zones
between 60 N latitude and the north
pole, and 60 S latitude and the south
2.Prevailing westerlies
The prevailing westerlies are the wind
systems on Earth located between
latitudes 30 N and 60 N, and 30 S
and 60 S.
3.Trade winds
Between latitudes 30 N and the equator
is a circulation belt of wind known as the
trade winds

What are the types of fronts?

Fronts- 4 types
A collision of two air masses forms a front
a narrow region between two air
masses of different densities.

1.Cold front
When cold, dense air displaces warm air,
it forces the warm air, which is less
dense, up along a steep slope. This type
of collision is called a cold front.
Intense precipitation and sometimes
2.Warm front
Advancing warm air displaces cold air
along a warm front. A warm front
develops a gradual boundary slope.
Widespread light precipitation
3.Stationary front
When two air masses meet but neither
advances, the boundary between them
stalls. This stationary front frequently
occurs between two modified air masses
that have small temperature and pressure
gradients between them.

Sometimes light winds and precipitation

4.Occluded front
Sometimes, a cold air mass moves so
rapidly that it overtakes a warm front and
forces the warm air upward. As the warm
air is lifted, the advancing cold air mass
collides with the cold air mass in front of
the warm front. A warm air mass is
squeezed upward between two cold air
Strong winds and heavy precipitation
What is are the different pressure systems?

Pressure Systems
Sinking or rising air, combined with
the Coriolis effect, results in the
formation of rotating high- and lowpressure systems in the atmosphere.
2.High-pressure systems
In a surface high-pressure system,
sinking air moves away from the
systems center when it reaches
Earths surface.
Clear skies and fair weather.
High pressure-good weather
1.Low-pressure systems
In surface low-pressure systems, air
rises. When air from outside the
system replaces the rising air, this air
spirals inward toward the center and
then upward.
Clouds and precipitation
Low pressure-bad weather

What are the tools to measure temperature? Thermometer is used to measure

A barometer measures air pressure
An anemometer measures wind speed

A hygrometer measures relative

The instrument used for gathering
upper- atmosphere data is radiosonde
A radiosonde sensors measure the
airs temperature, pressure, humidity,
wind speed, and direction
A weather radar system detects
specific locations of precipitation.
The Doppler effect is the change in
pitch or frequency that occurs due to
the relative motion of a wave, such as
sound or light, as it comes toward or
goes away from an observer.
Analysis of Doppler radar data can be
used to determine the speed at which
precipitation moves toward or away
from a radar station.
Weather satellites -3 types of imaging
1. Infra red, 2. visible light, 3.water
vapor imagery.
Some satellites use cameras that
require visible light to photograph
These digital photos are sent back to
ground stations, and their data are
plotted on maps. Unlike weather
radar, which tracks precipitation but
not clouds, satellites track clouds but
not necessarily precipitation.
How do we communicate weather data?

A station model is a record of weather

data for a particular site at a particular

Meteorological symbols are used to

represent weather data in a station
model. Advantages: universal
language, more info in less space
Isobars- lines of equal pressure
Isotherms- lines of equal temperature