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Weather & Climate

Weather and Climate

Weather is the state of the atmosphere at any one place or time. This includes: humidity, temperature, sunshine hours, cloud cover, precipitation (any moisture reaching the earths surface). This includes rain, sleet, snow, hail, dew and frost. Song: c3MKsTLnTKc

Climate is the average or long term weather conditions of a region. It is the result of years of research into data.

Weather or Climate
Hot and dry conditions, together with strong winds, led to Bushfires near Wagga.
At this time of year Darwin usually experiences hot and wet weather. The maximum temperature in Moscow today is 23oC On Monday night a southerly change arrived about 10:30pm

Climate Weather

Weather or Climate
Tully in Queensland is Australias wettest town. September was chosen for the 2000 Olympics because that month usually has the best weather. On New Years Day the temperature in Sydney was 45oC Sydney receives more rain per year than London

Climate Weather

Bureau of Meteorology

Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure or barometric pressure is the pressure exerted by the weight of the air on the earths surface. Atmospheric pressure is measured in hectopascals (hPa). Atmospheric pressure is mapped to form isobars. #downloads/flash/highpressure.swf

Are lines on a synoptic chart joining places of equal atmospheric pressure. To estimate atmospheric pressure you need to refer to the two nearest isobars. e.g. if point A is situated half way between 1020 hPa and 1024 hPa, A would be > 1020 but < 1024 hPa.

Atmospheric Pressure readings

How do they get the land and sea readings?

What do all these dots form when they are linked?

How do you work out which are high pressure cells and which are low pressure cells?

An isobar is a line on a map joining places of equal atmospheric pressure

Synoptic Charts
Synoptic charts or weather maps provide a snapshot of the weather experienced at a particular place at a certain time. They show information relating to air pressure, air masses and fronts, cloud cover, wind speed, wind direction and rainfall. This information allows us to make predictions relating to temperature, humidity, ocean conditions and the likely weather for the next few days.

Synoptic Charts What is the wind speed and direction?

Synoptic Charts

What does the shading refer to?

What is this feature?

What is the air pressure?

Pressure cells -

are defined by the patterns formed by isobars.

Are these high pressure cell s or a low pressure cells? How can you tell?

High pressure cells (anticyclones)

occur where atmospheric pressure increases towards the centre of the system. High pressure systems are characterised by light winds, clear skies, dry weather and a high diurnal (daily) temperature range. A ridge is an extension of high pressure from a high pressure system. html

High pressure cells

Why does the air descend?

Why does the air moves outwards?

Typical weather associated with High pressure

light winds clear skies, dry weather higher diurnal (daily) temperature range i.e. hot days (sun rays maximum effect) cool nights (because of lack of cloud cover). Frosts are likely in winter.

Highs can bring rain from onshore warm waters

Low pressure cells (cyclones or depressions)

occur where atmospheric pressure decreases towards the centre of the system. Low pressure systems are associated with stronger winds, cloudy skies, rain a lower diurnal temperature range. A trough is an extension of low pressure from a low pressure system.

Low pressure cells

Ascending air

Why does the air rise? Why does the air moves inwards?

Typical weather associated with Low pressure

strong winds, cloudy skies, rain and a lower diurnal (daily) temperature range i.e. mild temperatures (sun does not have maximum effect because of cloud cover, heat trapped in at night). Frosts are unlikely. hers/pressure.shtml hers/Worksheet23.shtml

Tropical cyclones (T.C.)

Are a very intense low pressure system. They generate very strong winds, produce rough seas and heavy rains Wide spread damage occurs if they make landfall (contact with land).

A cross section of a Tropical Cyclone

Cyclone Larry 2006

What is wind? Wind is the movement of air masses (common bodies of air) from high pressure areas (highs) to low pressure areas (lows). The effect of this movement of air is to rebalance the pressure in the atmosphere.

Note that: the greater the difference between the high and the low pressure, the greater the wind speed will be, and the closer together the isobars are on the weather map, the stronger the winds will be.

Wind speed
is determined by the closeness of the isobars. The closer the isobars the stronger the winds. A steep pressure gradient exists where isobars are close together. If isobars are far apart a place will generally experience light winds. This is called a slight pressure gradient.

Note the spaced isobars

Note the closeness of the isobars

Reading Wind Direction on a Not where Weather Map its going too


(Remember that we name our wind direction on where the wind came from)

Close up of a map

How to Read Wind Speed on a To work out the wind speed of Weather map
The wind speed at point A is 5 km/hr

an area, all you need to do is match up the wind speed symbol found on the map with the symbol found in the key

Legend- Wind Speed 5 km/hr 10 km/hr

30 km/hr Calm

20 km/hr

Wind direction
Wind is named according to the direction the wind is coming from, e.g. south = southerly. Wind direction is largely determined by the location of pressure systems.

Wind direction
Remember we always refer to where the wind is coming from!
Where has the wind come from?

Wind Direction Anticyclones (High Pressure cells)

In the southern hemisphere winds blow outwards in an anticlockwise direction from areas of high pressure. ANTICYCLONE = ANTICLOCKWISE WINDS.

Wind blows outwards in an anticlockwise direction in areas of high pressure.


Wind Direction Depressions (Low pressure cells)

In the southern hemisphere winds associated with low pressure systems blow in a clockwise direction towards the centre of the system.

Winds blow towards the centre of a low pressure system and in a clockwise direction


Wind indicators
Wind indicators show wind speed and direction. The feather indicates wind speed The shaft indicates the direction from which the wind is coming The black dot is the place that is experiencing the windy conditions

Identifying wind direction

First - Identify the type of pressure system. Southern Hemisphere LOW =clockwise HIGH = anticlockwise. (the reverse is true in the northern hemisphere) Wind, generally speaking, moves across the isobars

A front is the leading edge of change. They are the border zone between warm and cold air. There are two types of fronts: Warm fronts occur when warm air is pushed into a cold air mass. These are very rare in Australia. They result in drizzle and light rain over a few days.

A warm front

Cold fronts are far more common in Australia and occur when cold air is pushed into a warm air mass. This forces the warm air to rise causing a number of changes: (a) Decrease in temperature: cold air replaces warm air. (b) Change in wind direction and sometimes speed. (c) Build up of cumulonimbus or rain bearing clouds. (d) Increase in humidity: corresponding to a build up of clouds. (e) Probability of rain. Make up an acronym to remember these changes.

A cold front

Temperature and humidity:

are related to the wind. Winds pick up the characteristics of where they form sea or land these are called source regions Remember: Winds off the land are generally hotter and drier. Winds off the sea tend to be cooler and wetter (greater moisture = greater humidity).

Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere A high humidity means there is a lot of water vapour, and a low humidity means a little. The humidity level varies with temperature. The warmer air is, the more moisture the air can hold as vapour. The colder the air is, the less moisture the air can hold. Humidity is measured as a percentage, relative to the saturation point where the air can hold no more water vapour (i.e. 100 percent humidity).

Types of rainfall: Convection

Types of rainfall: Orographic

Elev ation U2.url

Orographic Rainfall
The air mass, now drier, flows down the leeward side of the mountains

The air mass is forced to rise as it hits the mountain and condenses into clouds Warm moist air approaches a mountain barrier

The dry air mass becomes warmer, with little chance of rain. Deserts are often found on the leeward side of large mountain ranges

Orographic rainfall occurs on the windward side of the mountains

Types of rainfall: Frontal

Flash video on types of rainfall

Show Weather Rainfall wmv Start=false&file= -Rainfall922.flv?source=3

are determined by the location of various pressure systems. Remember: Summer = Lows over Northern Australia and Highs over Southern Australia. Winter = Highs over Northern Australia and Lows over Southern Australia.

Summer weather map

Where are the different cells located?

Winter weather map

Where are the different cells located?

Clear skies allow the suns rays to have maximum effect. Daytime temperatures
are usually high.

At night, clear skies allow heat to be lost causing temperatures to fall. In winter frosts are likely.

Why Do Climates Vary?

Factors Affecting The Climate

What makes a certain place hot, cold, wet, dry, windy?

Your Ideas
On the A4 paper provided and working in pairs:
Quickly sketch as many ideas as you can as what might cause temperature and rainfall to be different at various places.
You have 3 minutes

World Pattern of Climate

The climate of a particular place on the earths surface depends on 5 main factors. Latitude: radiation from the sun is stronger and more direct at the equator. Places at the equator are therefore generally hotter than the places near the poles. Also seasonal differences are more obvious away from the equator.

Latitude ontrols/latitude.html

The suns rays are concentrated at the equator but spread out at the poles.

Altitude (elevation):

The air is generally thinner and therefore colder higher up in the mountains than it is at sea level. Also precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) is generally affected by mountain ranges as moist air will be forced to rise over the mountains (orographic rainfall). This will cause the air to cool and then condense into cloud.

Distance from the sea:

The ocean acts as a stabilising influence on temperatures as the sea heats and cools more slowly than the land. Thus diurnal (daily) and annual (yearly) ranges of temperature are smaller near the coast and greater in inland areas. This means that inland areas generally have hotter summers and colder winters than coastal areas. Also moist air near the coast may result in more rainfall in coastal areas than places inland.

Distance from the Sea

In the summer, the sun heats the land quickly but it takes longer to heat up the water which is large and deep. odules/mods4car/ccontrol/contr ols/landwater1.html However, the water stores heat for longer and so in winter, the temperature of the sea is warmer relative to the land and so keeps coastal places warmer.

Ocean Currents:
Cold ocean currents cool the air and generally cause dry conditions along the coastline. Warm ocean currents will warm the air and cause warmer, wetter conditions. ods4car/ccontrol/controls/ocean.html

Prevailing Winds
These are the winds that blow most often. Winds can affect temperature and precipitation. Winds blowing over tropical oceans bring warm and wet weather. Winds blowing from the poles and over land bring cold and dry weather.

Add the Title

Factors Affecting Temperature

Latitude Length of Day & Night
Draw up this table using a full page

Seasonal Differences
Draw simple annotated sketches describing each factor


Mt Cotopaxi Ecuador's second highest mountain

Factors Affecting Temperature and Rainfall

Mountain Barriers Distance From The Sea

Ocean Currents

Prevailing Winds

Worldwide Climate stats

The Seasons
Seasons are created by the combination of the earths tilt and its orbit around the sun. The distance between the earth and sun is about 149 million kms. The earth rotates around the sun in an elliptical, or oval shaped path and takes about 365 days or 1 year to complete an orbit.

The earth also rotates in an anti-clockwise direction about its north-south axis, an imaginary line that runs between the poles. It takes 24 hours for the earth to spin around once, and this rotation creates day and night. When one half of the world is in darkness, the other is in daylight.

The earth is also tilted about 23.5 degrees on its axis. So, depending on the time of year, certain latitudes of the earth incline toward the sun more than others. Throughout the year different areas, particularly those that are far from the equator, receive more or less solar radiation. If the earth did not tilt, we would not have seasons. Seasons animations 426&ResourceID=40423 phys/seasonsanim.htm

During summer in the Northern Hemisphere the longest day (the summer solstice) occurs when the sun is directly over the tropic of Cancer. As the earth continues its year long orbit the North Pole tilts away from the sun, and the South Pole tilts towards the sun.

The equinox is when the sun is directly over the equator. The Northern Hemisphere winter solstice (the shortest day) occurs when the sun is over the Tropic of Capricorn.

World Sunlight Map

Interactive Game