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• The science related to atmosphere and its

• From book by Aristotle (340 B.C.) called

Meteorologica which explored everything
known about weather and climate at that time
(as well as chemistry, astronomy and geography).

• At that time, all substances that fell from the sky

were called meteors

• Meteorology is important for estimation of

precipitation and its formation, required for
regional climate processes and design.
• The gaseous envelope around the earth. It consists of dry
air, water vapor and various kinds of salts and dusts.

• 99% of the atmosphere lies within 19 miles (30 km) of

earth’s surface

• Shields surface inhabitants from dangerous radiant

energy (e.g. ultraviolet from the sun).

• Becomes thinner with increasing altitude, eventually

merging with outer space
• It is the zone of atmosphere adjacent to earth.
It extends approximately up to seven miles
above sea level.

• Almost 100 % of the total moisture contents

of the atmosphere are present in this zone
and there is comparatively high temperature
gradient in this part of atmosphere.
Vapor Pressure
• It is the pressure exerted by the amount of water
vapors present in the atmosphere. It is usually denoted
by “e or ea” and expressed in millibars, pascals (Pa) or
Kilo-Pascals (KPa). (1 millibar =100 pascals)

• Since the temperature of water vapor is the same as

that of the air in the atmosphere, the maximum
amount of water vapor may be said to depend on the
air temperature.

• The higher the temperature, the more vapor can the

atmospheric air hold
Saturation Vapor Pressure
• The air can only “hold” a certain number of water vapor
molecules before they become so crowded together that
they start sticking together to form liquid water droplets

• When the air reaches this point it is said to be “saturated”

• The amount of water vapor molecules (vapor pressure) that

the air can “hold” or the air’s water vapor capacity is called
the saturation vapor pressure (SVP)

• It is denoted by ‘es’.
• In warm air, the molecules are moving fast, so
they collide and readily bounce off each other,
making it difficult for them to stick together.

• In cold air, the molecules are moving slow,

making it easier for them to stick together
when they collide.

• Therefore, saturation vapor pressure is

dependent upon the air temperature
• These are the lines joining points of same
atmospheric pressure at a given elevation.

• The horizontal distribution of pressure is

generally shown on weather charts by isobars.

• The spacing between isobars is a measure of

the pressure gradient.
Relative Humidity
• Relative humidity does not measure the actual
amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.

• It is a measure of how close the air is to being


• Relative Humidity (RH) is the ratio of the amount

of water vapor actually in the air to the
maximum amount of water vapor required for
saturation at that particular temperature
• In other words, RH is a ratio of air’s water
vapor content to its capacity:

• RH = (ea/es)x 100

• Air with 50% RH contains only half the amount

of water vapor necessary for saturation and
air with 100% RH is fully saturated
Dew Point
• When the air is cooled at a constant
atmospheric pressure, the temperature at
which air becomes saturated is called Dew

• The dew point is the temperature at which

water vapor present in the atmosphere will
condense if the air is further cooled.
Measurement of Relative Humidity
• The instruments used for measurements of
relative humidity are:
– Psychrometer
– Hair hygrometer
– Hygrograph
– Thermo-hygrograph
Measurement of Relative Humidity
• Psychrometer consists of two thermometers - Dry bulb
thermometer and Wet bulb thermometer.

• The mercury bulb of wet bulb thermometer is covered

by a jacket of clean muslin (plain woven cotton fabric)
cloth saturated with water.

• This is done by putting a beaker with distilled water

underneath so that the bulb is not submerged in water
but only the cloth.

• Then water rises due to capillary action.

• The thermometers are
ventilated by whirling
(rotate) or by use of a fan.

• As a result of evaporation
cooling takes place.
Readings are taken on
both the thermometers
Measurement of Relative Humidity
• The dry bulb reading is denoted as Ta and wet
bulb reading as Tw. The difference of these
two temperatures is called the wet bulb

i.e. Ta-Tw=Wet bulb depression

• Using these readings, the relative humidity

can be found from the psychrometer tables.
Measurement of Relative Humidity
• The value of ‘ea’ for air temperature ‘Ta’ may be
obtained by the relation:
( es – ea ) = γ ( Ta - Tw )
ea = es – γ (Ta – Tw )

• Where γ = psychrometer constant and its value is

0.660 when ‘ea’ is measured in millibar units and
0.485 when it is measured in units of ‘mm of Hg’.
Measurement of Relative Humidity
• The hair hygrometer consists of a frame in which
a strand of hair is kept at approximately constant

• Changes in length of the hair corresponding to

changes in relative humidity are transmitted to a

• This instrument is seldom used for

meteorological purposes, but it is an inexpensive
humidity indicator and is often found in homes
and offices.
Measurement of Relative Humidity
• The hair hygrograph is essentially a hair
hygrometer, but having automatic recording

• The movement of hair activates a pen, which

records on a rotating drum.

• The hygrothermograph combines the registration

of both relative humidity and temperature on
one record sheet.
Solar Radiation
• The only source of heat energy for earth
system is the sun. Whatever heat is received
by earth or reflected is the solar energy.

• Depending upon the shape, rotation, angle of

inclination of earth, it is visualized that solar
energy received by earth is changing from
time to time and point to point.
Solar Radiation
Solar Radiation
• Solar energy received by sun is the maximum
at the equator and decreases pole-wards. The
variations in solar energy are the following:

– Diurnal (during a day) Variation

– Seasonal Variation
– Regional Variation.
Solar Radiation
• The units for radiation flux per unit area are either
joules per square centimeters or milliwatt hours per
square centimeter.

• In some countries calories per square centimeters is

designated as Langley and the corresponding unit of
radiation flux is Langley per minute.

• Pyrheliometer and Pyranometer is used for

measurement of solar radiations.
• The degree of hotness or coldness is called the
temperature. Its units of measurement are
Degree Centigrade ( °C ) or Degree Fahrenheit
( °F ).

• Temperature Variation
– There are three types of temperature variations.
• Daily Variation of Temperature
• Seasonal Variation
• Regional Variation of Temperature
• Daily Variation of Temperature
– The daily variation of temperature is dependent on the
elevation of the sun, the cloud cover and the wind speed.

– The variation of temperature is large in low latitudes and

small in high latitudes, with the result that the daily
variation decreases from equator towards poles.

– The clouds reduce the radiations coming down during the

day and outgoing radiations during the night. On a cloudy
day, the maximum temperature is lower and the minimum
temperature higher than on normal bright days.

– On windy days the temperature on ground surface is lower

than on calm days, because the greater mobility of air
along the vertical axis results in greater heat exchange with
the upper atmospheric layers.
• Seasonal Variation
– The seasonal variation in rainfall and wind also affect
the temperature.

– During the rainy season, the cloud cover is large with

the result that less radiation is received by the earth.

– Annual migration of vast masses of air also brings

about horizontal heat exchange and thus affects the
annual range of temperature variation.

• Regional Variation of Temperature

– Since the amount of net radiation decreases with
increasing latitude, the temperature tends to be
highest at the equator and decreases towards the
• The temperature is measured with the help of thermometers.
There are two types of thermometers - Maximum
thermometer (Mercury Type thermometer) and Minimum
Thermometer (Alcoholic type thermometer).

• In order to measure the air temperature properly,

thermometers must be placed where air circulation is relatively
unobstructed and yet they must be protected from the direct
sunrays and from precipitation.

• Therefore thermometers are placed in white, louvered,

wooden boxes, called instrument shelters. These shelters are
set about 4.5 feet above the ground.
Chitral Meteorological Station in Pakistan
• Four commonly used terms of temperature are:
– Mean Daily Temperature
– Normal Daily Temperature
– Mean Monthly Temperature
– Mean Annual Temperature
• Mean Daily Temperature
– It is the average of maximum and minimum
temperatures during the past 24 hours.

• Normal Daily Temperature

– It is the average daily mean temperature for a
given day over the past 30-years period i.e. it is
the mean temperature for a specific day
• Mean Monthly Temperature
– It is the average of the mean monthly maximum
and minimum temperatures or it is the mean
temperature of the mean daily temperatures
during the month.

• Mean Annual Temperature

– It is the mean temperature of 12 months.
Lapse Rate
• The lapse rate or vertical temperature gradient is
defined as the change in temperature per unit
distance in the vertical direction from the Earth
• The average value of the lapse rate is 3.6oF per 1000

• The greatest variation in lapse rate is found in the

layer of air just above the land surface. The lapse
rates are of three types depending upon the type of
water vapors.
– Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate
– Wet (Saturated) Adiabatic Lapse Rate
– Pseudo-Adiabatic Lapse Rate
• Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate
– It is the rate of change of temperature when air is
not fully saturated with water vapors.
– The average value of this is 17.71oF per km.

• Wet (Saturated) Adiabatic Lapse Rate

– When air is fully saturated, then rate of change of
temperature is called wet adiabatic, lapse rate.
– Its average value is 9.84o F per km.
• Pseudo-Adiabatic Lapse Rate
– After condensed particles have fallen down fully,
as after a rainfall, then the rate of change of
temperature is called pseudo-adiabatic lapse rate.

– Its average value is also 9.84o F per 1,000m.

Lapse Rate
A parcel of air has a temperature of 50oF on
surface of the earth. At a height of 2,000 m the air
becomes saturated. Rainfall occurs and air again
becomes dry on the leeward side of a mountain.
Find out temperature of this parcel of air, at an
altitude of 2,500 m on leeward side of the hill.
Height of hill is 3,000 m.
Lapse Rate
Temperature at 2,000 m = 50 - ( 17.72x2000/1000)
= 50 – 35.44
= 14.56oF
Temperature at 3,000 m = 14.56 - ( 9.84x1000/1000 )
= 4.72oF
Temperature on the
leeward side at 2,500 m = 4.72+ (9.84 x500/1000)
= 9.64oF
Wind Measurement

Wind speed is measured

with an instrument
called Anemometer.
This instrument gives
continuous record over
some graph called
• A very well known Anemometer is Dynes Apparatus. It
gives reading in miles of total wind movement in
24 hours.

• Wind has both speed and direction. Wind direction is the

direction from which wind is blowing.

• Wind speed is usually given in miles per hour, meters per

second or knots.
• 1m/sec = 2.2 mph, 1meter/sec = 0, .869 Knot
• The equation of the curve is,

V/Vo = (  / Zo )1/7

• Where ‘V’ is wind speed at height ‘Z’ from

ground and ‘Vo’ is wind speed measured by
the anemometer at height ‘Z0’.

Velocity Ratio Against Elevation Ratio

0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5

The speed of air at a height of 15 meter above
ground was measured as 10 m/s. Find the
speed at 2 m level.

V2 / V15 = ( Z2 / Z15 )1/7
V2 = ( Z2 / Z15 )1/7 x V15

V2 = ( 2 / 15)1/7 x 10 = 7.5 m/s