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air mass

A huge body of air that has similar temperature, humidity, and air pressure at any given height.

tropical

A warm air mass that forms in the tropics and has low air pressure.

polar

A cold air mass that forms north of 50 degrees north latitude or south of 50 degrees south latitude and has high air pressure.

maritime

A humid air mass that forms over oceans.

continental

A dry air mass that forms over land.

jet streams

Bands of high-speed winds about 10 kilometers above Earth 's surface.

front

The boundary where unlike air masses meet but do not mix.

occluded

Cut off, as in a front where a warm air mass is caught between two cooler air masses.

cyclone

A swirling center of low air pressure.

anticyclone

A high pressure center of dry air.

cold front

cold air is dense and sinks, warm air is less dense and rises; the denser cold air slides under the lighter warm air; brings clouds and heavy precipitation

occluded front

A warm air mass is caught between two cooler air masses; brings clouds and precipitation

stationary front

A stalled front that may bring many days of clouds and precipitation.

warm front

Fast moving warm air overtakes slower cold air mass; brings clouds and many days of precipitation

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