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Terms in this set (95)
The short-term state of the atmosphere, including temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, and visibility.
The amount of water vapor in the air.
The ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air to the maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold at a set temperature.
Occurs when water vapor cools and changes from a gas to a liquid. Clouds form by this process.
Occurs when liquid water changes into water vapor, which is a gas.
Occurs when rain, snow, sleet, or hail falls from the clouds onto Earth's surface.
Water, usually from precipitation, that flows across land and collects in rivers, streams, and eventually the ocean.
The continuous movement of water from sources on Earth's surface into the air, onto and over land, into the ground, and back to the surface.
Moisture in the air. It is invisible and also a gas.
Occurs when air holds all of the water that it can at a given temperature.
Relative Humidity Formula
Actual water vapor content (g/m^3)/saturation water vapor content (g/m^3) x 100 = relative humidity (%).
Instrument that is used to measure relative humidity.
The temperature at which a gas condenses into a liquid.
A collection of small water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air, which form when the air is cooled and condensation occurs.
Amount of Water Vapor and Temperature
Two factors that affect relative humidity.
What happens to relative humidity as the temperature rises?
What happens to relative humidity as the temperature drops?
Prefix for high altitude clouds made up of ice crystals.
Prefix for middle altitude clouds made up of both water drops and ice crystals.
Puffy, white clouds that tend to have flat bottoms. They form when warm air rises and indicates fair weather.
These clouds create thunderstorms.
Clouds that form in layers, cover large areas of the sky, and often block out the sun. Formed by a gentle lifting of a large body of air into the atmosphere.
Dark stratus clouds that usually produce light to heavy, continuous rain.
Status clouds that form near the ground.
Thin, feathery, white clouds found at high altitudes. They form when the wind is strong. When they thicken, it indicates a change in the weather is coming.
A cumulus cloud that forms high in the atmosphere.
-nimbus or nimbo-
Clouds with these prefixes/suffixes are likely to produce precipitation.
The most common form of precipitation.
Forms when rain falls through a layer of freezing air.
Forms when temperatures are so cold that water vapor changes directly into a solid. It can fall as single ice crystals, or can join to form flakes.
Balls or lumps of ice that fall, or form, from cumulonimbus clouds. They can become larger when additional layers of water are added and freeze due to updrafts, which may happen multiple times before falling to Earth.
A large body of air where temperature and moisture content are constant throughout.
The area that determines the moisture content and temperature where air masses form.
Gulf of Mexico
Example of a source region.
Forms over water; wet.
Forms over land; dry.
Forms over the polar regions; cold.
Develops over the Tropics; warm.
Continental Polar (cP)
Air mass forms over northern Canada, which brings extremely cold winter weather to the US. In the summer, it brings cool, dry weather.
Maritime Polar (mP)
Air mass that forms over the North Pacific Ocean is cool and very wet. This brings rain and snow to the Pacific Coast in the winter and cool, foggy weather in the summer.
Maritime Tropical (mT)
Air masses that develop over warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico that move North across the East Coast and into the Midwest. Brings hot and humid weather, hurricanes, and thunderstorms in the summer and mild, often cloudy weather in the winter.
Continental Tropical (cT)
Air mass forms over the deserts of northern Mexico and the southwestern US. It moves northward and brings clear, dry, and hot weather in the summer.
The boundary between air masses of different densities and usually different temperatures.
Forms where cold air moves under warm air, which is less dense, and pushes the warm air up. Can move quickly and bring thunderstorms, heavy rain, or snow followed by air that is cool and dry.
Forms where warm air moves over cold, denser air. The warm air gradually replaces the cold air and generally brings drizzly rain and followed by clear and warm weather.
Forms when a warm air mass is caught between two colder air masses. The coldest air mass moves under and pushes up the warm air mass. Has cool temperatures and large amounts of rain and snow.
Forms when a cold air mass meets a warm air mass. Neither has enough force to lift the other and remain separated which often brings many days of cloudy, wet weather.
An area in the atmosphere that has a lower pressure than the surrounding areas and has winds that spiral toward the center.
The rotation of air around a high-pressure center in the direction opposite to Earth's rotation.
The rising air in this causes stormy weather.
The sinking air in this causes dry, clear weather.
A usually brief, heavy storm that consists of rain, strong winds, lightning and thunder.
Weather that can cause property damage and sometimes death.
Conditions for a Thunderstorm
Warm, moist air near Earth's surface and an Unstable atmosphere.
An electric discharge that takes place between two oppositely charged surfaces, such as between a cloud and the ground, between two clouds, or between two parts of the same cloud.
The sound caused by the rapid expansion of air along an electrical strike.
Results of Severe Thunderstorms
High winds, hail, flash floods, and tornadoes.
A thunderstorm that produces high winds, hail, flash floods, and tornadoes.
A destructive, rotating column of air that has very high wind speeds, is visible as a funnel-shaped cloud, and touches the ground.
These occur in only 1% of all thunderstorms.
Step 1 of How a Tornado Forms
Wind moving in two directions causes a layer of air in the middle to begin to spin like a roll of toilet paper.
Step 2 of How a Tornado Forms
The spinning column of air is turned to a vertical position by strong updrafts of air in the cumulonimbus cloud. The updrafts of air also begin to spin.
Step 3 of How a Tornado Forms
The spinning column of air moves to the bottom of the cumulonimbus cloud and forms a funnel cloud.
Step 4 of How a Tornado Forms
The funnel cloud becomes a tornado when it touches the ground.
Where 75% of the world's tornadoes occur.
A severe storm that develops over tropical oceans and whose strong winds of more than 120 km/h spiral in toward the intensely low-pressure storm center.
Hurricanes that form over the Indian Ocean.
Hurricanes that form over the western Pacific Ocean.
Condensation of Water Vapor
Where does a hurricane get its energy from?
Warm Ocean Water
What fuels a hurricane?
A core of warm, relatively calm air with low pressure and light winds.
A group of cumulonimbus clouds that produce heavy rains and strong winds. The winds can reach speeds of 300 km/h and is the strongest part.
Spiraling bands of clouds that circle the center of a hurricane. This produces heavy rains and high winds.
A wall of water that builds up over the ocean because of the strong winds and low atmospheric pressure. It reaches its greatest heights when it crashed onto the shore.
Stay away from trees, crouch down if in the open, and stay away from bodies of water.
What types of objects is lightning attracted to?
A weather alert that lets people know that a tornado may happen.
A weather alert that lets people know that a tornado has been spotted.
Find shelter quickly (basement or cellar), windowless room in the center of a building (bathroom, closet, hallway), lie down in a large, open field or a deep ditch if outside.
Find a high place to wait and stay out of the extra water.
Possibly evacuate, have a disaster supply kit with water and food to last several days, cover windows with plywood and stay indoors.
An instrument that measure and indicates temperature.
An instrument that measures atmospheric pressure.
An instrument used to measure wind speed.
A prediction of weather conditions over the next 3 to 5 days.
A person who observes and collects data on atmospheric conditions to make weather predictions.
Used to measure conditions as high as 30 km above Earth's surface. Measures temperature, air pressure, and relative humidity. Also, can be tracked to measure wind speed and direction.
A cone-shaped cloth bag open at both ends.
Shaped like an arrow with a large tail and is attached to a pole. It can spin on the pole.
Used to find the location, movement, and amount of precipitation.
Used in a local TV weather report.
Provides the images of weather systems from orbit.
National Weather Service
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
A small circle that shows the location of the weather station.
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