20 terms

Water in the Atmosphere

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Weather
the condition of the Earth's atmosphere at a particular time and place (temperature, precipitation, humidity, cloud coverage (visibility), wind speed/direction etc.
Takes place in the troposphere
Climate
the average, year-after-year conditions of the temperature, precipitation, winds, and clouds in an area. The average weather conditions in an area overtime.
Convection
-the transfer of heat energy by the movement of air or liquid
-most of the troposphere is heated by this type of energy transfer
-warm less dense materials rise and cool more dense material sinks
Humidity
is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air
water vapor enters the Earth's atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration
Clouds
-forms when water vapor in the air becomes liquid water or ice crystals
-forms as a result of the condensation process
-condensation happens when water vapor reaches it dew point
-they are classified by altitude
Stratus Clouds
-form in flat layers
-usually cover all or most of the sky
-may produce drizzle, rain, or snow
Fog
A stratus cloud that forms when air is cooled to its dew point near the ground.
Cumulus Clouds
-look like fluffy, rounded piles of cotton
-- word means "heap" or "mass"
-usually a sign of fair weather
Cirrus Clouds
-wispy, feathery clouds
-forms only at high levels where temperatures are very low
-made of ice crystals
Cumulonimbus Cloud
-towering clouds with flat tops
-thunderstorms come from these types of clouds
-often called thunderheads
Precipitation
is any form of water that falls from the clouds and reaches Earth's surface
Rain
-most common type of precipitation (liquid)
Sleet
Clear ice particles formed when raindrops freeze before they reach the ground
Hail
-Round pellets of Ice larger than 5 millimeters in diameter
-forms only inside a cumulonimbus cloud during thunderstorms
-produce by strong constant updrafts on the cloud
-can cause damage to cars (vehicles), building, and crops
Snow
-Forms when temperatures are so cold that water vapor turns directly into ice crystals.
-have an endless number of shapes and patterns
Meteorologist
Scientist who studies the causes of weather and try to predict it
Meteorology
The scientific study of the atmosphere and atmospheric conditions; the study of weather
Front
Boundary between two air masses with different temperatures and densities
-the air masses meet, but do NOT mix
-weather occurs along this boundary
Prevailing Westerlies
-Major wind belt in the United States
-push air masses from west to east
-weather in the United States typically moves from west to east
air mass
A huge body of air that has similar temperature, humidity, and air pressure throughout

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