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Atmospheric Pressure and Wind
Terms in this set (18)
a line on a map connecting points having the same atmospheric pressure at a given time or on average over a given period.
A wind that moves parallel to the isobars as a result of the balance between the pressure gradient force and the Coriolis effect.. Mainly in upper atmosphere.
atmosphere that extends about 1000 m above the surface
a large-scale atmospheric convection cell in which air rises at the equator and sinks at medium latitudes, typically about 30° north or south.
What generally happens to atmospheric pressure with increasing altitude?
Explain how atmospheric density is related to air density and air temperature.
P=ρRT (Ideal Gas Law)
- denser gas more pressure
- warm molecules are faster which creates greater force in collisions resulting higher pressure
In reference to air pressure, what is a high, a low, a ridge, and a trough?
highs and lows- circular or oval areas where pressure is higher or lower than that of the atmosphere in surrounding areas.
ridge- an elongated area of relatively high pressure
trough- an elongated are of relatively low pressure
What is a pressure gradient?
the relative closeness of isobars represents the pressure gradient or the horizontal rate of pressure change
What three factors influence the direction of wind flow?
1. Pressure Gradient Force: Air moves from higher pressure to lower pressure
2. Coriolis Effect: prevents wind from flowing directly down a pressure gradient
3. Friction: reduces speed and Coriolis effect. greatest near Earth's surface
How and why are friction layer (surface) winds different from upper-atmosphere geostrophic winds?
In the friction layer wind flow is turbulent and irregular. In the higher atmosphere,
Describe the relationship between "steepness" of the pressure gradient and the speed of the wind along the pressure gradient.
the steeper the gradient, the swifter the wind
Describe and explain the pattern of wind flow in the Northern hemisphere around
1. a surface high
2. a surface low
3. an upper atmosphere high
4. an upper atmosphere low
1. anticyclonic divergent clockwise flow
2. cyclonic convergent counterclockwise flow
3. anticyclonic geostrophic clockwise flow
4. cyclonic geostrophic counterclockwise flow
What is a cyclone? An anticyclone?
cyclone: low pressure systems
anticyclone: high pressure systems
Describe the pattern of vertical air movement within a cyclone and within an anticyclone.
descends in anticyclones. rises in cyclones
Describe the general location and characteristics of the following atmospheric circulation components
I. Intertropical convergence zone
II. Trade winds
III. Subtropical highs
I. the zone where the air from the northern and southern hemisphere meet, normally narrow cloud band over oceans near equator
II. 25N-25S. predominantly easterly (east to west). consistent. absorb moisture.
III. a large semipermanent high-pressure cell centered at about 30 N/S. gigantic anticyclones. high pressure ridges that are broken up over continents. elongated east west.
IV. midlatitudes, less extensive and consistent than the trades
Discuss the characteristic weather associated with the ITCZ and the characteristic weather associated with the subtropical highs.
subtropical highs- clear, warm, dry, and calm. no wind.
ITCZ- weak horizontal airflow and erratic, high rainfall, unstable
Briefly describe the location and general characteristics of the high-latitude components of the general circulation of the atmosphere
A. Polar front (subpolar lows)
B. Polar easterlies
C. Polar highs
A. 50-60 N/S, rising air, cloudy, precipitation, stormy
B. high latitudes. cold, dry, variable
C. high-pressure cells situated over both polar regions. anticyclonic
Describe and explain the seasonal shifts of the general circulation patterns; note the significance of the seasonal shifts of the ITCZ and the subtropical highs.
In summer, NH is displaced north and SH south. The displacement is greatest in the ITCZ and subtropical highs
polar regions are more consistent
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