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Geography Test 3
Terms in this set (152)
How strong the updraft is, and the freezing level
What are two controlling factors of hail?
How high up the freezing is occurring
What is the freezing level referring to when it comes to hail formation?
It has to loop for many times in the colder part of the cloud
How does a hail stone grow to be bigger in size?
-Cold part of the cloud
-Large hydrometers begin to fall
-As they are falling, they hit an updraft and go back up to a colder part of the cloud
-There they freeze and fall back down to the surface as ice
What is the process of hail formation?
A very strong downdraft that occurs in very small areas
What is a microburst?
Less than 5 minutes
How long does a microburst last for?
When the wind hits the plane, it lifts the nose of the plane up, and then when the wind hits the tail of the plane it slams it into the ground
How does a microburst impact a plane?
On a foggy day
On what type of day will you not hear thunder?
What factor controls the sound and loudness of thunder?
They muffle the sound wave
What effect do clouds have on the sound of thunder?
It can make it seem louder
What effect does wind have on the sound of thunder?
There is a ____ second difference between light seen and thunder heard.
1 mile away
5 seconds of counting=
The compression wave (sound wave) created by the intense heat of the lightning and rapid expansion of air
-Higher places such as hills or trees (lightning always takes the shorter path)
-Pointed metal objects are more likely to get hit (this is a bigger factor than height)
Where is lightning most likely to hit?
-Cloud to cloud
-Cloud to ground
-Bolt from the blue
What are the three types of lightning?
Starts at the surface and then travels up the the higher parts of the cloud
What is bolt from the blue lightning?
What is the fundamental process behind lightning?
Because after many strikes occur, the negative charge from the cloud is drained
Why does lightning stop striking?
The top of the cloud has a positive charge, the bottom of the cloud has a negative charge, and the ground is positive
What is the order of charges from the top of the cloud to the ground?
An ionized part
What becomes established from the cloud to the ground and at the same time as positive charges go up to meet the negative?
Lots of lightning is caused by _______.
What types of clouds are thunderstorms associated with?
What are the 4 main parts of a thunderstorm?
There is warm air that is lifting up
What are the characteristics of updrafts in thunderstorms?
The air is relatively cooler, which increases the density of the air. The air sometimes picks up great amounts of speed and slams into the ground which leads to strong winds underneath
What are the characteristics of downdrafts in thunderstorms?
What is a process that will lead to cooler air in a thunderstorm?
The cooling increases the density of the air, therefore the air is heavier and it can drop more rapidly
Strong winds are caused by rapid downdrafts
How does virga contribute to downdrafts?
The leading edge of a cold front that separates two air masses. The air tends to converge here
What is a gust front?
When the clouds cannot go past the tropopause because of an inversion, and the clouds start to move to the east, giving an anvil formation
What is the anvil head?
An over shooting top
What is a feature that some storms can have when they are really strong?
What is the usual height range for thunderstorms?
An inversion that is connected with the tropopause
What limits a thunderstorms vertical growth?
The height of the storm
What does thunderstorm severity correlate with?
The more ______ a storm has, the more likely that it will push through the inversion.
The large scale winds in the tropospheric column
What is thunderstorm movement controlled by?
Because the jet stream moves from west to east, therefore the clouds move with it
Why does the anvil head usually spread out much more to the east as opposed to the west
A single updraft
What do thunderstorms start as?
How many stages does a thunderstorm have?
What are the three stages of thunderstorms?
Heavy rain, updraft and downdrafts that are occurring at the same time
What occurs in the mature stage of a thunderstorm?
The mature stage
What stage of the storm is lightning associated with?
What is the first indication of a mature storm?
When the top of the clouds have lots of hydrometers, and the falling hydrometers produce the downdraft because there are so many falling so quickly
This occurs during the mature stage of the thunderstorms
What is precipitation loading, and what stage is it associated with in thunderstorms?
What occurs during the dissipating stage of thunderstorms?
Air mass thunderstorms and Squall Lines
What are two types of thunderstorms?
-A multi-Celled thunderstorm pattern
-Occur in the summer time during the late afternoon and early evening
What are 3 characteristics of air mass thunderstorms?
Because it is the hottest time of the day and during the summer there is more moisture in the air
Why do thunderstorms typically occur during the summer time in the late afternoon?
An unstable environment
What type of environment are thunderstorms associated with?
Conditions are absolutely unstable near the surface and conditionally unstable higher up.
In a thunderstorm, conditions are absolutely ________ near the surface, and conditionally _________ higher up.
By the outflow from existing cells
How are most thunderstorms generated?
By convergence (outflow from the storms) convects upward and produces more storms
How are more thunderstorms created from other storms?
A line of thunderstorms
What is a squall line?
-A sloping updraft and downdraft regions
-Strong winds entering from the rear of the storm are brought to the surface by the downdraft
What are two reining factors of squall lines?
T or F: Squall lines are very predictable
There is lots of turbulence at the gust front because warm and cool air do not want to mix
What type of weather change occurs as a squall line approaches?
-In the warm sector of the area
-Ahead of the cold front
Where do squall lines form?
-How big the squall line is
What factor determines how long a squall line will continue for?
Larger areas are impacted for about 6-12 hours, but individual cell life is only 1-2 hours
How long can a squall line impact an individual area for? How long does each individual cell last for?
Up to 15 miles away
How far away can we hear thunder from?
What state has the highest average of thunderstorms?
Because there is warm moist air in the lower atmosphere column which are ideal conditions for a thunderstorm
Why does florida have a high average of thunderstorms?
Because there is elevated convection taking place which aids in storm formation
Why would a place like Colorado have a high rate of thunderstorms?
Urban heat island= more convection= more unstable= storms develop= more lightning
What is the chain of events associated with spatial patterns and storm formation?
Freezing rain and sleet
What are two types of frozen precipitation?
Cold rain that hits the surface and then freezes
What is freezing rain?
Pellets of ice that fall from the sky
What is sleet?
When the found is below freezing and any heat left in the water drop gets taken away and the drop freezes
How does freezing rain get its name?
Starts off as snow and then melts and refreezes and falls as ICE
What is the process of sleet formation?
A warmer and thicker nose
What type of nose will give you freezing rain?
Temperature ad rate of precipitation
What are two factors controlling snow formation?
What are three processes associated with freezing rain development?
Warm advection =
Melting of snow =
Cold air advection =
Freezing of rain =
Dry air = evaporation of rain=
Cold air advection =
-Rainfall rate/ Duration
What 3 factors control ice build up?
A strong anticyclone to the north, that provides a replenishing supply of cold, dry air.
Slow moving wave cyclone that moves south of the area and provides persistent warm and moist air advection over the wedge of cold air
In order to have a big ice storm there needs to be a strong anticyclone to the ______, that provides a replenishing supply of _____, ____ air.
Slow moving wave cyclone that moves _____ of the area and provides persistent _____ and ____ air advection over the wedge of cold air.
The average time that you would expect to elapse from one ice storm to the next
What does return period mean?
A complex aggregation of ice crystals that develop in cold clouds in connection with the Bergeron process
What is snow?
What are individual snow crystals called?
Cold air and moisture
What are two necessary ingredients needed for snow?
Temperature and moisture
Snow particle formation varies by what two factors?
In the cloud and on the ground
What two places can the deformation of crystals occur?
-Snowfall rate/ duration
-Wetness of the snow
-Antecedent temperature of the surface
What three factors does snow accumulation depend on?
Long durations and or high snowfall rate
What type of duration does a heavy snowfall event need to occur?
10" of snow to every 1" of precipitation
What is the typical snow ratio?
What is the ratio for dry snow?
What is the ratios for wet snow?
-The conditions during the prior day (solar insulation)
-Surface Characteristics (specific heat and albedo)
What does antecedent temperature mean?
Dry, low density snow
What types of snow leads to snow drifts?
-Column below freezing
What two vertical temperature profiles are associated with snow?
To have a freezing temperature at the surface, and have it get colder as you go up the column
What does it mean to have the column below freezing with snow?
-It snows high up in the column and melts on the way down
-Snow melts into rain which causes cooling at the surface
- this causes the temperature profile to go back to freezing before the end of the weather event
What does it mean to have an isothermal 32F with snow?
Column below freezing
Which vertical temperature profile for snow is ideal?
Which vertical temperature profile for snow is more common?
-Ridge, trough, ridge
-The snow usually occurs in the trough because the air is cooler
What does a 500 mb pattern look like for snow, and where does the snow occur?
Miller cyclones and Gulf/Atlantic Lows
What two surface systems are associated with snow?
-When the air coming in from the trough will pass over the Great Lakes and suck up a ton of moisture
-When the air hits the mountains, it is forced upwards
-Occurs after a cyclone
What is the Northwest Flow Snowfall?
-Cold air near the surface
-Strong anticyclone to the north to provide a replenishing supply of cold dry air
-Slow-moving, wave cyclone that moves south of the area
-No warm nose in the front
What are 4 characteristics of a perfect snow storm?
Melting snowflakes, evaporating rain droplets, or sublimating snowflakes all ____ the air
A huge wind stream that circles completely around the globe, making a loop
What is the circumpolar vortex?
Parallel to the isoheights
How does wind blow in the CPV?
-The lowest heights are the coolest
-The highest heights are the warmest
-The lowest heights are the _____
-The highest heights are the _____
A river of air flow where the flow is the greatest, the place in the atmosphere where wind flow is the strongest
What is the Jet Stream?
Because it is where the 500 mb heights are the closest together
How can we tell where the jet stream is?
Cold air is to the north of the jet stream and warm air is to the south.
Cold air is the the ______ of the jet stream, and warm air is to the _____.
Where it is the strongest
Where do tornadoes occur in regards to the jet stream?
The temperatures are either much above normal or much below
What happens if there is an unusual pattern in the jet stream?
They are fastest in the winer/early spring.
The are weakest in the summer/early fall
In what season are the winds of the CVP the fastest? Weakest?
-Furthest away from the North Pole in the winter/ early spring
-Closest to the north pole in the summer/ early fall
When is the CVP furthest away from the North Pole? When are they closest to the north pole?
The weather is most changeable in the winter/early spring
The seater is most persistent during the summer/ early fall
When is the weather caused by the CPV the most changeable? Most persistent?
Summer/ Early fall
When does the CPV have a weaker temperature gradient?
The part of the cold front ahead of the cyclone that developed into warm front, giving the frontal zone a wave like shape
What are wave cyclones?
-Severe thunder storms/ tornadoes
What three types of weather were present in the March 1993 Super Storm?
Along a front where there is a temperature gradient
Where do wave cyclones occur?
Lifting of air-> Clouds, precipitation, adiabatic cooling
What type of characteristics do fronts encourage?
A physical quantity that describes in which direction and at what rate the temperature changes the most rapidly around a particular location
What is a temperature gradient?
Beneath the jet stream (aloft) and downstream of a trough
Where do temperature gradients occur?
What types of patterns of precipitation do you see in a wave cyclone?
In front of the warm front
AHEAD OF THE FRONTS
Where is the precipitation in regards to the warm front with a wave cyclone?
The stability of the air mass in which the clouds reside
In a wave cyclone, what does the precipitation character depend on?
What are the three types of precipitation character that come with wave cyclones?
-Northeast of the front, light and steady, air is stable
-Showery and heavy, air rises to a higher level, thicker clouds
-If cyclone is weak, this doesn't always occur
Because a cold front never outpaces a warm front
Why do you always see a warm front ahead of a cold front?
-Cyclonic circulation establishment
-Occluded front development
What are the stages of development of a wave cyclone?
A cold front, a warm front, and an occluded front
What is a triple point?
The position of the jet stream
What are cyclone tracks controlled by?
To our south
Where does the jet stream need to be if we want to get snow?
What are the three types of cyclone tracks?
-Fast moving with light precipitation near the track
-NC is on the warm and dry side of the cyclone
-Most common in the Winter/ Early Spring
-Develops to the northwest
-Alberta is just usually where they form
-Arctic high is associated afterwards
Characteristics of the Alberta Clipper
-Are much slower moving wave cyclones
-Closer to the Gulf of Mexico, so it pulls in more moisture
-Heavy precipitation along and north of the track
-Severe thunderstorms south of the track- because air is colder aloft
-The atmosphere is destabilizing, cumulonimbus clouds form, there is heavy precipitation
-NC is first in the cool sector and then in the warm sector
Characteristics of the Texas-Great lakes cyclone
-Heavy precipitation along and north of the track
-NC remains in the cool sector and may receive frozen precipitation
-Produces the heaviest precipitation in NC
-Is the most typical track
-If we want a lot of snow, this track needs to occur
-Develops along the gulf coast
What are some characteristics of the gulf atlantic cyclone track?
Warm clouds and cold clouds
What are the two main cloud types?
-Contain a large amount of ice, and at around -20C the cloud will be all ice
What is the temperature and characteristics of cold clouds?
-Consist of almost entirely liquid, there is no chance for there to be icing in the cloud
What is the temperature and characteristics of warm clouds?
When liquid water cannot freeze in the air, but freeze on something solid
-Ability to produce precipitation
What are cloud types distinguished by?
What two name parts pertain to height?
What two name parts pertain to pattern?
What name part pertains to precipitation?
What does cirro mean?
What does alto mean?
What does cumulo mean?
Stratified-> confined to a single level, and have a layered appearance
What does strato mean?
-Have a streaked, line like appearance, are very common
-Look like a bunch of patches of blue and white
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