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Bergeron process

primary process for forming rain in the middle and high latitudes and the only process to form snow; needs freezing nuclei to initiate water freezing; requires supersaturated conditions (RH>100%)

Collision-Coalescence Process

primary process in tropics for randrop formation and in mid-latitudes during the summer

rain clouds

nimbostratus and cumulonimbus

hail clouds

large cumulonimbus clouds


Sub-Tropical High pressure cells

air mass

immense body of air with homogenuous physical properties

source region

area in which air masses originate

continental arctic

arctic basin and Greenland (stable) - bitterly cold/dry

Continental polar

Interior Canada and Alaska (stable) - cold/dry

Continental tropical

norther interior Mexico and SW United States (unstable) - hot/dry

maritime polar

norther pacific and atlantic (stable summer) - cool/humid

maritime tropical

Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean - warm/humid


boudary separating air masses of different densities

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