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Form of energy from the sun that reaches the earth


Air currents that move across the earth's surface

Prevailing Winds

Wind that always blow in the same patterns

Wind Belts

Patterns made by the prevailing winds


When there is very little air moving, calmness

Trade Winds

Winds moving south

Prevailing Westerlies

Winds moving north

Polar Easterlies

Winds moving back towards the equator


Water enters the atmosphere

Water Vapor

Water in a gaseous state


When water vapor turns into water droplets

Dew Point

The temperature at which the water vapor starts condensing into water drops


Is a cloud that forms right next to the ground


Forms when warm air comes in contact with a coll surface


Water vapor condenses right into frozen ice crystals


Any kind of condensed water that falls from the sky. ie: rain, sleet, snow and hail

Water Cycle

The continuous movement of water between the earth's surface and the atmosphere


A local storm


Always accompanies thunderstorms and iis a huge electrical discharge


Are violent circular winds associated with severe thunderstorms


Giganic whirling storms with high winds, torrential rains, and storm surges capable of causing wide-spread flooding and destruction


Changes of air conditions at a particular place over a long period of time


A measure of how far to the north or south pf the equator the place is


The height of a place above sea level


Climate that has warm summers and cold winters


Is a mixture of gases; 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, .03% carbon dioxide and trace other gases

Natural Contaminents

Are substances added to the air by such natural happenings as volcanic erruptions, forest fires, dust and pollen

Air Pollutants

Are substances added to the air by human activity, such as undesirable gases, ligids and solid materials


Occurs when the surface air is cooler than the layer above it, so the air cannot rise and the pollutants may accumulate

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