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59 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
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Amount of Radiation varies with (2 things): Or what creates seasons
Latitude and Time of year
-Because of spericity and the place where the sun is overhead varies
What affects duration and intensity of radiation
Daylength and sun angle
What is beam spreading?
As sun angle decreases, beam is spread over a larger area.
Beam depletion
As sun angle decreases, path length increases, the result is more depletion (reflection and absorption) by the atmosphere
Axial parallelism
This causes the sun to be o/h at different places throughout the year.
March and Sept Equinox
Axis is NOT tilted with respect to the sun
-Noon sun angle is o/h at equator
-12 hr days almost everywhere
Latent heat
Heat associated with phase change
refers to the larger daily temp change (or anual) experienced by inland locations, compared to coastal locations
Why does water cool and heat more slowly than land?
1) Specific heat: water has a high specific heat
2) Evaporation: it absorbs latent heat less e available to increase temp
3) Mixing: heat is mixed through a volume (wind blows it and mixes it up)
4) Transparency: the rdn. is absorbed through a volume as opposed to at one surface
What four factors control the global distributions of temperature?
1) Latitude
2) Continentality
3) Ocean Currents
4) Altitude
One example of a warm current
Atlantic Drift
One example of a cold current
Peru Current
Why does temperature range increase with altitude?
The atmosphere gets thinner and the Green House Effect is not as strong
Why does temperature range decrease with cloud cover?
Because the clouds absorb the long wave radiation from the earth and reflect the shortwave radiation from the sun during the day.
In what two ways can air become saturated?
1) Cool the air (to 7 degrees)
2) Evaporate water into the air (add 22mb)
Relative Humidity
A relative measure of how close the air is to saturation.
Ratio of the actual amount of water vapour (VP) in the air to the max possible at that air temp (SVP)
VP/SVP x 100%
Td or Dewpoint temperature
Temperature to which air must be cooled for saturation
wetbulbe temperature
What happens when the air is saturated? ie.
RH= 100%
Temp=Dewpoint temp
Radiation Fog
1. What is it?
2. How does it occur
Occurs when there is radiational cooling
ie. It is night time and the earth is emitting more radiation than it is receiving.
Conditions that maximize nighttime cooling like: long nights, calm wind (because harsh winds mix up warm air), clear skies
Add this with moist air and a light wind and you get fog.
How does dissipation of fog occur?
Radiation enters through fog and warms up sfc of earth. Warm air rises and evaporates fog.
Advection Fog
Occurs via contact cooling
What is contact cooling?
Warm moist air cools to dewpoint by passing over a cold surface
ex. cold ocean current
ex. Sanfrancisco
Steam Fog
Often forms over water but not always.
-Thin and wispy, looks like steam
How does steam fog occur?
cold air moves over a warm/moist surface.
-W.v is added to the cold air, bringing it to saturation
ex. lake, fields, golf course, swamp (wet surface)
Adiabatic Processes
-processes in which temperature changes without adding or removing heat
-expanding air cools and compressed air warms
-rising air cools and sinking air warms
Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate
-rate of temperature change in rising or sinking unsaturated air parcel
10 degrees/km or 1degree/100m
Saturated Adiabatic Lapse Rate
-rate of temp change in a rising or sinking saturated air parcel.
-rate varies
Lifting Condensation Level
-height at which a rising air parcel hits Td and begins to condense
LCL (equation)=
LCL= 1000 (T-Td)/8.2
Chinook Wind
Hot and dry wind on leeward side of slope
Environmental Lapse Rate
-change in temperature with height in surrounding still air
describes the tendency for air to rise or sink in the atmosphere
Unstable air
Rising air is warmer than surrounding air, ie it rises like a hot air balloon
Characteristics of unstable air
-warm afternoons
-cumulus clouds
-good dispersal of pollutants
Stable air
Air displaced up or down returns to original position
-rising air is colder (more dense) than surroundings
Characteristics of stable air:
stratus clouds
high pollution concentrations

Neutral air:
Air displaced up or down stays put
-Rising air is the same temperature as surrounding air.
Why do rain droplets fall from clouds?
Large drops overcome updrafts and fall from the cloud as precipitation
What is collision- coalescensce process?
-Droplets collide with other droplets and join together to form bigger droplets

Ice Crystal Process
-Most common in mid-lats
-W.V droplets decrease and add to Ice crystal droplets
Convectional Precipitation
Warm air rises, cools and condenses = clouds and precip
Characteristics of convectional precipitation
heavy, large droplets, short duration, localized
-warm summer afternoons
Where does convectional precipitation generally take place ex of cities...
Creates summer max. More precip in summer than in winter in Winnipeg and Saskatoon
Orographic Precipitation
Air is pushed up mountain and forms cloud at top.
-Rain shadow on other side --> desert
Precipitation associated with low pressure
-Combines convergence and convection
?? get clarification from sheila
Pressure Gradient Force
-A force that drives the wind
-Results from the pressure gradient and causes air to move from high pressure to low pressure
Coriolis Force
-due to Earth's rotation
-causes objects moving freely above Earth's surface to deflect from a straight line path
4 Things to Know About the Coriolis Force
1) Acts at a right angle to the motion
-deflection to right of motion is NH
-deflection to left of motion is SH
2) Affects direction, not speed
3)Strength depends on wind speed
4)depends on latitude. Increasing lat --> increasing CF
What is Newton's First Law of Motion
When forces are BALANCED, object wll be stationary or will move at a constant speed in a constant direction
What is Newtons Second Law?
When forces are unbalanced, object will change direction and/or speed.
Geostrophic Winds
At least one km above sfc of earth
-no friction
-only CF and PGF
-result winds parallel to isobars
How does movement of Geostrophic winds begin?
It begins due to PGF. CF=0 until the motion begins.
-PGF is much greater than CF and wind accelerates.
-As wind speed increases the CF increases and changes direction of the wind
-Eventually CF=PGF
-balanced forces means that the wind travels at a constant speed in a constant direction
Surface Winds
-Within one km of surface
-PGF, CF and friction
-winds cross isobars at an angle into the wind
-PGF is greater than CF
In the northern hemisphere why are the subpolar lows dominant over the oceans in January?
-Because cold continents raise pressure
In the northern hemisphere, why are the subtropical highs dominant over the oceans in July?
-Because warm continents lower pressure
What are the east and west side of the subtropical highs like?
Left= wet, moist and unstable
Right= cold and dry
Potential evaporation
amount of evaporation that would occur if water was unlimited
-depends on energy