Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

100 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Atmospheric circulation is generally categorized at three levels, name them.
Primary Circulation (consisting of general worldwide circulation), Secondary Circulation (of migratory high-pressure and low-pressure systems), and Tertiary circulation (that includes local winds and temporal weather patterns
Winds that move principally north or south along meridians are known as:
Meridional Flows
Winds moving east or west along parallels of latitude are called
Zonal Flows
This is a product of the temperature and density of a mass of air
Air Pressure
The horizontal motion of air across Earth's surface is called
This instrument determines wind direction
Wind Vane
The Traditional ________ ____________ is a descriptive scale useful in visually estimating wind speed
Beaufort Wind Scale
Drives air from areas of higher barometric pressure to areas of lower barometric pressure causing winds
Pressure Gradient Force
a deflective force, makes wind that travels in a straight path appear to be deflected in relation to Earth's rotating surface
Coriolis force
drags on the wind as it moves across surfaces; it decreases with height above the surface
Friction Force
Force on the atmosphere that is virtually uniform. Gravity equally compresses the atmosphere worldwide, with the density decreasing as altitude increases
Gravitational Force
an isoline plotted on a weather map to connect points of equal pressure
Northern Hemisphere winds spiral out from a high-pressure are clockwise to form a
Northern Hemisphere winds spiral out from a low-pressure area counterclockwise to form a
Explain an equatorial low-pressure trough
Caused by Thermal Air. Warm and wet conditions
Explain Subpolar high-pressure cells
Caused by Dynamic Air. Air is Hot/Dry
Explain Subpolar low-pressure cells
Caused by Dynamic Air. Air is cold/wet
Explain polar high-pressure cells
Caused by thermal air. Air is Cold and Dry.
The combination of heating and convergence forces air aloft and forms the
Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)
Wind from the northeast and southeast that converges in the equatorial low-pressure trough, forming the intertropical convergence zone
Trade Wind
Northeast Trade Winds blow in the _________ hemisphere, Southeast Trade winds blow in the _____________ hemisphere.
Norther; Southern
Dominant surface winds from the subtropics to high latitudes. Diminish somewhat in summer and are stronger in winter in both hemispheres
a subtropical high-pressure cell that forms in the Northern Hemisphere in the eastern Atlantic; associated with warm, clear water and large quantities of sargassum, or gulf weed
Azores High
a subtropical high-pressure cell that forms in the western North Atlantic
Bermudga High
a high-pressure cell that dominates the pacific in July, retreating southward in the Northern Hemisphere in January; also known as the Hawaiian high
Pacific High
a significant zone of contrast between cold and warm air masses; roughly situated between 50 and 60 degrees N and S Latitutude
Polar Front
variable weak, cold, and dry winds moving away from the polar region; an anticyclonic circulation
Polar Easterlies
an undulating horizontal motion in the upper-air westerly circulation at middle and high latititudes
Rossby Wave
an Irregular, concentrated band of wind occurring at several different locations that influences surface weather systems
Jet Stream
Jet Stream that meanders between 30 & 70 degrees N latitude at the tropopause along the polar front
Polar Jet Stream
in subtropical latitudes, near the boundary between tropical and midlatitude air is the __________ jet stream that flows near the tropopause and it meanders from 20-50 degrees latitude and may occur over North America
subtropical jet stream
wind along coastlines and adjoining interior areas created by different heating characteristics of land and water surfaces-onshore breeze in the afternoon and offshore breeze at night
Land-Sea breeze
a light wind produced as cooler mountain air flows downslope at night and as warmer valley air flows upslope during the day
mountain-valley breeze
an annual cycle of dryness and wetness, with seasonally shifting winds produced by changing atmospheric pressure systems
air drainage from elevated regions, flowing as gravity winds. layers of air at the surface cool, become denser, and flow downslope
Katabatic Winds
an area of the sea where cool, deep waters, which are generally nutrient rich, rise to replace the vacating water, as occurs along the west coasts of North and South America
upwelling current
an area of sea where a convergence or accumulation of water thrusts excess water downward; occurs, for example, at the western end of the equatorial current or along the margins of Antarctica
downwelling current
deep ocean currents produced by differences in temperature and salinity with depth; Earth's deep currents
Thermohaline circulation
continuing process by which water and water vapor emerge from layers deep within and below the crust
worldwide changes in sea level
ration of the amount of water vapor that is actually in the air compared to the maximum water vapor at a possible in the air at a given temperature
relative humidity
water vapor in the air
air is ______, when the rate of evaporation and the rate of condensation reach equilibrium, that is 100% relative humidity
temperature at which a given mass of air becomes saturated and net condensation begins to form water droplets
dew point temperature
mass of water vapor per mass of air at any specified temperature
specific humidity
tendency of an air parcel, with its water-vapor cargo, either to remain in place or to change vertical position by ascending or descending
an air parcel is _________ if it resists displacement upward or, when disturbed, tends to return to is starting place
an air parcel is ______ if it continues to rise until it reaches an altitude where the surrounding air has a density and temperature similar to its own
actual lapse rate at a particular place and time
environmental lapse rate
heat energy involved in the phase change is ________ and is hidden within the structure of water
latent heat
the rate at which "dry" air cools by expansion or heats by compression
Dry Adiabatic Rate (DAR) 10/1,000meters
rate at which an ascending air parcel that is moist, saturated, cools by expansion or that a descending parcels warms by compression
Moist Adiabatic Rate (MAR)6/1,000 meters

If environmental lapse rate is LESS than Moist Adiabatic rate, then the air is
If environmental lapse rate is greater than Dry Adiabatic Rate, then the air is
air clouds found over mountains, many times mistaken for UFO's
a towering, precipitation-producing cumulus cloud that is vertically developed across altitudes associated with other clouds; frequently associated with lightning and thunder and thus sometimes called a thunderhead
thin and whispy clouds. very high up and made of ice crystals. (Indicator clouds)
bright and puffy clouds. unequal heating is going on
a horizontally developing cloud at low altitudes
a cloud, in contact with the ground, with visibility reduced to less than 1 KM. air is 100% saturated and air leave at ground temp=dew point temp
active condensation formed when warm, moist air moves laterally over cooler water or land surfaces, causing the lower layers of the air to be chilled to the dew-point temp
advection fog
fog formed when cold air flows over the warm surface of a lake, ocean, or other body of water; forms as the water molecules evaporate from the water surface into the cold, overlying air;
Evaporation fog
formed by radiative cooling of a land surface, especially on clean nights in areas of moist ground; occurs when the air layer directly above the surface is chilled to to the dew-point temperature, producing saturated conditions
radiation fog
distinctive, homogenous body of air that has taken on the moisture and temperature characteristics of its source region
air mass
"M" stands for
maritime (wet)
"C" stands for
Continental (dry)
"A" stands for
"P" stands for
"T" stands for
"E" stands for
"AA" stands for
airflows in conflict force lifting and displacement of air upward, initiating adiabatic processes
convergent lifting
air passing over warm surface gains buoyancy and lifts, initiating adiabatic processes
convectional lifting
the uplift of a migrating air mass as it is forced to move upward over a mountain range- a topographic barrier. the lifted air cools adiabatically as it moves upslope; clouds may form and produce increased precipitation
orographic lifting
a place of atmospheric discontinuity, a narrow zone forming a line of conflict between two air masses of different temperature, pressure, humidity, wind direction, and speed, and cloud development
frontal lifting
a cyclonic circulation originating in the tropics, with winds between 30 & 64 knots; characterized by closed isobars and heavy rains
tropical cyclone
an organized area of low pressure, with converging and ascending airflow producing an interaction of air masses; migrates along storm tracks.
midlatitude cyclone
scale that uses wind speeds and central pressure criteria, ranks hurricanes and typhoons in five categories, from smaller (1) to dangerous (5)
Saffir Simpson Scale
What are the two situations that govern tornado formation?
1). cool dry air clashing with warm moist air (frontal lifting)
2). warms by compression of the increasing pressure. Relative humidity goes down; warm dry wind comes off the mountain slope
water law that says water is a communal commodity related to adjacent land ownership (25%, 25%, 25%, 25%)
eastern water law
water law that says first person to put water to good use gets water they want
western water law
simplified model of the flow of water, ice, and water vapor from place to place. water flows through the atmosphere, across the land, where it is also stored as ice, and within groundwater. Solar energy empowers the cycle
hydrologic cycle
very thin film of water held so tightly by soil that plant can't use it
pore spaces in the soil have water in them. holds onto the water by surface tension. plants can use this water, it's at its field capacity
Capillary (best)
excess water, pores are saturated, surplus drowns downward
two characteristics for storage/movement of water through ground
porosity and permeability
the total volume of available pore space in soil; a result of the texture and structure of the soil
the ability of water to flow through soil or rock; a function of the texture and structure of the medium
pumping an aquifer beyond its capacity to flow and recharge; an overuse of the groundwater resource
Groundwater Mining
What are the three groundwater problems
1). Groundwater Mining
2). Subsidence of land surface
3). Saltwater intrusion
the study of climate, and the analysis of longterm weather patterns over time and space, including extreme weather events, to find areas of similar weather statistics
areas of similar weather conditions
climatic regions
the consistent long-term behavior of weather over time, including its variability; in contrast to weather, which is the condition of the atmosphere at any given place and time
an empirical classification system that uses average monthly temperatures, average monthly precipitation, and total annual precipitation to establish regional climate designations
Koppen Geiger Climate Classification
Coldest Month avg is greater than 64 degrees. no true winter. abundant heavy rainfall all year round and lots of rain
Tyopical Rainforest (AF)
seasonally shifting pressure. seasonally shifting winds. seasonally shifting precipitation
monsoon season
longer dry season, shorter wet season
tropical savanna
warmest month greater than 50 degrees, coldest month greater than 32 degrees. all seasons. abundant rainfall all year round
warming of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America
El Nino
two types of change from El NINo
TW weather, shift in TW