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66 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is the atmosphere?
Is the mixture of gases that surrounds Earth.
What is atmospheric science?
The study of the atmosphere.
The atmosphere has how many layers?
5 layers
Name the 5 atmospheric layers.
Nemonic tool for the 5 layers of the atmosphere
Clouds consist of
small particles of ice and water that have evaporated from elsewhere in the atmosphere
What are the highest clouds?
Cirrus Clouds 17,000-15,000 ft.
Wispy and streaky in appearance
often precede low-pressure fronts that generate rain and snow
What are the midlevel clouds?
Altostratus and alotcumulus
6,000 and 17,000 ft.
AltoC are white and fluffy common on partly sunny days
AltoS are gray and typically uniform in consistency. Such clouds give a stratified apppearance.
What are low clouds?
Below 6,000 ft.
Stratus clouds
Nibostratus clouds
Comulus clouds
Stratocumulus clouds
Describe Stratus clouds
Gray in color, and they uniformly cover the sky. These clouds are found in layers; in fact stratus means "layer" in Latin. Stratus clouds are generally responsible for overcast days, and ground-level fog actually consists of low stratus clouds.
Describe Nimbostratus clouds
are similar to stratus clouds in that they are gray and layered, but unlike stratus clouds, nimbostratus clouds produce rain. (In Latin, nimbus means "rain".)
Describe Cumulus clouds
Are low, fluffy, white clouds that do not produce rain, They usually indicate fair, stable, weather.
Describe Stratocumulus clouds
Are cumulus clouds that are layered or clustered together. These clouds cover the sky uniformly and do not generate precipitation. Under certain circumstances, however, stratocumulus clouds can pick up moisture and evolve into cumulonimbus coulds.
What are cumulonimbus clouds?
They are a subset of the cumulus family. Quite dense. Often referred to as thunderheads, because they are responsible for the production of rain, thunder, and lightening.
What is unique to the underside of a cumulonimbus cloud?
Characterized by mammatus, or lumps or pendulous bulges that often indicate the approach of high winds and tornadoes.
Describe orographic clouds?
are clouds that form when moist air is lifted over a mountain range.
What is a front?
Is a boundary between two dissimilar air masses.
What is unique about a warm front?
Contains more moisture and possess higher temperatures than do cold fronts. Warm fronts move at higher altitudes than their cooler counterparts.
Describe a cold front.
Possess cool, relatively dry air (between 20 and 40 degrees cooler than the air in warm fronts), and they stay closer to the ground than do their warmer counterparts.
What is a stationary front?
can be either warm or cold as long as the air within them moves parallel to their edge or surface position.
What is an occluded front?
is a particular atmospheric condition that occurs when a warm front is overtaken by a cold front.
What are winds?
Are currents of air that blow from regions of high pressure to regions of lower pressure.
Wind force is described in terms of the Beaufront scale.
Define Specific heat
is the amount of heat that will warm one gram of that substance by one degree Celsius.
What is windchill?
Certain portions of the Earth's surface are swept by wind, the temperature in that area feels cooler than it actually is. Known as the windchill temp.
Describe the Coriolis effect.
can be defined as the tendency for any moving body on earth to drift sideways from its course due to Earth's rotation on its axis. This drifting or deflection of moving bodies occurs because earth's surface is rotating at a greater speed near the equator that it is near the poles.
What is the meterological equator?
is the line of latitude across which global weather patterns are essentially mirrored. It is located about five degrees north of the geographical equator
What are the horse latitudes?
Approx. 30 degrees north/south air has lost most of its moisture & begins to descend. The weather in these regions tends to be warm and marked by an absence of wind and precipitation. Most of the earth's deserts are found here.
Any atmospheric cycle in which air rises in the equatorial latitudes and descends in the horse latitudes is called a ________ _______
Hadley cell
The particular cycle that produces the warm, dry weather of the horse latitudes is known as the _________ ________ ______
equatorial Hadley cell
During the early days of transatlantic travel, sailors sought these winds in order to speed their trade-related voyages between europe and the americas. These winds became to be known as the..........
trade winds.
The trade winds blow from ________ to ________.
There are few winds in the areas directly along the equator. These calm regions are known as the ________________
Between the the polar cells and the equatorial hadley cells in both hemis, wind circulates in semistable systems called _________
What are polar cells?
Weather patterns, where Cold air near the poles descends and travels toward the equator, as this air moves toward the equator, it gains heat and rises, after rising, the air moves back toward the arctic and antarctic circles where it descends and releases rain.
What are westerlies prone to?
They are somewhat variable, and they have been known to produce stormy weather. The westerlies often give aircraft traveling from america to europe a tailwind boost of up to two hundred miles per hour.
What does El Nino mean?
The child or the christ child.
When does El Nino begin?
Every year between October and Christmas season.
Where does El Nino occur?
Off the coast of Peru.
What is El Nino?
A weather pattern where an area of of high rather than low pressure develops along the Indonesian coast. This high-pressure area stops the trade winds from blowing and thereby causes warm rather than cold water to accumulate off the coast of Peru. If it last longer than a year, it drastically affects climates throughout the northern hemis by causing warm, wet air to rise into the atmosphere. This air triggers mild temps and lg amts of rain in the areas through which it passes.
What are the Major weather patterns in the USA?
Continental Polar
Continental Artic
Maritime Polar (pacific)
Maritime Polar (atlantic)
Maritime Tropic
Maritime equatorial
Continental tropical
Cyclones and anticyclones
__________ are earth's way of releasing excess heat from its surface into the atmosphere.
What is adiabatic cooling?
Where warm, moist air rises to great heights and then cools to form precipitation.
What is dew point?
The temperature at which water vapor will condense.
What are updrafts?
when hot air is force upward by a cold front.
What are downdrafts?
are created when rain-cooled air drops toward earth's surface.
Small downdrafts are known as ______________, and very intense downdrafts are known as _____________.
A ___________ is any storm characterized by the presence of ____________
A _____________ is a narrow but very intense storm in which a funnel-shaped vortex of whiling wind extends downward from a higher cloud, often one of the mammatus variety.
What are the stages of a storm becoming a hurricane?
Tropical wave
Tropical depression
Tropical storm
What is a tropical wave?
2 or more thunderstorms come together over the ocean to form a larger storm
What is a tropical depression?
Where the storms organized into a single system
What is a tropical storm?
If the depression develops sustained winds with speed between 39 and 73 mph, it becomes a tropical storm.
If the tropical storm exceed 74 mph it is now classified as a ___________
What scale is used to rate tornados?
Fujita-Pearson scale
What is the most destructive characteristic of a hurricane?
Storm surge
What scale is used to rate hurricanes?
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
What are the Aurora borealis?
Or the northern lights are optical atmospheric phenomena that occur near the arctic circle and appears to be a giant glowing curtain in the sky.
The Aurora australis occurs?
Near the Antacrtic circle.
What makes the sky appear blue?
Rutherford scattering?
Why does the sky appear blue?
Because the human eye can only detect white light. This light is composed of all colors. When light enters earth's atmosphere, atoms and molecules in the air allow the passage of all but the constituent blue light. By way of RS, these atoms and molecules reflect the blue light toward human observers, thus causing the sky to look blue.
Why does the temperature of the stratosphere increase with elevation?
The stratosphere is the only layer of the atmosphere what absorbs the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. Thus, the temperature of the stratosphere increases with the height and its closeness to the Sun.
What is the ionosphere?
It is the "floating" layer of the atmosphere that exists in either the thermosphere or the stratsophere at different times during the day.
How is the ionoshpere related to radio transmission?
The ionoshpere contains ionized atoms and molecules that affect the transmission of radio signals. Thus, radio signals of varying wavelengths behave differently when the inonosphere is at lower elevations that when it is higher in the atmosphere
What is an orographic cloud?
An orographic cloud is a cloud that forms when moist air is lifted over a mountain range. As this air rises into the upper atmosphere, the moisture within it cools, condenses, and falls to the ground as precipitation.
What is the Beaufort scale?
Is a system that categorized wind force using the numbers 0 (calm) through 12 (hurricane strength). This scale is based on wind speed.
What is the meterological equator?
Is the line of latitude across which global weather patterns are essentially mirrored. It is located about five degrees north of the geographical equator.