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48 Cards in this Set

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body of air that has fairly uniform temperature and humidity and covers a huge area of the earth's surface
air mass
a region with relatively uniform temperature and humidity over which air masses form
source region
an air mass that is warmer than the surface over which it moves
warm air mass
an air mass that is colder than the surface over which it moves
cold air mass
the boundary between two air masses that is not moving
stationary front
when a warm air mass replaces a cold air mass, usually resulting in long, steady rain
warm front
when a cold air mass replaces a warm air mass, often resulting in severe storms and high winds
cold front
a line of violent thunderstorms along a front
squall line
a front formed when a cool air mass and a rapidly moving cold air mass trap a warm air mass between them, lifting the warm air mass so it doesn't touch the ground
occluded front
a regional wind system that reverses periodically, alternately bringing wet and dry seasons
monsoon
the force exerted on an air mass that is located between high- and low-pressure areas
pressure gradient force
a high-altitude wind that is controlled by the relative influence of the pressure gradient force and the Coriolis effect
geostrophic wind
a weather system centered on a low-pressure area
cyclone
an area of relatively high pressure with the highest pressure in the center - typically clockwise-rotating
anticyclone
the force most responsible for the rapid spiraling of surface winds into the center of a low pressure area because it slows surface winds
friction
air mass that forms over water
maritime
air mass that forms over land
continental
air mass from extremely cold area
artic
air mass from cool or cold areas
polar
air mass from warm or hot areas
tropical
maritime polar - moist, cold
continental polar - dry, cold
maritime tropical -moist, warm
continental tropical-dry, warm
continental artic-dry, very cold
5 general types of air masses
rapid currents of wind high above the earth
jet stream
-breeze that blows onshore from the ocean
-usually happens daytime
sea breeze
-breeze that blows from the shore to the water
-usually happens at night
land breeze
-a breeze that blows up a mountainside from the valley when air high on the mountain heats and rises
-usually in warm season or day
valley breeze
-a breeze that flows down the mountain into the valley
-usually cool season or night
mountain breeze
winds that blow toward the west near the equator
trade winds
winds that blow toward the east above 30' N and S latitude
prevailing westerlies
winds blowing from the east from the polar regions
polar easterlies
a permanent low pressure belt of unusually windless air near the equator caused by the vertical rising of warm air
doldrums
bands of nearly permanent high pressure at 30' N and S caused by descending cold air
horse latitudes
the prevailing low-pressure belt at 60' N and S latitude
subpolar low
an area of high atmospheric pressure at either pole caused by subsiding cold air
polar high
a rainstorm that includes lightning and thunder and is the most common type of violent storm
thunderstorm
a towering cumulonimbus cloud that builds rapidly to high altitudes and usually brings heavy rain, lightning, thunder, and sometimes hail
thunderhead
an electrical discharge that occurs either between clouds or between a cloud and the ground
lightning
the faint streamer of electricity that heads toward the ground preceding the most energetic part of the lightning bolt
stepped leader
the series of flashes that move up from the ground to the cloud after the initial discharge of lightning
return stroke
lightning that travels in branched paths
forked lightning
violent funnel-shaped clouds that form over the land, extending down from a cumulonimbus cloud
tornado
a tornado that occurs at sea
waterspout
in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific oceans, a strong, large-area cyclonic storm with wind speeds exceeding 117 km/h (73 mi/h)
hurricane
what hurricanes are called in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions
typhoon
a hurricane in the Southwestern Pacific and Indian Ocean regions
cyclone (hurricane)
the center of the hurricane where the lowest pressure of the storm is located
eye
the larger-than-normal surface waves that proceed outward from a slow-moving hurricane
storm swell
a large increase in sea level along the shore in front of and below a hurricane as high winds pile water up against the land, often causing catastrophic flooding and erosion
storm surge
a metal rod attached to the highest point of a building that prevents damage to the building from a lightning strike by conducting the electrical discharge through cables to the ground
lightning rod