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130 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
How the current weather state affects our lives
-human beings - how we feel
-commerce - gas, crops, flying
-food prices - raise up, dry, freeze
the collective state of the Earth's atmosphere over a long period of time (natural and man-made changes)
-constantly changing
How long of a period is considered for climate
30 years or more
the gases surrounding the planets
the study of the Earth's atmosphere that is a nonperfect science
340 BC
Aristotle - Father of Meteorology
thermometer developed by Torricelli
late 1700s
hygrometer developed
telegraph invented
4 cup anemometer built by Robinson
Department of Telegrams and Reports for the Benefit of Commerce under Signal Corporation (Department of War)
Civilian U.S. Weather Bureau developed in the Department of Agriculture
around 1920
air mass/frontal theories developed (Norwegian meteorologist)
U.S. Weather Bureau transferred to the Department of Commerce
upper air balloons and atmospheric multi-dimensional view (growing aviation importance during World War II)
high speed computers developed (age of atmospheric modeling begins)
conventional weather radars developed (based on reflectivity)
first weather satellite - TIROS I
U.S. Weather Bureau name changed to the National Weather Service (still in the Department of Commerce)
April 3 and 4, 1974
worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history (100 1/2 tornadoes touched down in 24 hours in states such as: Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, etc.)
Doppler weather radars developed (reflectivity and velocity)
wind profilers (Doppler theory) - constant air balloon
1960s and 1970s
Weather Bunny Era - women did weather reports on TV no matter how much they knew about weather
after tornadoes more meteorologists on the air to explain effects
development and use of ground based lightning detection systems
late 1980s into the 1990s
development and deployment of Automated Surface Weather Observing Systems (ASOS/AWOS)
materialization and restructuring of National Weather Service
air temperature
hotness or coldness of air
amount of moisture in the air
wind direction
horizontal movement of air from the origin
wind speed
force which air blows
nature's handwriting
ice or water droplets falling from the sky
atmospheric pressure
the mass/weight of the air above us (high or low pressure)(clouds and rain-low pressure, good weather-high pressure)
how far you can see
cloud cover
atmospheric profilers
atmospheric information from temperature
up high (pressure, precipitation)
surface aviation weather observations
worldwide aviation safety
lightning networks
observations of lightning
surface weather map
4 or 5 feet off the ground
upper air weather map
upper levels of the atmosphere
lines of equal or constant values of a given property (with respect to place and time)
lines of equal pressure - only used on surface weather maps
lines of equal temperature
lines of equal rainfall - especially after big storms
lines connecting points of equal pressure over a period of time
lines of equal dew point temperature
lines of equal wind speed
surface weather maps
model in Fahreheit (U.S.) which is located in upper left corner
-bottom left corner-dew point
upper air weather maps
model in Celsius which is located in upper left corner
-big circle-clouds
-flag points in wind direction
-pendants on flag-wind speed (knots)
-dew point depression-lower left number (Celsius-dew point dep.=dew point)
Stanley Gedzelman's Seven Causes of Weather
1.sun's heating varies over Earth and with seasons
2.difference in air temperatures over Earth causes wind
3.rotation of Earth destroys simple wind patterns...twisting the wind, produces spirals...high/low pressure
4.since less moisture can coexist in colder air, precipitation is generally cause by cooling the air
5.pressure in the atmosphere ALWAYS decreases with increasing height while temperature GENERALLY decreases
-the process of decreasing air pressure...temperature drops
-the process of increasing air pressure...temperatures rise
6.clouds/precipitation are caused by sinking air (high pressure) and clear skies are caused by sinking air (high pressure)
7.rising air expands and cools
water part of the planet (70-75% of the Earth's surface)
land part of the planet (land heats and cools quickly)
living part of the planet (made up of all spheres)
-a mixture of many different gases
-the composition of the atmosphere is NOT it changes from place to place and time to time
-includes ALL atmosphere-all planets are part of the atmosphere (Pluto included)
composition of the atmosphere
permanent gases (about 98% by volume)
-nitrogen - 78.08%
-oxygen - 20.95%
-hydrogen - 0.93%
-neon - 0.001%
variable gases (about 2% by volume) - most of these are Greenhouse gases
-water vapor
-carbon dioxide
-nitrous oxide
-water vapor in the atmosphere is the most variable gas (0-4% by volume)
in colder regions there is not much moisture
moisture can't coexist
in desert regions it is very dry
no moisture
in rain forests
tons of moisture
ozone is a very unstable compound
good ozone found in the Stratosphere
-effective screen for UV rays from the sun
-ozone holes-raise in skin cancer
bad ozone found in the Troposphere
-form of pollution
-fumes find sun light and form 3O-fill up at night (no light)
How do computers draw isolines?
by interpelating data
atmospheric origins
-particles in solar winds formed Earth...and then they cooled
-out gassing (including water vapor)
-clouds formed...rain fell
-at first, rain "boiled" away
-after cooling, oceans filled with water
formation of oxygen
-first atmpsohere contained little amounts of oxygen
-UV radiation through chemical reactions produced some oxygen
-largely though...most came from photosynthesis
thermal structure of the atmosphere
thermosphere (about 55 miles and up)
mesosphere (30 to 55 miles up)
stratosphere (15 to 30 miles up)
-tropopause (highes near equator/lowest near poles)
troposphere (surface to 10 or 15 miles up)
If a thunderstorm breaks through the __________ - it is a bad storm
Why does the temperature rise in the stratosphere?
because of the ozone
Just because temperature increases in mesosphere and thermosphere doesn't mean it is hot because ________
of such few molecules present
surface to 55/60 miles up (through stratosphere)-well mixed region
55/60 miles and upward (above stratosphere)-due to small number of atoms/molecules, layering takes place with heavier atoms/molecules (O/N) setting on bottom layers; lighter atoms (H/He) on top
45/50 miles and higher-not really a layer by electrified region-molecules (N) and atoms (O) are readily ionized with high energy SW radiation-D,E,F layers (lowest to highest)
-daytime-all layers present
-nighttime-D and E disappear, F remains
Aurora Borealis/Australis
another structural layer with electrical properties
The Earth intercepts less than __________ of all the Sun's energy.
2 billionths
The solar energy represents ____% of the energy that heats the Earth's surface
if the sun stops shining...
global scale winds would cease...
The atmosphere is a poor absorber of the sun's radiation
The Earth heats the lower level of the atmosphere
spinning of the Earth on its axis once every 24 hours
movement of Earth in orbit around the sun occurs about every 365 1/4 days
causes seasons
the most direct rays from the sun are at __________
90 degrees overhead
the number of atmospheres the sun rays have to shine through to get to us
More of an angle determines the number of "atmospheres" that the sun rays must traverse
-1 "atmosphere" - 90 degrees overhead
-2 "atmospheres" - 30 degrees above horizon
-11 "atmospheres" - 5 to 10 degrees above horizon
21st of March
Vernal Equinox (first day of spring)
-sun directly above the equator
21st of June
Summer Solstice (first day of summer)
-sun directly above the Tropic of Cancer
21st of September
Autumnal Equinox (first day of fall)
-sun directly above the equator
21st of December
Winter Solstice (first day of winter)
-sun directly above the Tropic of Capricorn
When do the lows and highs for the days occur?
lows - 30 minutes after sunrise
highs - 4 or 5 pm
The highs and lows for the day are called the march/lay of temperatures
When do the hottest and coldest parts of the year occur?
hottest - a couple weeks after the summer solstice
coldest - a couple weeks after the winter solstice
circle of illumination
the boundary separating the light part of the planet from the dark part of the planet
-poles - depending on which way the axis is tilted they will be light for about 2 months or dark for about 2 months
Of 100% of incoming solar radiation...
-20% is scattered and reflected by clouds
-51% is absorbed by the earth (most important)
-6% is scatterred from the atmosphere
-19% is absorbed by the atmosphere and the clouds
-4% is reflected by the surface
transfew of energy from a hot end to a cooler end (pot and spoon)
-not an efficient way of transferring energy in the atmosphere (only an inch or two off the surface)
the vertical transfer of heat energy through the atmosphere
-air pockets in the air (invisible)
-clouds form due to convection
the horizontal movement of an object (cloud, moisture, temperatures) across the atmosphere
shortwave (solar) radiation vs. long wave (terrestrial) radiation
-hot to cool areas
Dust and other particles redirect radiation...
which results in light (bright daytime sky)
Small gas molecules scatter radiation...
resulting in the blue/violet sky
Rayleigh scattering (short wave)
gases (blue sky)
Mei scattering (lower levels of atmosphere)
pollen, dust, smoke, clouds, fog
Non-selective scattering
haze (largest particles)
total fraction of total radiation that is reflected by a given surface
albedo varies...
-place to place/time to time
-due to cloud cover/particlate matter
-due to angle of the sun's rays
-due to nature of the Earth's surface
What is the average planetary albedo?
albedo for fresh fallen snow
80 to 85%
albedo for thick clouds
70 to 80 %
albedo for water (low sun angle)
50 to 80%
albedo for old "dirty" snow
50 to 60%
albedo for thin clouds
25 to 50%
albedo for sand surfaces
20 to 30%
albedo for green grassy areas
20 to 25%
albedo for dry Earth
15 to 25%
albedo for wet Earth
albedo for forested areas
5 to 10%
albedo for water (directly overhead)
3 to 5%
What does higher albedo equal?
lower temperatures (reflects more light)
atmospheric "greenhouse" effect
the relatively easy transmission of short wave (solar) radiation by the atmosphere coupled with the selective absorption of long waves (terrestrial) radiation (especially by carbon dioxide and water vapor)
absorption and emission
-very important as far as energy is concerned
-if an object radiates more energy than it'll turn cooler (equator)
-if an object absorbs more energy than it'll turn warmer (poles)
-hurricanes redistribute energy
a "black body" object
-a perfect absorber (all the radiation it receives, it absorbs) or a perfect emitter (emits the max radiation possible at a given temperature)
-doesn't have to be black
-Earth: day (absorbs), night(emits)
-the radiative equilibrium temperature is reached
-not being a "black body" the atmosphere selectively absorbs and emits radiation
-without the gases (water and carbon dioxide) the Earth's surface would be 59 degrees cooler
the property of a system that enables it to do work
"hotness"/"coldness" of an object
form of kinetic energy transferred between objects by virtue of temperature differences
heat capacity
ratio of heat absorbed (or released) by a system compared to the corresponding temperature rise (or fall)
latent heat
-heat energy required for change of state
-latent means "hidden"
-a very important source of atmospheric energy
-latent heat of condensation is very important in the concept of atmospheric stability
ice to liquid
-333 J/g or 80 cal/g
liquid to vapor
-2500 J/g or 600 cal/g
ice to vapor
-2833 J/g or 680 cal/g
vapor to liquid
-2500 J/g or 600 cal/g
vapor to ice
-2833 J/g or 680 cal/g
liquid to ice
-333 J/g or 80 cal/g
Worldwide, average short wave (solar) radiation is balanced by average long wave (terrestrial) radiation
This is NOT true of each latitude N and S