Moisture & Precipitation

Moisture & Precipitation - Moisture, Clouds, and...

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Unformatted text preview: Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation Water's Change of State Water Vapor in the Atmosphere Adiabatic Temperature Changes Processes that Lift the Air Atmospheric Stability Forms of Condensation Forms of Precipitation Changes of state of water Heat energy Measured in calories one calorie is the heat necessary to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius Latent heat Stored or hidden heat Not derived from temperature change Important in atmospheric processes Changes of state of water Three states of matter Solid Liquid Gas To change state, heat must be Absorbed, or Released Changes of state of water Processes Evaporation Condensation Liquid is changed to gas 600 calories per gram of water are added called latent heat of vaporization Water vapor (gas) is changed to a liquid Heat energy is released called latent heat of condensation Changes of state of water Processes Melting Freezing Solid is changed to a liquid 80 calories per gram of water are added called latent heat of melting Liquid is changed to a solid Heat is released called latent heat of fusion Changes of state of water Processes Sublimation Deposition Solid is changed directly to a gas (e.g., ice cubes shrinking in a freezer) 680 calories per gram of water are added Water vapor (gas) changed to a solid (e.g., frost in a freezer compartment) Heat is released Changes of state of water Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation Water's Change of State Water Vapor in the Atmosphere Adiabatic Temperature Changes Processes that Lift the Air Atmospheric Stability Forms of Condensation Forms of Precipitation Humidity Amount of water vapor in the air Saturated air is air that is filled with water vapor to capacity Capacity is temperature dependent warm air has a much greater capacity Water vapor adds pressure (called vapor pressure) to the air Humidity Measuring humidity Mixing ratio Relative humidity Mass of water vapor in a unit of air compared to the remaining mass of dry air Often measured in grams per kilogram Ratio of the air's actual water vapor content compared with the amount of water vapor required for saturation at that temperature (and pressure) Humidity Measuring humidity Relative humidity Expressed as a percent Saturated air Content equals capacity Has a 100% relative humidity Relative humidity can be changed in two ways Add or subtract moisture to the air Adding moisture raises the relative humidity Removing moisture lowers the relative humidity Humidity Measuring humidity Relative humidity Relative humidity can be changed in two ways Changing the air temperature Lowering the temperature raises the relative humidity Dew point temperature Temperature to which a parcel of air would need to be cooled to reach saturation Relative humidity changes at constant temperature Relative humidity changes at constant water-vapor content Humidity Measuring humidity Relative humidity Dew point temperature Cooling the air below the dew point causes condensation e.g., dew, fog, or cloud formation Water vapor requires a surface to condense on Typical daily variations in temperature and relative humidity Measuring humidity Relative humidity Humidity Two types of hygrometers are used to measure humidity Psychrometer compares temperatures of wetbulb thermometer and drybulb thermometer If the air is saturated (100% relative humidity) then both thermometers read the same temperature The greater the difference between the thermometer readings, the lower the relative humidity A sling psychrometer Humidity Measuring humidity Relative humidity Two types of hygrometers are used to measure humidity Hair hygrometer reads the humidity directly Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation Water's Change of State Water Vapor in the Atmosphere Adiabatic Temperature Changes Processes that Lift the Air Atmospheric Stability Forms of Condensation Forms of Precipitation Adiabatic heating/cooling Adiabatic temperature changes occur when Adiabatic temperature changes occur when Air is compressed Motion of air molecules increases Air will warm Descending air is compressed due to increasing air pressure Air expands Air parcel does work on the surrounding air Air will cool Rising air will expand due to decreasing air pressure Adiabatic heating/cooling Adiabatic temperature changes occur when Adiabatic rates Dry adiabatic rate Unsaturated air Rising air expands and cools at 1C per 100 meters (5.5F per 1000 feet) Descending air is compressed and warms at 1C per 100 meters Adiabatic heating/cooling Adiabatic temperature changes occur when Adiabatic rates Wet adiabatic rate Commences at condensation level Air has reached the dew point Condensation is occurring and latent heat is being liberated Heat released by the condensing water reduces the rate of cooling Rate varies from 0.5C to 0.9C per 100 meters Adiabatic cooling of rising air Application for Adiabatic Lapse Rates How is this relevant for my life? Los Angeles 3 million Death Valley 6 people Both locations receive the same amount of sunshine, but Death Valley is not only in the rain shadow, but also much hotter. Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation Water's Change of State Water Vapor in the Atmosphere Adiabatic Temperature Changes Processes that Lift the Air Atmospheric Stability Forms of Condensation Forms of Precipitation Processes that lift air Orographic lifting Frontal wedging Elevated terrains act as barriers Result can be a rainshadow desert Cool air acts as a barrier to warm air Fronts are part of the storm systems called middlelatitude cyclones Processes that lift air Convergence where the air is flowing together and rising (low pressure) Localized convective lifting Localized convective lifting occurs where unequal surface heating causes pockets of air to rise because of their buoyancy Processes that lift air Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation Water's Change of State Water Vapor in the Atmosphere Adiabatic Temperature Changes Processes that Lift the Air Atmospheric Stability Forms of Condensation Forms of Precipitation Stability of air Types of stability Stable air Resists vertical displacement Cooler than surrounding air Denser than surrounding air Wants to sink No adiabatic cooling Absolute stability occurs when the environmental lapse rate is less than the wet adiabatic rate Absolute stability Stability of air Types of stability Stable air Absolute instability Often results in widespread clouds with little vertical thickness Precipitation, if any, is light to moderate Acts like a hot air balloon Rising air Warmer than surrounding air Less dense than surrounding air Continues to rise until it reaches an altitude with the same temperature Stability of air Types of stability Absolute instability Adiabatic cooling Environmental lapse rate is greater than the dry adiabatic rate Clouds are often towering Conditional instability occurs when the atmosphere is stable for an unsaturated parcel of air but unstable for a saturated parcel Absolute instability Conditional instability Stability of air Determines to a large degree Type of clouds that develop Intensity of the precipitation Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation Water's Change of State Water Vapor in the Atmosphere Adiabatic Temperature Changes Processes that Lift the Air Atmospheric Stability Forms of Condensation Forms of Precipitation Condensation and cloud formation Condensation Water vapor in the air changes to a liquid and forms dew, fog, or clouds Water vapor requires a surface to condense on Possible condensation surfaces on the ground can be the grass, a car window, Possible condensation surfaces in the atmosphere are tiny bits of particulate matter Called condensation nuclei Dust, smoke, etc Ocean salt crystals which serve as hygroscopic ("water seeking") nuclei Condensation and cloud formation Clouds Made of millions and millions of Classification based on Minute water droplets, or Tiny crystals of ice Form (three basic forms) Cirrus high, white, thin Cumulus globular cloud masses often associated with fair weather Stratus sheets or layers that cover much of the sky Cirrus clouds Altostratus clouds Cumulus clouds Condensation and cloud formation Clouds Classification based on Height High clouds above 6000 meters Types include cirrus, cirrostratus, cirrocumulus Middle clouds 2000 to 6000 meters Types include altostratus and altocumulus Low clouds below 2000 meters Types include stratus, stratocumulus, and nimbostratus (nimbus means "rainy") Condensation and cloud formation Clouds Classification based on Height Clouds of vertical development From low to high altitudes Called cumulonimbus Often produce rain showers and thunderstorms Classification of clouds according to height and form Classification of clouds according to height and form Fog Considered an atmospheric hazard Cloud with its base at or near the ground Most fogs form because of Radiation cooling, or Movement of air over a cold surface Fog Types of fog Fogs caused by cooling Advection fog warm, moist air moves over a cool surface Radiation fog Earth's surface cools rapidly Forms during cool, clear, calm nights Upslope fog Humid air moves up a slope Adiabatic cooling occurs Fog Types of fog Evaporation fogs Steam fog Cool air moves over warm water and moisture is added to the air Water has a steaming appearance Frontal fog, or precipitation fog Forms during frontal wedging when warm air lifted over colder air Rain evaporates to form fog Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation Water's Change of State Water Vapor in the Atmosphere Adiabatic Temperature Changes Processes that Lift the Air Atmospheric Stability Forms of Condensation Forms of Precipitation Precipitation Cloud droplets Formation of precipitation Bergeron process Less than 20 micrometers (0.02 millimeter) in diameter Fall incredibly slow Temperature in the cloud is below freezing Ice crystals collect water vapor Large snowflakes form and fall to the ground or melt during descent and fall as rain Particle sizes involved in condensation and precipitation The Bergeron process Precipitation Formation of precipitation Collisioncoalescence process Warm clouds Large hygroscopic condensation nuclei Large droplets form Droplets collide with other droplets during their descent Common in the tropics The collisioncoalescence process Precipitation Forms of precipitation Rain and drizzle Snow ice crystals, or aggregates of ice crystals Sleet and glaze Rain droplets have at least a 0.5 mm diameter Drizzle droplets have less than a 0.5 mm diameter Sleet Wintertime phenomenon Small particles of ice Precipitation Forms of precipitation Sleet and glaze Sleet Occurs when Warmer air overlies colder air Rain freezes as it falls Glaze, or freezing rain impact with a solid causes freezing Precipitation Forms of precipitation Hail Hard rounded pellets Concentric shells Most diameters range from 1 to 5 cm Formation Occurs in large cumulonimbus clouds with violent up and down drafts Layers of freezing rain are caught in up and down drafts in the cloud Pellets fall to the ground when they become too heavy Precipitation Forms of precipitation Rime Forms on cold surfaces Freezing of Supercooled fog, or Cloud droplets Precipitation Measuring precipitation Rain Easiest form to measure Measuring instruments Standard rain gauge Uses a funnel to collect and conduct rain Cylindrical measuring tube measures rainfall in centimeters or inches The standard rain gauge Precipitation Measuring precipitation Snow has two measurements Depth Water equivalent General ratio is 10 snow units to 1 water unit Varies widely Radar is also used to measure the rate of rainfall End of Chapter ...
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This note was uploaded on 08/07/2008 for the course GEO 1408 taught by Professor Greene during the Summer '07 term at Baylor.

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