Chapter 7- Fronts

Chapter 7- Fronts - The areas where air masses form are...

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The areas where air masses form are called source regions . Based on moisture content, air masses can be considered either continental (dry) or maritime (moist). According to their temperature, they are either tropical (warm), polar (cold), or arctic (extremely cold). Meteorologists use a two-letter shorthand scheme for categorizing air masses. A small letter c or m indicates the moisture conditions, followed by a capital letter T , P , or A to represent temperature.
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Continental polar (cP) air masses form over large, high-latitude land masses. In addition to having very low temperatures, winter cP air masses are extremely dry. Continental arctic (cA) air is colder than continental polar and separated by a transition zone similar to the polar front called the arctic front .
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Maritime polar (mP) air masses are similar to continental polar air masses but are more moderate in both temperature and dryness. Maritime polar air forms over the North Pacific as cP air moves out from the interior of Asia. Maritime polar air also affects much of the East Coast with the circulation of air around mid-latitude cyclones after they pass over a region. The resultant winds are the famous northeasters or nor’easters (above) that can bring cold winds and heavy snowfall.
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This note was uploaded on 11/19/2008 for the course CJC 101 taught by Professor Brown during the Spring '07 term at Ball State.

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Chapter 7- Fronts - The areas where air masses form are...

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