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Model 11 What are winds - wind is air that is moving horizontally relative to the earth’s surface - the vertical movement of air is called vertical winds, downdrafts, or updrafts - winds are caused by the unequal heating of earth’s atmosphere which creates a pressure gradient - the heated air rises and the surrounding air is sucked in under the rising air - this process is the same for both local and global winds how are winds generated - winds result from horizontal difference in pressure in the atmosphere and winds blow in an attempt to equalize the imbalance in the air pressure - the pressure gradient force results from differences in pressure between regions - the average surface pressure is 1013.2 hpa and pressure usually varies from 980 hpa to 1030 hpa - air move from areas of higher pressure to areas of lower pressure and from areas of higher temperature to areas of lower temperature constant height maps - on a constant height map isobars bend and turnaround area of high and low pressure - constant height maps are smoothed and drawn relative to a constant elevation - maps are smoothed to take into account high altitude stations and stations with small observation error constant height maps - constant height maps can be used to show variations in pressure at any attitude - each map shows isobars at a constant height - the isobars represent variations in horizontal pressure at that altitude - an average isobar at sea level would be about 1000 hpa, at 3000m of altitude about 700 hpa, and at 5600m altitude about 500 hpa constant pressure maps - constant pressure maps show variations in altitude for a constant pressure - they also known as upper level charts, or isobaric charts (e.g. 500hpa) high elevations for a given pressure surface correspond to higher than
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