W & C Notes Exam 3

W & C Notes Exam 3 - Upper-Level Winds Upper-Level...

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Upper-Level Winds – 3/4/08 Upper-Level Winds Global circulation models What explains the westerly upper-level winds? The temperature difference between the equator and the poles Height Difference Cold air versus warm air Causes height differences in atmosphere and thickness of air Warm air expands and causes the atmosphere to be thicker (equator) Cold air is thin atmosphere (Polar) Higher heights at the equator Lower heights at the poles Height differences creates upper-level winds Further you go up in the atmosphere the wind speed will increase Significance of Pressure Gradient Pressure gradient increases Wind speed increases This creates the jet streams Jet Streams High Speed winds in the upper level of the troposphere Jet Streams: Polar Front Jet Stream Cold and dry Forms around Sub-polar lows Cold air to the North
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Warm air to the South Very Steep temperature change with latitude is usually where it will form Subtropical Front Jet Stream Warm and moist Forms on the north side of subtropical hi’s (around 30’s) Jet Streams and Streaks Steer weather systems Usually flows from West to East Divergence and convergence created in the upper part of the atmosphere Surface highs and lows Speed and Directional Convergence/Divergence Speed Convergence – faster winds coming into box and slower winds coming out Directional Convergence – different direction winds come together and leave as one direction Speed Divergence – Slower winds coming in, faster coming out Directional Divergence – Straight wind coming in and then spread out Divide jet streak into quadrants Jet Streaks Left-front and right-rear -- Divergence – Lo pressure at the surface Left-rear and right-front -- Convergence – Hi Pressure at the surface
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W & C Notes Exam 3 - Upper-Level Winds Upper-Level...

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