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Lab_4_Weather_analysis__Fall08 - WEATHER ANALYSIS Exercise...

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WEATHER ANALYSIS - 1 - Exercise 4: Weather Analysis REQUIRED MATERIALS 1. This lab manual. 2. Elemental Geosystems, 5 th edition, 2007, by R. Christopherson. REQUIRED READINGS 1. Chapter 5 in Elemental Geosystems . 2. This exercise—be familiar with all terms in bold . 3. This exercise ( Make sure you have the prints of the Pages 13 through 15 for the Lab Assignment) . INTRODUCTION The purpose of this exercise is to illustrate some of the basic mechanisms involved in predicting the weather. People use weather predictions all the time and for a variety of reasons. Farmers want to know when it is going to rain, or when the next predicted drought season will occur. Airline companies need to know where thunderstorms, blizzards, and other dangerous conditions exist. Ski areas want to know when the first snow will fall for the season. Just think about the last time you needed to know the weather. Was it because you needed to know what to wear? Was it to pack for a vacation? Was it to see whether the outdoor lab would be inside or outside?! Whatever the case may have been, you were dependent on accurate weather predictions about what the weather was like outside. Scientists try to forecast the weather according to certain rules and specialized models. Computer simulations and models are often employed to help professionals predict weather conditions more accurately. Images of the Earth from space, remote sensing, have also helped in predicting storm paths, such as that of Hurricane Andrew. More often than not, however, professionals use weather maps (surface and upper atmosphere) to determine the location of fronts, low and high pressure systems, and other important weather conditions. Employing similar technology and knowledge used by professional geographers and meteorologists, you will become a weather forecaster for the day. Weather & Climate The study of short-term atmospheric processes, known as weather , is called meteorology , whereas climatology is concerned with the study of long-term atmospheric processes, known as climate . The spatial origins, consequences, and relationships of weather patterns are complex phenomena that affect the entire planet and all its inhabitants in many ways.
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WEATHER ANALYSIS - 2 - Their study by geographers focuses on many topics, from global warming to local agricultural potentials. The digital distribution, storage, and analysis of weather maps by agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and UNISYS greatly assist in the rapid dissemination of atmospheric conditions and weather prediction by climatologists as well as other scientists such as meteorologists and aeronautical engineers. Forces in the Atmosphere Without gravity, the earth would have no atmosphere. Gravitational force compresses the atmosphere worldwide and holds it close to the earth’s surface. Since the force of gravity is strongest at the surface of the earth, atmospheric pressure is greater near the surface. Atmospheric pressure is indicated on
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Lab_4_Weather_analysis__Fall08 - WEATHER ANALYSIS Exercise...

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