weather0 - Weather Physics Physics at work Clouds...

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Weather Physics
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Physics at work Clouds Precipitation Wind Lightning Hurricanes
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Weather is hard Basically “chaotic” Extremely sensitive to initial conditions Classic example: double pendulum QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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Clouds Regions of condensed water/ice Water vapor condenses onto small particles (snowflakes all over again) As long as drops are small, they won’t fall QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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Updrafts Localized regions of warmer air will rise Air goes up Air moves from high to low pressure What happens when it gets there? Runs into other air rushing in there, and moves up! QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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Precipitation If water drops/ice crystals get too large, they fall to the ground Snow Ice crystals formed from freezing of supercooled water Hail rain QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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Precipitation If water drops/ice crystals get too large, they fall to the ground Snow Hail Ice pellets repeatedly thrown up through clouds by strong updrafts rain QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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Precipitation If water drops/ice crystals get too large, they fall to the ground Snow Hail Rain Water droplets grow until they fall Different sizes set by nucleation sites and water content QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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Terminal velocity Things don’t all fall at the same speed in a fluid Running through a crowd is slower than running on an empty path Per second, a slow object sees fewer air molecules (less resistance) At high enough speeds, an object will collide with a lot of particles (equal to its mass)
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Terminal Velocity Mass of object is density times volume Volume is Area times height Larger objects fall faster (for same density, same area) Some numbers: You: 350 km/h Raindrop: 10 km/h Snow: 3 km/h QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this p V μ 10 cm / s r object r fluid height 1 mm
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Driven by pressure differences Ultimate source of energy is solar Affected by rotation of earth QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTimeª and a
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2010 for the course PHYS 181 taught by Professor Gilholder during the Spring '10 term at McGill.

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weather0 - Weather Physics Physics at work Clouds...

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