APES Reading Questions (Chapter 6, 20, and 21)
Distinguish between weather and climate. Summarize how warm fronts, cold fronts, high-pressure air masses,
and low-pressure air masses affect weather.
Weather is a local area’s short-term physical conditions such as temperature and precipitation, typically considered
in hours or days.
Climate is a region’s average weather conditions over a long time, typically considered over
decades. Average temperature and average precipitation are the two major factors that determine climate of a region,
together with the related factors of latitude and elevation.Fronts are boundaries between air masses of different
temperatures. The type of front depends on both the direction in which the air mass is moving and the characteristics
of the air mass.
A warm front- a front in which warm air replaces cooler air at the surface. And will usually be northeast of the cold
front and often, to the east of a surface low pressure area.
A cold front is when cold air is replacing warm air at the surface. In winter, cold fronts move in from the Canadian
prairies, the Arctic Circle or the eastern Pacific and usually bring cooler weather, clearing skies, and a sharp change
in wind direction. They are associated with an area of high pressure.
Describe at least five different factors that contribute to global air-circulation patterns.
Uneven heating of earth’s surface, the equator is heated more than the poles.
This is due to the angle of the sun’s
rays on different parts of the earth.
Seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation due to the tilt of the earth.
Rotation of the earth on its axis results in the earth moving faster beneath air masses at the equator and slower at the
Belts of prevailing winds are the result.
Properties of air, water, and land affect global air circulation.
Water evaporation sets up cyclical convection cells.
These occur both vertically and from place to place in the troposphere.
The result is an irregular distribution of
climates and patterns of vegetation from pole to pole.
Distinguish between a tornado and a tropical cyclone. Describe how ocean currents generally redistribute heat.
A Cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is
usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere
and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. These cyclonic circulations of wind and clouds
can sometimes, but not always, lead to a storm characterized by a low pressure center and numerous
thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rain.
A Tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air which is in contact with both the surface of the
earth and a cloud. The most intense of all atmospheric phenomena, tornadoes come in many shapes and
sizes but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth
and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust