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# ch06 - Jon Ahlquist Chapter 6 Stability and Cloud...

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Jon Ahlquist 10/4/2006 MET1010 Intro to the Atmosphere 1 Chapter 6: Stability and Cloud Development Comments on chapter Definition of stability Buoyancy force Vertical stability in atmosphere Lapse rate and stability Stability and clouds Changing cloud forms Determining the height of the cloud base Comments on chapter 6 In this chapter, hard concepts are mixed in with straightforward concepts. Be guided by these notes and my review questions as to what to learn. I don’t expect you to know too many things from this chapter. Just strengthen the concepts presented in these notes. If you want to be a meteorology major, you’ll ultimately need to understand everything in this chapter, so it won’t hurt to get started now. Only about 6-8 exam questions for exam 3 will come from this chapter. Classical Definition of Stability (p. 140) Something at rest is in equilibrium. Give something at rest a small push. Then see whether there is a force on the object. The equilibrium is: Stable if a force pushes it back toward its initial position Unstable if a force pushes it further away from its initial position Neutrally (un)stable if there is no push either toward or away from its initial position (ball on flat surface, not pictured) Fig 6.1, p. 140 Stability: Psychology Example Apply the preceding stability definitions to psychology. If you experience a small disturbance in life, you would be: stable if you adjust back to the way you were before the incident unstable if the small disturbance becomes a big deal in your life neutrally stable if you don’t go back to the way you were nor do you become more extreme (“go with the flow”) Buoyancy Force (not in book) A “fluid” is anything that can flow. Liquids (like water) and gases (like air) are both fluids. An object in a fluid has at least 3 vertical forces pushing on it: (1) the force of gravity pulling it down, (2) the pressure in the fluid pushing down on its top side, and (3) the pressure in the fluid pushing up on its bottom side. The combination of these three forces is called the buoyancy force .