14 Airmasses and Fronts

14 Airmasses and Fronts - Air masses and fronts GEOG 345...

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Unformatted text preview: Air masses and fronts GEOG 345 October 24 2006 Textbook: chapter 11 http://www.weatherdish.com/imagery.htm GOES-10 http://www.weatherdish.com/imagery.htm METEOSAT http://www.weatherdish.com/imagery.htm IndoEx http://www.weatherdish.com/imagery.htm GMS Fig. 10-2, p. 257 Three-cell model: spinning Earth Arrows show winds at the surface Doldrums, horse latitudes: areas of light winds Ferrel cell: thermally indirect cell (cold air rises, warm air sinks) The three-cell model represents well actual conditions at the surface Air masses • Homogeneous masses of air having specific conditions of temperature, humidity and stability • Source regions – where air masses originate and take uniform characteristics through surface-air interaction • Classification – according to source region – 1. Moisture • m aritime and c ontinental – 2. Temperature • A rctic, P olar, T ropical, E quatorial and A nt A rctic Table 11-1, p. 287 Air mass classification Fig. 11-1, p. 286 High pressure system high and low pressure systems are often associated with air masses Note the large difference between Pittsburg and Philadelphia – mountain effect. Fig. 11-2, p. 287 Air masses in North America Most air mass paths follow the typical westerly general circulation pattern at mid-latitudes. Continental Polar (cP) and Continental Arctic (cA) air masses • Winter: snow- and ice covered northern Canada – no topographic barriers as it moves south • areas on the East and West coasts are somewhat “protected” – mountain effect – dry, but as it reaches the Great Lakes heavy snowfall occurs due to lake effect • Summer: warmer (but still cool) and moister air – no inversion near the surface Fig. 11-3, p. 288 Cold outbreaks in North America meridional air flow – no topographic barriers Fig. 3, p. 292 The “Siberian Express” unusually cold outbreak of cA air mass – record high sea surface pressure, steep pressure gradient and strong winds Fig. 1, p. 289Fig....
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course GEOG 345 taught by Professor Csiszar during the Fall '06 term at Maryland.

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14 Airmasses and Fronts - Air masses and fronts GEOG 345...

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