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This 13 page Bundle was uploaded by Megan Bartz on Monday February 8, 2016. The Bundle belongs to GEOG 1300 at East Carolina University taught by WALTER CURTIS in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see Weather and Climate in Geography at East Carolina University.
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Date Created: 02/08/16
Geography What is the difference between weather and climate? Weather is a pinpoint which is controlled by climate Climate impacts weather Climate peopl e ocea weath land n er biolo gy “Climate is what you expect and weather is what you actually get” Climate Normal: 30 year average Ppm= parts per million What is science? All about predictions from facts Facts are the data collected through observation and measurement Measurements are always fraught with error Hypothesis o Made, tested and debated Predictions are made based on the hypothesis to be considered verified Are the predictions verified or not? Hypothesis that fails rigorous testing are discarded Theory evolves from hypothesis Scientific laws more mathematical in nature rather than experimental Geography The Scientific Method Summary 1. Collect scientific facts through observation and measurement 2. Develop one or more working hypotheses 3. Develop observations and experiments to test hypotheses 4. Accept (theory), reject or modify hypotheses based on extensive testing How Meteorology fits into Earth Science solid lithoshere hydrosphere atmosphere liquid gas Why is weather and climate in geography, planning and environment? Atmosphere is the key component of environment Geography: a science that deals with the atmosphere Vladimir Peter Koppen (1846-1940) Categories: A= rainforest/tropical B= dessert C= subtropical D= temperant E= tundra/ice High pressure: atmosphere is pushing more than usual Low pressure: atmosphere isn’t pushing as much Geography Cold front: cold air is pushing southward Warm front: warm air is pushing west to east Stationary front: stays still Troth: area of lower pressure Symbols for reading a weather map: Decoding barometric pressure: 1. Place decimal point to the left of the last number 2. Place either a 9 or 10 in front 3. To determine whether to place a 9 or 10 in front: if the number falls between 00.0 and 55.9 place a 10 Geography Temperature Scales Celsius: (based on the melting (0 degrees) and boiling (100 degrees) points of water Kelvin: (based on “absolute zero”); no negative values, no molecular movement Fahrenheit: (based on nothing in particular) Kelvin (K) and Celsius (°C) scale have the same units: K= C + 273.15 Fahrenheit (°F) and Celsius (°C) have different units For what, (boiling point – melting point) (212 °F- 32 °F) = 180 °F (100 °C – 1°C) = 100 °C 180/100= 9/5 °F= 9/5 C +32 Geography Plotting temperature on a map: “the art of interpolation” Isotherm: line of equal temperature Rules for interpolating: Make sure values are less than the contour are on one side and values greater than the contour are on the other Contour lines should never cross Lines can either be closed (circle) or end at the edge of the map o Thus, it is often helpful to begin with the smallest/larges value or at the edge of map Always label contours Names: iso-info o Temperature= isotherm o Pressure= isobar o Precipitation= isohyet o Humidity= isohume o Wind= isotach Whenever isobars are close together, that means fast winds As well as high pressure gradient Low pressure gradient means slow winds Air Masses: Temperature and moisture characteristics the same *horizontally* Continental inn size ( 1600km/ 1000 mi across) Source Areas: Where air mass gets its characteristics Either over land or over sea Either in high or low latitude (tropics or polar regions) Flat topography Four types of source areas o cP- continental polar (cold-dry) o mP- maritime polar (cool-wet) o mT- maritime tropical (warm-wet) o cT- continental tropical (hot-dry) Geography Front: Boundary between air masses Continental polar (cP) Cold, dry Northern Canada: winter, snow-covered Few clouds, little precipitation High pressure Lake effect snow intensify with cP air mass Maritime Polar (mP) Cool to cold temperatures (mild compared to cP), moderately moist Precipitation Source area: Gulf of Alaska, North Atlantic Maritime Tropical (mT) Warm/hot, very moist Source area: Gulf of Mexico (warm water) Unstable: thunderstorms, intense rain Continental tropical (cT) Hot, dry Little precipitation Source area: Mexico and southwestern US Polar front: stationary; divides cT’s and mT’s Fronts: general characteristics All fronts separate air masses of different densities All fronts slope over cold, dense air o Warm air is less dense (lighter) than cold air Geography Warm Front: Low frontal slope Gentle uplift Mainly low clouds Low intensity precipitation ahead of front As front passes: Temp increases Skies clear Winds veer: SE to SW Cold Front: Steep frontal slope Strong uplift Intense precipitation behind the front As the front passes: Temp falls Skies become more cloudy Winds veer: SW to NW Why are cold fronts more violent? Geography Friction causes steep slope Cold fronts move faster than warm fronts Stationary Front: Light rain Flooding possible is stationary front remain over several days Occluded Front: Cold-type: o Air behind front is colder o Often precipitation arrives after front passes o Common east of Rockies Warm-type: o Air behind front is colder o Often precipitation arrives before front passes o Common along Pacific coast Dryline: sharp drop in humidity without appreciable drop in temperature. cT is more dense than mT Meteogram The Upper Atmosphere Geography Radiosonde: a lightweight package of weather instruments fitted with a radio transmitter and carrier aloft by a balloon. They are often tracked by GPS to obtain position and thus upper-air wind speed and direction Pressure with height Jet stream: zone of fast winds in the upper atmosphere Mid latitude cyclones o Zonal flow: fair weather o Often initiates stormy weather at surface o When the inflow at the surface exceeds outflow aloft then the cyclone dies o High pressure: anticyclone- clockwise o Low pressure: cyclone- counter-clockwise Jet streaks: pools of faster wind speeds in the jet stream Relationship between jet streams and cyclones Cyclones and anticyclones move with the jet stream o Understanding the nature of the jet stream can help us better predict the paths of storms Comma shape o Head of the comma: cyclone o Tail of the comma: cold front Weather forecast methods (Ch. 12) Persistence forecasts Trend forecasts Statistical forecasts Geography Analog forecasts Forecasts models Satellite information Persistence forecasting Assume that what is happening in the present will continue in the future Doesn’t account for any variations Limited length of predictability Limited accuracy Trend forecasting Assume that a trend observed at a place will continue in that same direction in the future Can also assume that what is happening upwind of a location will move to your location Doesn’t account for any variations Limited length of predictability Limited accuracy Analog/statistical forecasting Uses the past to predict future weather Looks at spatial patterns that have existed in the past and assumes those patterns will repeat themselves in the future Numerical weather prediction Computer models o Use physical laws governing atmospheric motion Try to model upper level flow pattern o Then, infer locations and cyclogenesis Most accurate forecast method beyond a few hours Problems: o Rely on accuracy of observational data input into the models o Sensitive dependence on initial conditions Limits prediction to less than a week Geography o Models are simplifications Phases in numerical modeling: Analysis phase o Looking at the models to see what’s going to happen Prediction phase o The forecast that is decided Post-processing phase o What the answer was and determining how close you were Long-range Forecasting Uses statistical methods Weekly, monthly, seasonal outlooks o Very general “normal”, “below normal”, “above normal” Modify upper level charts based on variables like ocean temperature and snow cover Not very accurate Accuracy of Weather Forecasting Some regions are more difficult than others Some aspects of weather easier to forecast than others o Max and min temperature: fairly accurate o Precipitation time of occurrence and amount: much more difficult o Percent chance of rain: The chance that 0.01 inches will fall at any point in the area during the period covered by the forecast Forecast Skill Geography Trends in Large-Scale Forecast Skill Satellites 1960: 1 weather satellite Geostationary satellites Polar orbiters GEOS satellite Coarse resolution Three channels o Visible o Thermal infrared o Water vapor Before we get to hurricanes we need to Understand: Energy transfer o Radiation: the outward transfer of heat energy in the form of electromagnetic rays emitted by a body (no medium necessary) o Conduction: transfer of heat energy by direct contact between individual molecules (solid) o Convection: transfer of heat energy by the circulating motions of fluid that is heated from below (liquid of gas) Geography There is also a way to move energy covertly… Latent heat o The heat energy released or absorbed during the transition of water from one phase to another o Sensible heat: the heat energy that goes into temperature change o Sublimation: directly from solid to gas Hurricane energy cycle Convection: heat absorbed from ocean Evaporation Vaporization Condensation Clouds and participation Hurricane: derived from the word Huracan, the Carib god of evil
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