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UA / Geography / GEOG 101 / What is the role of ice crystals in the bergeron process?

What is the role of ice crystals in the bergeron process?

What is the role of ice crystals in the bergeron process?


School: University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa
Department: Geography
Course: Atmospheric Processes & Patterns
Professor: Eben broadbent
Term: Fall 2016
Cost: 50
Name: GY 101 - Midterm 2 Study Guide
Description: Lecture Notes and SmartBook Notes for the midterm on Oct 25, 2016
Uploaded: 10/21/2016
6 Pages 57 Views 10 Unlocks

GY 101 – Midterm 2 Study Guide

What is the role of ice crystals in the bergeron process?


∙ Tropical Cyclones

∙ Different Names (Typhoon (western pacific), Cyclones, Hurricanes) ∙ Described in stage of development

∙ Categorized using the Saffir-Simpson Scale

∙ Named Alphabetically

∙ Major storms have names "retired"

-When a storm exceeds 33 knots, it earns a name

Hurricanes- Well-defined eye, eye wall present, wind speeds exceed 64 knots Hurricane Formation 

∙ Conditions

o Water temperature > 27 Degrees C (81F) in upper ocean (50km)

o Steep environmental lapse rate

What causes atmospheric stability?

o Humid mid-level air

o Small wind shear in troposphere

o A tropical disturbance

o Can’t form at or cross equator

∙ Seasons

o Atlantic: June 1 – November 30

o Eastern Pacific: May 1 – November 30

Hurricane Paths 

∙ Propagate west with trade winds

∙ Hook north around Bermuda high Don't forget about the age old question of What are examples of contra revenue accounts?

∙ Propagate northeast with westerlies

Tropical Cyclone Advisories 

∙ Tropical Storm Watch

o Tropical storm winds likely in next 36 hours

∙ Tropical Storm Warning

How hurricanes are formed step by step?

If you want to learn more check out How do you determine electronegativity?

o Tropical storm winds likely in next 24 hours

∙ Hurricane Watch

o Hurricane winds likely in 36 hours

∙ Hurricane Warning

o Hurricane winds likely in 24 hours

Latent Heat Exchange Reminder 

Solid Water Liquid Water Water Vapor

????------------------------------------------------ HEAT ENERGY RELEASED

HEAT ENERGY ABSORBED -----------------------------------------------------------????

Lapse Rates 

∙ Unsaturated Adiabatic Lapse Rate

o UALR (DALR) = 9.8 Degrees C/km (approx. 10 C/km)

∙ Saturated Adiabatic Lapse Rate

o SALR = variable (approx. 5 C/km)

∙ Environmental Lapse Rate

o ELR depends on local conditions

∙ Normal (Average) Lapse Rate

o NLR = 6.5 C/km

∙ Stability

Atmospheric Stability: Lifting Condensation Level 

1. As T decreases, RH increases

2. Parcels may switch from DALR to SLAR as it rises (at condensation level)

3. Switch occurs at lifting condensation level (where RH = 100%)

Condensation Level 

∙ Elevation where RH = 100% Don't forget about the age old question of What is meta-theory?

∙ Clouds (fog) form

∙ Adiabatic Lapse Rates Change

∙ Vapor pressure decreases with continued cooling

Atmospheric Stability 

∙ As parcel rises it expands and cools ???? loses ability to hold moisture ???? increase RH ???? saturation  likely ???? clouds

∙ Parcel cools according to lapse rate


∙ Aggregation of tiny moisture droplets

∙ 50% coverage of earth

∙ Precipitation formation processes:

o Collision-Coalescence Process

o Bergeron Ice-Crystal Process

▪ Why don’t clouds and their water droplets fall down? If you want to learn more check out What is systole and diastole?

∙ Droplets are very easy to keep vertically rising

Cloud Types and Identification 

∙ Classification

o Altitude

▪ Low

▪ Middle

▪ High

▪ Vertically Developed

o Shape

▪ Flat

▪ Puffy

▪ Wispy

∙ Stratus  

o Low

o 10,000 ft down

o Layered

▪ Nimbostratus: it’s the same cloud, yet it’s raining

∙ Alto Clouds

o 15-30k feet

∙ Nimbus

o Added to a cloud when precipitation is occurring

∙ Cirrus

o High  

o Wispy

∙ Cumulus

o Puffy

Bergeron Ice Crystal Model – dominate process for clouds above the mid and high latitudes (and about  90% of all precipitation

Four TYPES of Precipitation 

∙ Convective

o Instability

∙ Cyclonic

o Frontal We also discuss several other topics like What is the missouri compromise about?

∙ Convergent

o Frontal

∙ Orographic

o Mountains


∙ Wind blowing across the surface, meets upward sloping mountain

o Wind has to go somewhere, forced to rise

▪ Up and over

o As it rises, it’s going to cool off the adiabatic lapse rate and dew point temperature of  cloud forms

∙ On the down side, the falling air heats up

o Cannot get a cloud to form

o Rainshadow – refers to area downward of a mountain range where there is a reduction  in precipitation


∙ Applies in mid and high latitudes Don't forget about the age old question of What is meant by social bonding theory?

∙ Cold fronts and warm fronts

o Because cold air is denser than warm, the warm air will flow over the cold air ∙ Cyclonic participation – the air is forced to rise due to frontal activity


∙ Least common of the four types

∙ Two air masses with undifferentiated temperature characteristics collide

∙ Associated with fronts, but not necessarily warm or cold fronts


∙ Caused by convective mixing in the atmosphere – rising of a warm parcel of air ∙ Air becomes warmer, becomes less dense and buoyant, starts to rise

∙ Most common in the summertime, most consistent with summer thunderstorms in the south ∙ Continues to rise until precipitation becomes thick enough to fall

Five FORMS of Precipitation 

∙ Rain

∙ Snow

∙ Sleet

∙ Hail

∙ Freezing rain

o NOTE: Forms and Types of Precipitation are completely different

Sleet – snowflake ???? melts into a droplet ???? freezes

Freezing Rain - Snowflake ???? melts into droplet ???? falls too fast to freeze through air, but freezes as it  hits a surface

∙ Most dangerous because it forms black ice

∙ Will hit your hand as liquid, but if it hits other surface (ex. Tree, car) it freezes on contact

Hail – Snowflake ???? melts when it hits warmer, lower part of cloud ???? begins catching other droplets  and becomes larger (if it gets caught in updraft, it can become sleet) ???? continues to grow through  updrafts and downdrafts ???? as soon as the strongest updraft can’t lift it, it falls as hail (can also be  thrown out the side during an updraft)

∙ Almost always associated with convection, which means strong up-tracks

∙ Requires the lower end of cloud above freezing, and upper below freezing


Radiation: Fog forms as a quick drop in surface temperatures causes near-surface air temperatures to  drop to the dew point and become saturated

Advection: fog forms over the lateral movement of warm air over a cold surface—the warm air cools to  the dew point

Upslope: fog forms as air is forced uphill due to wind forming a cloud over the surface

∙ A rising parcel of air that exchanges energy with its surroundings is known as diabatic, where  one that does not exchange energy is known as adiabatic.

∙ When two air masses collide, air is forced upward whether it is stable or unstable ∙ Dew point temperatures are highest in the US during the summertime.

∙ The conditions for a temperature inversion needed to form sleet and freezing rain occur ahead  of a warm front

∙ Urbanization – the act of taking land (forests, etc) and constructing buildings, asphault, etc ∙ The rate at which the air surrounding the adiabatically moving air parcel changes temperature  with height is the environmental lapse rate

∙ The hydrogen atoms in the water molecule are arranged asymmetrically, resulting in the polar  nature of the atom, which means it is negatively charged on one side of the atom and positive  on the other

∙ Condensation Nuclei are tiny particles that are necessary for the formation of water droplets in  a cloud

∙ Dew Point is the temperature at which a volume of air becomes saturated with water vapor ∙ When a parcel of air rises, its temperature decreases and its volume increases ∙ Water molecules in the air tend to have higher energy levels compared to those in liquid ∙ The more humidity an air mass has, the less it has to cool to reach its dew point ∙ The general trend of dew-point temperatures in the US during the winter is low dew points in  the north that get higher to the south

∙ Intertropical Convergence Zone

o Located along equator

o Trade winds converge here

o Has relatively high amount of cloud cover (as air converges from both north and south,  it rises, cools, and forms clouds)

∙ How does a warm ocean current influence the overlying atmosphere?

o Conditions create a very steep environmental lapse rate

o Warm air created by the water will rise adiabatically if warmer than the surrounding an  causing an unstable atmosphere, forming clouds and rain

∙ Unstable Air – rising air, whether saturated or unsaturated, is warmer than the surrounding air  and continues to rise

∙ Conditionally Unstable Air – rising air will either continue to rise if it is saturated or cease rising  if it is unsaturated

∙ Stable Air – rising air is cooler than the surrounding environment and has a tendency to sink

∙ Evaporation fog commonly forms in the autumn, when cool air rises and incorporates water  vapor produced by an underlying warm water body, quickly reaching saturation ∙ Fog is most common in the US during winter and spring

∙ Vapor Pressure

o Increases with increasing number of water molecules

o Represented in millibars

o Symbolized by e

∙ Absolute humidity is a measure of how much water vapor is in a given volume of are and is  measured in grams per cubic meter

∙ Less global precipitation falls over continents than the ocean, less evaporation comes from the  continents than the ocean

∙ Water can quickly evaporate from the oceans, as a result of a transfer of the Sun’s energy, and  the water molecules may be lifted high in the air by storms. This pattern demonstrates a rapid  increase in the water molecule’s potential energy, which is likewise rapidly changed to kinetic  energy as gravity takes the water back to Earth. This leads to a short residence time for water in  the atmosphere.

∙ Regarding fluxes within the hydrologic cycle, annual input of precipitation to the continents  exceeds evaporation output from the continents

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