Weather and Climate

What are macroscale winds?
Largest wind patterns. An example of these are the westerlies and trade winds.
What are microscale winds?
Smallest air wind pattern. Example is a dust devil. They are very small and often chaotic winds that generally do not last long.
What are mesocale  winds?
These are middle sized phenomenons that generally last minutes to a few hours. These would include thunderstorms and tornadoes.
What causes land sea breezes?
Contrasts between land and sea daily temperatures.
What causes mountian/valley breezes?
The air on the mountain slope’s temperature rises more intensely than the air at the same elevation.
What causes Chinook winds?
Chinook, or foehn, winds are dry, warm air that sometimes move down the Rockies and the Alps.
What are the katabatic winds and what induces them?
Katabatic winds are dry, cold winds that are induced by gravity and cold, highland air.
What are Santa Ana Winds and why are they so important to the weather?
Santa Ana winds are strong dry, warm winds that sweep through California and contribute to wild fires as the dry the moisture out of everything.
What is a monsoon?
A monsoon is a wind system that exhibits a pronounced seasonal reversal in direction. The most famous of these are the Asian monsoons.
What are thermal principle pressure belts?
Polar high and equatorial low.
What are mechnically induced principle pressure belts?
Subtropical high and subpolar low.
What is another name for the equatorial low?
Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)
What are the jet streams that affect the US?
Polar and subtropical jet streams.
Which way do ocean currents circulate in each hemisphere?
The Northern Hemisphere is clockwise, the Souther Hemisphere counter-clockwise.
Where and what is the Gulf Stream?°°°
The Gulf Stream is located on the Southeast coast of the US. It is strengthened by the Westerlies and deflected to the east between 30 and 45 N.
What coasts have cold or warm currents?
Polarbound moving currents are warm, equatorbound moving currents are cold.
What is El Nino?
El Nino is where the water along Peru and Ecuador’s coast is warmer than usal.
What weather effects does El Nino have?
Peru and Ecuador experience floods where Indonesia experience droughts. The number of hurricanes in America decrease.
What is La Nina?
When the water off the coast of Perua and Ecuador is colder than average.
What are the effects of La Nina on weather?
It is dry in the south and souteast of America, cool in the US pacific northwest and Great Plains with more hurricanes in the Atlantic.
What is an air mass?
An immense body of air.
What are source regions?
Areas where air masses originate and determine the characteristics of the air mass.
What is air mass weather?
Constant weather conditions caused by the lingering of air masses.
What are the symbols for air mass classification?

m – maritime

c – contential

T – tropical

P – Polar

A – Artic

AA – Antartic



What air masses do we experience in the US?
cT, cM, mP, mT and rarely cA.
What are the characteristics of the air masses that influence the US?

cT – dry, hot

cP – dry, cool

mT – humid, warm

mP – humid, cool

How is lake effect snow generated?
Cool, dry air masses travel across the Great Lakes, cool down and pick up moisture. The air mass then moves across the land and cools again. It then snows because the air mass can no longer carry the moisture.
What is the polar front theory?
It is a theory created during World War I by a group of Norwegian meteorologists. It states that mid-latitude cyclones form on boundaries between warm and cold air.
What is the definition of cyclone?
The circulation of air masses around low pressure.
What is a cold front and what weather is associated with it?
A cold front is what happens when a cool air mass occupies space that was formerly occupied by a warm air mass. Weather associated with it include thunderstorms.
What is a warm front and what weather is associated with it?
A warm front is when warm air occupies space that was formerly occupied by cool air. Weather associated with it is light precipitation.
What are the part of the life cycle of a mid latitude cyclone?
Cyclogensis, open-wave, occlusion and dissipation.
What is a stationary front?
When warm and cool air are parallel. It tends to make the weather stick around for a longer time and can lead to things like flooding.;

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