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Part 3. Distribution and Movement of Air Chapter 8 Atmospheric Circulation and Pressure Distributions.

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Presentation on theme: "Part 3. Distribution and Movement of Air Chapter 8 Atmospheric Circulation and Pressure Distributions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Part 3. Distribution and Movement of Air Chapter 8 Atmospheric Circulation and Pressure Distributions

2 Planetary Winds Well-defined pressure patterns exist across the Earth that induce the global wind patterns on the planet

3 Idealized Single-Cell Convection Model for a Planet

4 The ITCZ is a band of clouds across the tropics

5 The Three-Cell Model Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) -- surface low pressure with clouds and rain Subtropical high -- Air subsides (dry climate) Hadley cell -- tropical convection cell Ferrel cell -- southwesterly winds at surface Polar cell -- northeasterly winds at surface

6 The three-celled model vs. reality: Hadley cells are close approximations of real world equatorial winds Ferrel and polar cells do not approximate the real world winds very well at all Model is unrepresentative of westerly flow aloft Continents and topographic irregularities cause significant variations in real world wind patterns compared to the model

7 Semi-Permanent Pressure Cells are large areas of higher or lower atmospheric pressure than the surface average They may be thermally induced (rising warm air or subsiding cold air) or they may be caused dynamically by converging or diverging wind patterns) They fluctuate seasonally Northern hemisphere semi-permanent cells The Aleutian, Icelandic, and Tibetan lows Siberian, Hawaiian, and Bermuda-Azores highs ITCZ (low)

8 Average atmospheric air pressure and wind patterns in January

9 Average atmospheric air pressure and wind patterns in July

10 The Sahel reflects seasonal migration of the ITCZ The Sahel is rainy during northern hemisphere summer and dry during northern hemisphere winter as the ITCZ shifts north and south through the year. It is the reason for annual flooding of the Nile River.

11 Shifts in the ITCZ affect the Sahel

12 Mid-latitude winds in the middle and upper troposphere are controlled b the pressure gradient force and the Coriolis force, giving the westerly winds Stronger pressure gradients in winter give stronger westerlies

13 Westerly winds in the upper atmosphere Air motions directed towards poles Redirected by Coriolis deflection –Westerly winds aloft result The polar front and jet streams Fast stream of air in upper troposphere –Above polar front –Stronger in winter

14 Polar jet profile The fastest middle and upper troposphere mid-latitude winds (the jet stream) are at polar front. There is a sharp temperature contrast and horizontal pgf to the south and north of the polar front. 300 mb 500 mb 800 mb Strongest pgf here

15 The subtropical jet transports low latitude moisture and energy Subtropical front and jet

16 Ridges and trough profile Ridge Trough

17 A trough over the mid-continent in (b)

18 Rossby waves are the wave-like pattern of ridges and troughs in the upper troposphere winds. Ridges and troughs (Rossby waves) will migrate either east or west with time

19 Sequence of Rossby wave migration -- the dashed line shows the migration and evolution of a trough with time across the country

20 Ocean currents are driven by wind stresses and are deflected by the Coriolis force. Thus, the water moves at about a 45° angle to the winds. The diection of movement of the ocean changes with depth following a pattern called the Ekman spiral. Western basins usually experience warm ocean currents Eastern basins usually experience cold ocean currents


22 Upwelling in along-shore winds Cold waters rise due to Ekman transport

23 Global Ocean Circulation

24 Infrared Satellite Image of the Gulf Stream

25 Major Wind Systems of the Earth Monsoons Thermal induced seasonal wind patterns associated with shifts of the ITCZ Monsoons are characterized by dry offshore winter flow and wet onshore summer flow The monsoon in East Asia experiences orographic enhancement

26 Winter monsoon

27 Summer monsoon

28 Topography enhances monsoonal effects

29 Foehn winds are strong, downslope winds that adiabiatically compress, raising the air temperature. Foehn winds are associated with hot, dry, clear weather Chinook winds are foehn winds along the east slope of the Rockies (snow eaters) Santa Ana winds are foehn winds that blow from the deserts and over the mountains into the valleys of southern and central California Katabatic winds are cold, dense winds that flow down mountain slope. They warm as they descend, but they are still colder than the surrounding air. Boras and mistral winds are forms of katabatic winds in Europe

30 Southern California Santa Ana induced fires

31 Sea and land breezes form due to temperature differences over land and sea. Sea breezes form during the day, and land breezes form at night. Valley and mountain breezes form due to heating and cooling on mountain sides. Valley breezes form during the day, and mountain breezes form at night (similar to katabatic winds)

32 Sea breeze development

33 Sea breeze-initiated clouds over Hawaii

34 Valley and mountain breeze development

35 Air-Sea Interactions in the Equatorial Pacific El Niño, La Niña, and the Walker circulation El Niño events –Unusually warm water in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean –Linked to global weather anomalies –2 to 5 year recurrence La Niña events -- wind and temperature patterns reversed of El Niño patterns Walker circulation –Vertical and horizontal tropospheric flow in the equatorial Pacific that controls areas of heavy rainfall

36 The Normal Walker Circulation (no El Niño conditions)

37 ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation) events -- oscillations between El Niño and La Niña conditions ENSO results in global teleconnection patterns (weather effects far from the equatorial Pacific)

38 El Niño SST Anomalies


40 La Niña SST Anomalies

41 The Southern Oscillation Index

42 The PDO Index Warmer waters in western tropical Pacific Cooler waters in western tropical Pacific

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