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The Atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology, 12th

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1 The Atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology, 12th
Chapter 4: Moisture and Atmospheric Stability The Atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology, 12th Lutgens • Tarbuck Lectures by: Heather Gallacher, Cleveland State University Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc.

2 Movement of Water Through The Atmosphere
Hydrologic cycle:

3 Water: A Unique Substance
Water is the only liquid on the surface of the Earth in large quantities. It exists in all forms on Earth. Ice (solid state) is less dense than liquid. Water has a high heat capacity. It has a unique ability to form hydrogen bonds (H2O).

4 Water’s Changes of State
Ice, liquid water, and water vapor:

5 Latent Heat Latent heat:
Adding heat to melt ice does not result in a temperature change. Melting 1 gram of ice requires 80 calories. Latent heat of melting Freezing 1 gram of water releases 80 calories. Latent heat of fusion

6 Latent Heat Latent heat is also during evaporation, the process of converting a liquid to a gas. The latent heat of vaporization is the energy absorbed by water during evaporation. ~ 600 calories/gram for water Evaporation is a cooling process. Condensation is the reverse process, converting a gas to a liquid. The process when water vapor changes to the liquid state is the latent heat of condensation. Energy is released, which warms the surrounding air.

7 Latent Heat Sublimation: Deposition:
Sublimation is the process that turns a solid to a gas. Disappearing ice cubes in freezer are a result of sublimation. Deposition: Deposition is the reverse process of changing a vapor to a solid. Frost accumulating in a freezer is a result of deposition.

8 Humidity: Water Vapor in the Air
Humidity is amount of water vapor in the air. Absolute humidity is the mass of water vapor in a given volume of air. The mixing ratio is the mass of water vapor in a unit of air compared to the remaining mass of dry air. Vapor pressure is defined as the part of the total atmospheric pressure attributable to its water-vapor content. Relative humidity indicates how close air is to saturation rather than the actual quantity of water vapor in the air. Dew point is the temperature to which air needs to be cooled to reach saturation.

9 Vapor Pressure and Saturation
Vapor pressure is that part of the total air pressure attributable to water vapor content.

10 Vapor Pressure and Saturation
Saturation is the equilibrium point between evaporation and condensation. It increases temperature. Humid air equals a high vapor pressure.

11 Relative Humidity Relative humidity:
Relative humidity is the ratio of the air’s actual water vapor content and amount of water vapor required for saturation at a certain temperature.

12 Relative Humidity How relative humidity changes:
100% relative humidity equals saturation. If water vapor is added, relative humidity goes up. If water vapor is removed, relative humidity goes down. A decrease in temperature equals an increase in relative humidity.

13 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

14 Relative Humidity

15 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

16 Relative Humidity Natural changes:
Daily temperature changes affect relative humidity. Temperature changes are caused by advection, the primarily horizontal component of convective flow (wind). Temperature changes are also caused through convection, where some of the air in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, heated by radiation and conduction, is transported by convection to higher layers of the atmosphere.

17 Dew-Point Temperature
The dew point is the temperature air is cooled to reach saturation. Dew-point temperature is a measure of actual moisture content.

18 How is Humidity Measured?
Hygrometer: A hygrometer measures moisture the content of air. A hair hygrometer operates on the principle that hair changes length in proportion to changes in relative humidity. A psychrometer consists of two identical thermometers; one (dry thermometer) measures air temperature, the other called the “wet bulb,” measures the dryness of air. The larger the difference in temperatures between the wet and dry, the lower the relative humidity (with a table).

19 Adiabatic Temperature Changes
An adiabatic process is one in which no heat is transferred. When air is compressed, it warms. When air expands, it cools.

20 Adiabatic Temperature Changes
Adiabatic cooling and condensation: Cooling occurs when air moves up and it expands and cools. Unsaturated air cools at a rate of 10° C/1000m; this is called the dry adiabatic rate. Condensation is triggered when air rises high enough to reach its saturation point and clouds form, called its lifting condensation level. When air ascends above the lifting condensation level, the rate at which it cools is reduced. The slower rate of cooling is called the wet adiabatic rate (because the air is saturated), which varies from 5° C/1000m.

21 Adiabatic Temperature Changes

22 Processes That Lift Air
Orographic lifting occurs when elevated terrains, such as mountains, act as barriers to the flow of air. When air reaches the leeward side, much of its moisture has been lost. Adiabatic cooling can generate clouds and copious precipitation. Many of the wettest places in the world are located on windward mountain slopes.

23 Processes That Lift Air

24 Processes That Lift Air
Frontal wedging: Masses of warm and cold air collide, producing fronts. Cooler, denser air acts as a barrier over which the warmer, less dense air rises. This process is called frontal wedging.

25 Processes That Lift Air
Convergence: Converging horizontal air flow results in upward movement.

26 Processes That Lift Air
Localized convective lifting: Unequal surface heating causes localized pockets of air to rise.

27 The Critical Weathermaker: Atmospheric Stability
Stable air resists vertical movement. Unstable air rises due to buoyancy. Environmental lapse rate is the actual temperature of the atmosphere. Air temperature is measured at various heights in the atmosphere.

28 The Critical Weathermaker: Atmospheric Stability

29 The Critical Weathermaker: Atmospheric Stability

30 The Critical Weathermaker: Atmospheric Stability
Conditional instability is the most common type of atmospheric instability. This situation prevails when moist air has an environmental lapse rate between the dry and wet adiabatic rates.

31 Stability and Daily Weather
How stability changes: Instability is enhanced by the following: Intense warming of the lowest layer of the atmosphere Heating of an air mass from below General upward movement of air caused by orographic lifting, frontal wedging, and convergence Radiation cooling from cloud tops

32 Stability and Daily Weather
How stability changes: Stability is enhanced by the following: Radiation cooling of Earth’s surface after sunset Cooling of an air mass from below as it traverses cold surface General subsidence within an air column

33 Stability and Daily Weather
Temperature changes and stability: When air is cooled from below, it becomes more stable, often producing widespread fog. In winter, air is rendered sufficiently unstable when cold, dry air passes over a warm, wet surface, which can often produce lake effect snow over the Great Lakes.

34 Vertical Air Movement and Stability
Subsidence is a general, downward air flow. Usually, surface air is not involved. This results with stable air and clear, blue, cloudless skies.

35 End Chapter 4

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