Weather and Climate study Guide

Weather and Climate study Guide
Water Cycle
A. evaporation= change from water to water vapor
B. condensation= water vapor condenses to form small drops of water
C. precipitation= any form of water that falls from the sky
* most of the water that evaporates from the Earth’s surface comes from the
II. Vocabulary
A. run-off= water moving from high ground to low ground over and through rock
and soil (can form small streams) (can come from melting snow)
B. weather= state of the atmosphere at a certain time and place (state of the
atmosphere includes amount of water in the air, temperature of air, and
C. humidity= amount of water vapor in the air
D. temperature= measured with a thermometer
E. clouds= made up of millions of tiny water droplets or ice crystals; formed by
changing humidity and temperature of the air
F. air pressure= weight of the air in an area(partly determined by the Sun)
high pressure= cooler temperatures and clear skies or low pressure= warm
temperatures and storms or rain; measured by a barometer(barometric
G. wind= caused by differences in air pressure; speed of wind is determined by air
pressure combined with the temperature; wind moves from areas of high
pressure to areas of low pressure
H. altitude= distance above Earth’s surface
I. air mass= large body of air that has the same temperature and level of humidity
throughout; warm and wet, cold and wet, warm and dry, cold and dry
J. climate= average weather conditions in an area over a long period of time
K. meteorologist= scientists who study weather
III. Types of Clouds
A. Cumulus= fluffy, white clouds that look like piles of cotton balls with flat
bottoms (occur in fair weather; form as warm air rises)
-cumulonimbus clouds= cumulus clouds that grow larger and bring
B. Stratus= flat, horizontal clouds that form in layers
- formed when large mass of air is gently lifted into the atmosphere
- form at low altitudes and cover large areas of the sky
- tend of block out sunlight
- fog is a stratus cloud that forms near Earth’s surface
- nimbostratus clouds= dark stratus clouds that produce light to heavy
continuous rain
C. Cirrus= thin, wispy clouds that form high in the sky
- form when the wind is strong
- if they get bigger and thicker, these clouds indicate a change in the
IV. Altitude and Cloud Formation
A. cirrostratus= cloud that forms at high altitude(prefix is cirro-)
B. Altostratus= clouds that form at middle altitude(prefix is alto-)
C. Stratocumulus= clouds that form at low altitude(prefix is strato-)
V. Fronts= area where two air masses meet
A. cold front= forms when a cold air mass moves under a warm air mass; brings
heavy rains, thunderstorms, sometimes snow
B. warm front= forms when a warm air mass moves up and over a cold air mass
-brings rainy, drizzly weather conditions, often followed by
warm, clear weather
D. occluded front= two cold air masses move toward each other, warmer air is
between the cold masses and is pushed upward
-brings cool temperatures and plenty of rain and snow
E. stationary front= occurs when a warm air mass and cold air mass meet, but
Neither front has enough energy to push against the other
-brings days of overcast, rainy weather
VI. Climate is affected by:
A. temperature and rainfall
B. location of a place on Earth
C. wind patterns
D. mountains-affect temperature and precipitation; influence rainfall
E. oceans- water warms and cools more slowly than on land\
VII. Three Major Climate Zones
A. Tropical Zone= near equator, where light and heat from the Sun are the most
B. Temperate Zone= found between polar and tropical zones
C. Polar Zone= Earth’s North and South Poles
VIII. Breezes
A. Valley breeze= warm air rises and flows up the mountain
B. Mountain breeze= cool air sinks and flows down the mountain
C. Sea breeze= cool, high pressure air over the ocean flows toward land(day)
D. Land breeze= cool air over land forms area of high pressure and moves
toward the ocean(night)