Meteorology Final Study Guide

Meteorology Final Study Guide
Ch. 9: Planetary Circulation
1. For a uniform (idealized) Earth, describe the circulation pattern, including the location
of high and low pressure at the surface and the wind belts they create.
2. What is the Intertropical convergence zone? What kinds of weather would you expect
there? How does the ITCZ shift with seasons?
3. Where are the subtropical anticyclones located? What kind of weather is typical in
these latitudes? What are the trade winds? Where are the horse latitudes? What are the
doldrums and where are they? Where is the Hadley cell-can you draw it and the rest of
the global circulation in a cross-section from the equator to the pole?
4. How well does the actual pressure patterns and winds at the Earth’s surface match the
idealized Earth? Why are they different?
5. Describe the Asian monsoon and how the regional winds change with seasons.
6. Describe winds in the upper atmosphere. How do they differ from the surface? Explain
the difference between zonal and meridional flow in the upper atmosphere. How does
upper air ridges and troughs affect surface weather?
7. What is the polar jet stream? How does its position change with seasons? What season
is it stronger?
8. Explain what is the Southern Oscillation and how it relates to El Nino and La Nina.
During El Nino, how does the atmosphere affect the ocean currents and sea surface
temperatures (SST) in the tropics of the Pacific; and how do these changes in the tropical
Pacific change weather on both sides of the Pacific and the U.S.? Explain the differences
during La Nina.
Ch. 10: Mid-latitude Weather Systems
1.What are air masses and how are they classified? What is a mT air mass and what kind
of weather is associated with it? cP?
2.What are the 4 types of weather fronts? What kind of weather changes occur with the
passage of a cold front? Warm front?
3. Describe the life cycle of an extra-tropical cyclone.
4. Where do most storm tracks converge? What does that imply about the weather in the
area of convergence?
5. Describe the difference between warm-core and cold-core anticyclones.
6. Describe and draw the sea breeze and land breeze.
7. What are Santa Ana winds and how are they caused?
8. Describe mountain and valley winds.
Ch. 11: Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
1.Describe the life cycle of thunderstorms. What conditions are needed for them to
develop? What is a squall line? An MCC? A supercell? Describe the geography of
thunderstorm frequency in the U.S. Where are they most prevalent? Why?
2. What is lightning and how is it caused? What causes thunder and how?
3. What is a microburst, downburst?
4. What causes hail and what weather conditions are needed for its development? Where
are most hailstorms in the U.S.? Why?
5. What is a tornado and what conditions are needed for its formation? How many occur
in the U.S. each year, roughly? Where is tornado alley? When is tornado season? What is
the Fujita (F) Scale? Waterspouts? Why are the winds so strong?
Ch. 12: Tropical Weather
1. How is a hurricane defined? What conditions are needed for their development? Where
do they occur globally? When is hurricane season? Describe the structure of a hurricane,
including the eye and eye wall. What are the main hazards with hurricanes? What is the
storm surge? The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale?
2. What is a tropical depression; a tropical storm?