Atmospheric Movement Global air circulation patterns within the atmosphere held to Earth by gravity and warmed as heat radiates from Earth
Coriolis Effect The apparent defection of moving air, as seen by an observer on Earth; apparent defection is a result of Earths rotation
Air PressureThe force exerted on Earth’s surface by the weight of the air above the surfaceAir pressure is greatest at sea level and lessens with increased distance from Earth’s surface.
Wind A natural movement of air sometimes with considerable force from an area of high density and pressure to an area of low density and pressure
Air MassesAn air mass is a body of air extending over a large area (1,000 miles or more) that develops and retains specific characteristics of pressure, temperature and humidity
An air mass forming over a hot desert would be dry and hot. One forming over a cold marine surface would be cold and humid.
High-Pressure Air Mass An air mass with greater atmospheric pressure than the surrounding air masses; air moves away from the high pressure, traveling in a clockwise direction
High-Pressure Air Mass HIGHS are denser, cooler and dryer than the adjacent air. The air is descending toward Earth’s surface. HIGHS bring pleasant weather conditions in the summer and very cold clear weather in the winter.
Low-Pressure Air Masses An air mass with less atmospheric pressure than the surrounding air masses; air moves towards the low pressure, traveling in a counterclockwise direction Lows bring stormy weather.
Warm Front Forms at the surface of Earth when a warm, moist air mass overtakes a cool, dense and dryer air mass Slow moving and are characterized by a series of clouds getting lower and thicker as the front approaches.
Cold Front Forms at the surface of Earth when a cold, dry air mass overtakes a warmer, humid air mass Cold fronts are characterized by dramatic storms, thunder, lightning and sometimes tornadoes.