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Introduction to Meteorology
Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project
2022-2025
Topics to be Covered
• Basic meteorological variables
• Layers of the atmosphere
• How clouds form
• Synoptic-scale features
• High and low pressure systems
• Troughs and ridges
• Fronts
• Jet stream
• Airmasses
• Energy transfer methods and Earth’s energy budget
• Introduction to the boundary layer
Basic Meteorological Variables
• Temperature
• Mean kinetic energy of air molecules
• Dewpoint
• Temperature the air must cool to in order to become saturated
• Relative humidity
• Amount of moisture currently being held by the air divided by the amount of
moisture the air is capable of holding
• A percentage
• Wind speed and direction
• Direction the wind is coming from
• 0 – 360 degrees, 0 – North, 90 – East, 180 – South, 270 - West
• Pressure
Atmospheric Pressure
• The weight of the
atmosphere in a column
above a location on the
surface
• The higher the elevation, the
lower the atmospheric
pressure
Kent Chemistry
Layers of the Atmosphere
• Organized according to how temperature
changes with height
• A new layer begins when the trend in
temperature flips
• If the temperature is increasing with
height, it is called an inversion
• Weather occurs in the troposphere
• Ozone layer is found within the
stratosphere
• Pressure decreases with height
How Clouds Form
• Clouds are made of small water droplets
• Water vapor condenses on small particles creating cloud droplets
• Ex) dust, sea salt, pollen, etc.
• Trillions upon trillions of cloud droplets close together form clouds
NASA Climate Kids
How Clouds Form
Cloud Types, with 2 letter cloud type codes
(Cs)
(Ci)
(Cc)
(Ac)
(As)
(Ns)
(St)
(Cb)
(Cu)
(Sc)
Fronts
• Definition: a boundary between
airmasses of different densities
(temperature and/or moisture
differences)
Weather Prediction Center
Warm Front
Cold Front
High and Low Pressure Systems
*In the Northern Hemisphere
Jet Stream
Polar
Jet Stream
Subtropical
Jet Stream
National Weather Service
• Definition: A narrow band of strong
upper-tropospheric winds
• Usually goes west to east
Jet Streak
NASA
• Definition: A region of especially strong
winds within the jet stream
Troughs and Ridges
National Weather Service
• Trough: an elongated area of low
atmospheric pressure
• Cyclonic (counterclockwise) flow
• Low pressure center
• Usually associated with cooler
temperatures at the surface and
clouds/precipitation
• Ridge: an elongated area of high
atmospheric pressure
• Anti-cyclonic (clockwise) flow
• High pressure center
• Usually associated with warmer
temperatures at the surface and clear
skies
Airmasses
Penn State Meteorology
• Continental Arctic (cA):
coldest and driest
• Maritime Polar (mP): cold
and humid
• Continental Polar (cP): cold
and dry
• Maritime Tropical (mT):
warm and humid
• Continental Tropical (cT): hot
and dry
Continental = dry
Maritime = humid
Methods of Energy Transfer
UCAR Center for Science Education
Earth’s Energy Budget
NASA
Albedo (30%)
• Percentage of
incoming solar energy
reflected by the Earth
Boundary Layer
Penn State Meteorology
Stable/Nocturnal Boundary
Layer
Contact Info:
Genevieve Picciano
Graduate Student
Meteorology
Plymouth State University
Genevieve.Picciano@plymouth.edu
For more info: https://eclipse.montana.edu

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Introduction to Meteorology for the NEBP Project

  • 1. Introduction to Meteorology Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project 2022-2025
  • 2. Topics to be Covered • Basic meteorological variables • Layers of the atmosphere • How clouds form • Synoptic-scale features • High and low pressure systems • Troughs and ridges • Fronts • Jet stream • Airmasses • Energy transfer methods and Earth’s energy budget • Introduction to the boundary layer
  • 3. Basic Meteorological Variables • Temperature • Mean kinetic energy of air molecules • Dewpoint • Temperature the air must cool to in order to become saturated • Relative humidity • Amount of moisture currently being held by the air divided by the amount of moisture the air is capable of holding • A percentage • Wind speed and direction • Direction the wind is coming from • 0 – 360 degrees, 0 – North, 90 – East, 180 – South, 270 - West • Pressure
  • 4. Atmospheric Pressure • The weight of the atmosphere in a column above a location on the surface • The higher the elevation, the lower the atmospheric pressure Kent Chemistry
  • 5. Layers of the Atmosphere • Organized according to how temperature changes with height • A new layer begins when the trend in temperature flips • If the temperature is increasing with height, it is called an inversion • Weather occurs in the troposphere • Ozone layer is found within the stratosphere • Pressure decreases with height
  • 6. How Clouds Form • Clouds are made of small water droplets • Water vapor condenses on small particles creating cloud droplets • Ex) dust, sea salt, pollen, etc. • Trillions upon trillions of cloud droplets close together form clouds NASA Climate Kids
  • 8. Cloud Types, with 2 letter cloud type codes (Cs) (Ci) (Cc) (Ac) (As) (Ns) (St) (Cb) (Cu) (Sc)
  • 9. Fronts • Definition: a boundary between airmasses of different densities (temperature and/or moisture differences) Weather Prediction Center
  • 12. High and Low Pressure Systems *In the Northern Hemisphere
  • 13. Jet Stream Polar Jet Stream Subtropical Jet Stream National Weather Service • Definition: A narrow band of strong upper-tropospheric winds • Usually goes west to east
  • 14. Jet Streak NASA • Definition: A region of especially strong winds within the jet stream
  • 15. Troughs and Ridges National Weather Service • Trough: an elongated area of low atmospheric pressure • Cyclonic (counterclockwise) flow • Low pressure center • Usually associated with cooler temperatures at the surface and clouds/precipitation • Ridge: an elongated area of high atmospheric pressure • Anti-cyclonic (clockwise) flow • High pressure center • Usually associated with warmer temperatures at the surface and clear skies
  • 16. Airmasses Penn State Meteorology • Continental Arctic (cA): coldest and driest • Maritime Polar (mP): cold and humid • Continental Polar (cP): cold and dry • Maritime Tropical (mT): warm and humid • Continental Tropical (cT): hot and dry Continental = dry Maritime = humid
  • 17. Methods of Energy Transfer UCAR Center for Science Education
  • 18. Earth’s Energy Budget NASA Albedo (30%) • Percentage of incoming solar energy reflected by the Earth
  • 19. Boundary Layer Penn State Meteorology Stable/Nocturnal Boundary Layer
  • 20. Contact Info: Genevieve Picciano Graduate Student Meteorology Plymouth State University Genevieve.Picciano@plymouth.edu For more info: https://eclipse.montana.edu