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meteorology – study of the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere and the direct effects of the atmosphere on Earth’s land surfaces, oceans, and life in general
Weather – the condition of the atmosphere at any particular time and place: air temperature, air pressure, humidity, clouds, wind, visibility, precipitation/weather
Climate – the synthesis of weather at a location over an extended time period (30 years); statistical representation; through time and across space. - often applied to the solution of problems with a human impact (hazards, comfort/health, economics)
The primary driving force for Earth’s weather is energy from the sun.
- solar radiation represents more than 99.9% of the energy that heats Earth - through time and across space, differential (unequal) heating occurs across Earth’s surface, and when combined with Earth’s rotation, becomes the engine that drives Earth’s weather…
Pressure Centers:
- areas of High pressure are generally associated with downward atmospheric motion and clear skies -areas of Low pressure are generally associated with upward motion and cloudy skies -in the Northern Hemisphere the atmosphere rotates in a clockwise motion around H and counterclockwise around L; the rotations are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere
Fronts: - a weather front represents the boundary between large bodies of air with different temperature and/or moisture characteristics
stationary front
a stationary front exhibits little movement, while the two basic fronts that move, cold and warm, are named according to the type of air that is advancing
cold front
a cold front, symbolized by blue coloring and triangle symbols, represents the leading edge of advancing cold, dry air
warm front
a warm front represents the leading edge of advancing warm, humid air and is symbolized by red coloring and half-circle symbols the symbols point in the direction to which the front is moving
occluded front
the occluded front represents a unique situation whereby a faster moving cold front overtakes a warm front; it is symbolized by purple coloring (red + blue) and alternating triangles and half-circles
temperature – the measurement of the amount of heat energy present in a substance (the average speed of the molecules in a substance) - there are 2 common temperature scales in units of degrees in use today: Fahrenheit (oF) and Celsius (oC) - a third, Kelvin (K), is used mainly for research purposes; absolute zero is 0 K – no molecular motion

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