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Geology 20 part 3


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What cuts off a tornado's supply of energy?
Cold surface air.
What drives pressure cells?
Adiabatic cooling and the coriolis effect.
What happens in a thunderstorm's dissipating stage?
Downdrafts dominate, while cloud mass shrinks.
What is pyrolysis?
It's when wood gets heated up, changing its chemical structure, which releases gases such as oxygen.
When do Santa Ana winds occur?
It occurs when a high-pressure cell is situated for some time over the Rocky Mountains and a love-pressure cell is situated off the coast of CA.
What keeps the supercell of a tornado energized?
What is fire?
It's when oxygen is combined with organic material from plants, carbon dioxide, and water, which releases heat energy.
Why does lightning happen?
It happens because dust and other charged particles are rapidly carried upward by the rising warm air.
What happens when pressure zones interact with the jet streams?
It can deflect it.
What's the recipe to make fire?
It requires a combination of oxygen, fuel, and heat. (The Santa Ana winds proved two of these).
What are mesocyclones?
They are supercells which results from the counter-clockwise rotation of rising air in the Northern Hemisphere.
How long do typical thunderstorms last, and how wide is it?
15 miles in diameter and lasts for 30 minutes.
What provides the perfect conditions for fire?
Dry, warm winds (like the Santa Ana winds).
What happens when the tropical jet stream is deflected to the north?
The warm air from the tropics is carried northward.
Where do tornadoes develop from?
It develops from a class of thunderstorms called supercells.
What happens when jet streams get deflected by pressure zones?
It can cause warm and cold air to mix the boundary between them (which is also know as a FRONT).
What happens when the supercell is carried into the cold front?
Heavy rains occur along its leading edge and tornadoes tend to form at its trailing edge.
What is the tornado capital of the world?
The interior of the US.
What happens when lightning strikes?
The air is heated to several thousand degrees in less than a second, socking the air and sending a shock wave that we hear as thunder.
What causes most of the wildfires?
What happens when tornadoes dissipate?
It appears as thin ropes, and are thus called rope tornadoes.
What happens in a thunderstorm's mature stage?
Updrafts continue, while strong downdrafts operate.
What is the recipe for a tornado in the US?
It needs a low-altitude, northerly flow of marine tropical air from the gulf of Mexico with temperature of 75 degrees fahrenheit. A middle-altitude, cold, dry air mass from Canada or out to the Rocky mountains at speeds of 50 mph. It also needs a light-altitude jet stream racing east at speeds of 150 mph.
In what direction do tornadoes usually spin in the Northern Hemisphere?
What is the consequence when the air rapidly rise?
Adiabatic cooling occurs quickly, which causes it to lose its ability to hold water, forming clouds over a small area.
Where can pressure zones develop?
It can develop anywhere over Earth's surface depending on air and ocean circulation.
What is the most common way for wildfires to occur?
Lightning strikes.
Why do hurricanes produce most of their damage when they travel inland away from the heat source of the sea?
It's because hurricanes contain so much water vapor.
What happens when the mesocyclone approaches the ground?
A visible condensation funnel descends from the base of the storm, which becomes a tornado.
What is the leading cause of forest fires, and one of the major causes of weather-related deaths in the US?
What has the highest wind speeds of any weather phenomenon?
What are the three stages of a thunderstorm's life cycle?
Early stage, mature stage, dissipating stage.
Where can we expect most thunderstorms to occur, at ridges or troughs in the jet stream?
In troughs where warm air crashes into cold air.
What is the amount of energy released by a thunderstorm equal to?
It is equal to the energy use of a city of 100,000 people for a month.
What are electrons attracted to aside from protons?
It doesn't matter, one atom is as good as the next.
What is a warm front?
It is when warm air flows into cold air.
What makes the top of the thundercloud more positively charged than the bottom?
The separation of charged particles within the thundercloud and the rising air.
What's so special about the connection between electrons and protons?
it can easily be broken.
What are some of the thunderstorm hazards?
Flood, hail, lightning.
What is a thunderstorm?
It is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its attendant thunder.
What is the deadliest tornado ever recorded in US history?
The tri-state tornado, traveling over 200 miles at around 60 mph through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
What is used to measure tornado strength?
The Fujita scale, which is based on the damage a tornado causes to human-built structures and vegetation.
What is the smallest particle that comprises a chemical element?
An atom.
When is California's fire season?
It occurs during the late fall and winter as Santa Ana winds blow from the East.
What happens when warm air crashes into cold air?
The air gradually rises over the colder, denser air.
How do plants get dried out?
By being near a fire, experiencing a drought, or throughout the summer season.
What powers a tornado?
Warm, moist air.
What is hail?
It is a form of precipitation which consists of irregular lumps of ice. It forms when wet air rises to places in the atmosphere below freezing, which can turn condensed water into ice.
What is a tornado?
It is a rapidly rotating column of air, usually descending from a thunderstorm.
Where do the most sever thunderstorms occur?
It occurs along cold fronts.
Where does lightning mostly happen?
It happens between the equator and 30 degrees latitude areas.
What is electromagnetic force?
It's when electrons in an atom are attracted to protons in the nucleus.
What IS NOT needed for a tornado's formation?
Coriolis effect.
What's the result of rising air that quickly loses its ability to hold water?
Precipitation events can occur along cold fronts, which is usually very intense.
What happens when cold air crashes into warm air?
It forces the warm, buoyant air to rise rapidly.
What is a cold front?
It is when cold air flows into warm air.
What happens in a thunderstorm's early stage?
Cumulus clouds rise.
What must happen to plants before it can be burned?
Most of the water that exists inside them must be heated away.
What happens when the tropical jet stream is deflected to the south?
The cool air from the poles is carried southward.
What are the four main types of thunderstorms?
Single cell, squall line, multicell, and supercell.

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