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Lecture Notes 21 Extreme Weather II .doc

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Carleton University
Earth Sciences
ERTH 2415
Claire Samson

Lecture 21 Extreme Weather II Dramatic Thunderstorms Warm AirExpands in volume less dense low pressureRisesHolds more humidity Molecules move moreUnstable Cold AirContracts in volume denser high pressure sinksholds less humiditymolecules move lessmore stable Thunderstorm development Meteorological event associated with a localized storm cloud producing thunder and lightningThunderstorms are composed of individual cells developing over 2030 minutesAs one cell dies another may develop nearbyWhat is the 3 stages of development1Cumulus stageThunderstorms occur when warm and moist air is lifted upwardMechanical liftingCold dense air undercuts warm lessdense airThermal liftingWarm lessdense air flows up and over cold dense air along a gentle slope Updraft of warm and moist air condensation of water vapour release of latent heat cloud becomes warmer Warm and moist air continues to rise as long as it is less dense than the surrounding airNo precipitation yet 2Mature stageCloud reaches maximum vertical developmentIce crystals and water droplets become too heavy to be supported by the updraftsDowndraftsHeavy precipitationThunder and lightning3Dissipating stagePrecipitationinduced downdrafts throughout the cloudCloud sinks and shrinks
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