GEOG 1101 Lecture 13: geog LESSON13

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GEOG LESSON 13
AIR MASSES & FRONTS
An Air Mass is an immense body of air, some 1600+ km across and
1-3 km thick, with relatively homogeneous physical properties
(density, Tº & moisture) at a given altitude.
Classification Scheme of air masses is based on the basic T° and moisture
(water vapor content or humidity) conditions of the air. A two-letter
abbreviation system is used to indicate the various types of air masses.
* First letter is a reference to the surface over which the air mass
develops & thus the level of moisture (dry vs humid).
c = Continental
m = Maritime
* Second letter is a reference to the latitude of origin and thus the temperature (cold vs warm)
A = Arctic is bitterly cold P = Polar is cold to very cold
T = Tropical is warm E = Equatorial is very warm
The Source Region in which an air mass originates determines the
initial characteristics of the air mass.
cold vs. warm, dry vs. humid
(Polar) (Tropical) (Land) (Water)
Keep in mind
Types of Air Masses:
* Continental Arctic (cA): Arctic basin & Greenland;
Bitterly cold and very dry; stable
* Continental Polar (cP): Interior Canada & Alaska;
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