Chapters 4 through 7 dealt with elements of weather and climate and set the stage for chapter 8 "Weather Systems". In chapter 8 we'll focus on how these weather elements explain the daily changes in our daily weather. We'll also examine the processes that create, and geographical patterns of, powerful storm systems like tornadoes and hurricanes.
Weather and climate are elements of physical geography that impact all of our lives. That's why an understanding of the potential effects of climate change is important to all of us. If we stay on our present course, geoscientists predict storm systems in some parts of the world will become more severe. The patterns of both weather systems, and climates could radically shift, causing significant changes in natural habitats, agricultural systems, population distribution, and the economic stability. Geographers will be at the forefront of understanding how these changes will take place, where they will happen, and how we might address them.
What you should already know ...
Weather systems, like any other natural system, are composed of many interacting components. Temperature, moisture, pressure and air circulation combine to create systems that affect our day-to-day weather. We'll focus mostly on the impact of cyclonic systems that form in the mid- to high latitudes in association with jet streams. We'll also look at severe weather systems, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
The elements of these systems were presented in Chapter 5, Chapter 6, and Chapter 7. In particular, you should have a handle on the basic concepts of humidity, precipitation formation, cloud types, air pressure, and wind.
Use the quiz below to assess your understanding of a few key topics from these chapters.
- Which of the following is considered a cold, dry airmass?
- Wind direction is described as
- where the wind comes from.
- where the wind is blowing to.
- Low pressure systems in the Northern Hemisphere exhibit
- surface convergence and subsidence
- suface convergence and uplift
- surface divergence and subsidence
- surface divergence and uplift
- The approximate wind direction and speed (assume north at top of page)
- SW, 20 knots
- NE, 15 knots
- SW,15 knots
- NE, 20 knots
- Circulation in a cyclone in the Northern Hemisphere is
- clockwise and outward from the center
- clockwise and inward toward the center.
- counterclockwise and inward toward the center.
- counterclockwise and outward from the center
- ____ uplift occurs when two unlike air masses collide.
- A steep pressure gradient would exhibit ___ isobars on a weather map.
- closely spaced
- widely separated
- What type of cloud is shown here?
- If the surface air pressure is 1010 mb it would be considered ______ pressure.
- _____ flow occurs when the polar front jet stream and equatorward edge of the circumpolar vortex takes on a curving flow.
About your score ....
If you scored 80% or above, Great! ... start reading the chapter.
If you scored 70% to 80% you should consider reviewing the previous material.
If you scored less than 70% you should consider reviewing the previous material and seeking help from your instructor.