This lab module explores air masses, fronts and mid-latitude cyclonic weather systems. Topics include the following: continental and maritime air masses; stationary, cold, warm and occluded fronts; and the patterns and processes of mid-latitude cyclones and severe weather storms. The modules start with four opening topics, or vignettes, which are found in the accompanying Google Earth file. These vignettes introduce basic concepts of weather and severe weather systems. Some of the vignettes have animations, videos, or short articles that will provide another perspective or visual explanation for the topic at hand. After reading the vignette and associated links, answer the following questions. Please note that some links might take a while to download based on your Internet speed.
Expand the INTRODUCTION folder and then select Topic 1: Weather.
Read Topic 1: Weather.
Question 1: Briefly describe the likely weather conditions evident in the picture.
A. Sunny and hot
B. Cloudy and raining
C. Warm and humid
D. Hot and hazy
Read Topic 2: Air Masses.
Question 2: The vignette states why there is no mA classification. Additionally, there is no continental equatorial (cE) classification. What is the primary reason that a cE air mass classification does not exist (Hint: it is the opposite reason of mA)?
A. Because equatorial air masses are moist
B. Because continental air masses are moist
C. Because continental air masses originate over land
D. Because there is no land in equatorial regions
Read Topic 3: The Evolution and Weather Conditions of Fronts.
Question 3: Compare the density and speed of cold air (from the cold front) to warm air (from the warm front)
A. Colder air is lighter and travels faster than warm air
B. Colder air is denser and travels faster than warmer air
C. Warmer air lighter and travels faster than colder air
D. Warmer air is denser and travels faster than colder air
Read Topic 4: Human Interaction: Tornado Alley.
Question 4: Why do areas located between 30°N to 50°N provide favorable conditions for tornado generation?
A. Because this region is flat
B. Because this region is where cold arctic air and warm subtropical air converge
C. Because this region is predominantly agriculture
D. Because precipitation is needed for agriculture in this region