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Interpret maps showing the geographical distributions of severe weather systems


As noted in the vignette, air masses are not randomly distributed across the globe; in fact the geographic origin (source region) of air masses determine each of the six potential air mass types – continental Arctic (cA), continental polar (cP), continental tropical (mT), maritime polar (mP), maritime tropical (mT), and maritime equatorial (mE).

As air masses move around the Earth due to weather conditions, they can gain or lose moisture, or increase or decrease in temperature. For example, a maritime polar (mP) air mass moving across a continent could lose much of its moisture and become a continental polar (cP) air mass.

In this exercise, you will describe the spatial patterns of air masses as they relate to various locations throughout the world.

Verify that Labels (under Borders and Layers) is selected in the Layers panel.

Expand the GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE folder and select the Air Mass folder.

Double-click and select Location A.

Question 5: Identify the principal air mass:

A. mP

B. mT

C. cP

D. cT

Question 6: Identify the air temperature (as very cold, cold, warm, or very warm) and the air humidity (as moist or dry) for the source region of this air mass.

A. Cold and dry

B. Warm and dry

C. Very cold and moist

D. Warm and moist

Double-click and select Location B.


Question 7: Identify the principal air mass:

A. mP

B. mT

C. cP

D. cT

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