Air Masses and Fronts

Science Project By Ashlyn Mohn

Air masses

Air masses are large pockets of air. They need three characteristics to be considered an air mass. a.) they must be very large in size, b.) they have to have same temp., humidity, and stability c.) and they have to be physically bound together. When they develop, they need to develop over a place that has similar characteristics as the air mass. The air mass has to be high pressure, or the air is unstable.

Types of air masses

These are the five types of air masses:

1) continental arctic, which has cold temperatures and lots of precipitation (cA)

2) continental polar, which has cold temperatures and precipitation (cP)

3) continental tropical, which has cold temperatures and little to no precipitation (cT)

4) maritime polar, which is warm temperatures and and precipitation (mP)

5) maritime tropical (mT)

If the air mass has a W attached to its abbreviation, then the air is warmer than the air on the ground. If the air mass has a K attached to its abbreviation, then it means the air is colder than the air on the ground.

Fronts

There are four types of fronts. There is a cold front which brings cold weather, a warm front, which brings warm weather, an occluded front, which forms when a cold front meets cold air ahead of the warm front, and a stationary front, which stays where it is and brings bad weather. A cold front is represented with a solid blue line with triangles pointing towards the warm air. A warm front is represented with a solid red line with semi circles pointing towards the colder air. An occluded front is represented by a solid purple line with semi circles and triangles pointing towards the direction of its movement. A stationary front is represented with a red and blue line with alternating red semi circles and blue triangles.
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