Air Fronts And Air Masses

By: Declan Dooley

There Are Many Different Types of Air Masses!

An air mass is an extremely large mass of air. There are many different types of air

masses including:



Continental Polar (cP): cold, dry, and stable

Continental Tropical (cT): hot, dry, stable air aloft-unstable air surface

Continental Arctic (cA): very cold

Maritime Polar (mP): cool, moist, unstable

Maritime Tropical (mT): tropical, warm, moist, usually unstable


Picture From: http://www.fas.org/irp/imint/docs/rst/Sect14/Sect14_1b.html

How The Air Masses Form.

Polar: Develop about 60 degrees north or south of the equator

Tropical: Normally located around 25 degrees away from the equator

Continental: Normally above huge land masses, dry

Marine: Normally above oceans, moist


Another Thing: If air masses have a K attached to them it means that the air mass is colder than the land under it. If the air mass has a W attached to it it means that the air mass is warmer than the ground under it.

Fronts

There are 4 types of fronts. These 4 fronts are the the cold front, warm front, stationary front, and the occluded front. A cold front is basically a place where cold air is being replaced by warm air. A warm front is a place where warm air is replacing cold air. an occluded front is when a cold air from behind a cold front meets the cold air in front of a warm front. Finally a stationary front is when a cold front and a warm front are in pushing against each other and the forces are equal. This normally brings long and bad weather. The way the fronts look on a weather map is in the picture on the right.



Picture Source: http://okfirst.mesonet.org/train/meteorology/Fronts.html