METEOROLOGY Demystified - S... · PDF file 2019. 5. 26. · Quantum Mechanics...
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To Samuel, Tim, and Tony from Uncle Stan
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CHAPTER 1 Background Physics 1 The Solid Phase 1 The Liquid Phase 6 The Gaseous Phase 14 What Is Heat? 17 Temperature 21 Some Effects of Temperature 27 Temperature and States of Matter 31 Quiz 36
CHAPTER 2 The Atmosphere 39 Common Variables 39 Atmospheric Circulation 44 Weather Systems 49 Weather Maps 57 Wind Speed 61 Clouds 64 Quiz 72
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CHAPTER 3 Observation and Forecasting 75 Some Weather Lore 75 Basic Observation Tools 80 Advanced Observation Tools 88 Forecasting Methods 94 Numerical Forecasting 100 Quiz 102
CHAPTER 4 Rain and Lightning 105 Thunderstorm Formation and Evolution 105 A Hypothetical Severe Thunderstorm 111 Effects of a Thunderstorm 114 The Anatomy of Lightning 119 Protection from Lightning 126 Quiz 130
CHAPTER 5 Tornadoes 133 Formation and Prediction 133 Tornado Behavior 140 Variations on a Violent Theme 146 Protecting Property and Life 152 Quiz 156
CHAPTER 6 Tropical Cyclones 159 A Hypothetical Storm 159 The Azores-Bermuda High 163 Anatomy of a Hurricane 167 Hurricane Life Cycles 169 Effects of a Hurricane 172 Preparation and Survival 182 Debby Strikes 186 Quiz 192
CHAPTER 7 Winter Weather 195 The Stormiest Season 195 Anatomy and Effects 202 Blizzards 212 Winter into Spring 222 Quiz 227
CHAPTER 8 Abnormal Weather 231 Heat Waves 231 Cold Spells 240 Too Much Water 246 Not Enough Water 251 Quiz 255
CHAPTER 9 The Past and Future Climate 259 Early Weather 259 Glacial and Interglacial Periods 260 The Future: Warming or Cooling? 273 Weather and Climate Modification 279 Quiz 282
Final Exam 285
Answers to Quiz and Exam Questions 313
Suggested Additional References 317
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This book is for people who want to learn the fundamentals of meteorology without taking a formal course. It can serve as a supplemental text in a class- room, tutored, or home-schooling environment. I recommend that you start at the beginning of this book and go straight through.
There are “conversational” problems and solutions scattered throughout the text. There is a practice quiz at the end of each chapter, and a final exam at the end of the book. The quiz and exam questions are multiple-choice, and are similar to the sorts of questions used in standardized tests.
The chapter-ending quizzes are “open-book.” You may (and should) refer to the chapter texts when taking them. When you think you’re ready, take the quiz, write down your answers, and then give your list of answers to a friend. Have the friend tell you your score, but not which questions you got wrong. Stick with a chapter until you get most (hopefully all) of the answers right. The correct choices are listed in the appendix.
Take the final exam when you have finished all the chapters and chapter- ending quizzes. A satisfactory score is at least 75 correct answers. With the final exam, as with the quizzes, have a friend tell you your score without letting you know which questions you missed. Note the exam topics (if any) that give you trouble. Review those topics in the text. Then take the exam again, and see if you get a better score.
I recommend that you complete one chapter a week. An hour or two daily ought to be enough time for this. That way, you’ll complete the course in a little over two months. When you’re done with the course, you can use this book, with its comprehensive index, as a permanent reference.
Suggestions for future editions are welcome.
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Thousands of years ago, the alchemists believed that all things in the material uni- verse consist of combinations of four “elements”: earth, water, air, and fire. According to this theory, different proportions of these four “elements” give mate- rials their unique properties. Later, physical scientists discovered that there are dozens of elements, and even these are not the fundamental constituents of mat- ter. Three basic states of matter are recognized by scientists today. These states, also called phases, are known as the solid phase (the latter-day analog of earth), the liquid phase (the analog of water), and the gaseous phase (the analog of air). A sample of matter in one of these states is called a solid, a liquid, or a gas.
The Solid Phase A sample of matter in the solid phase retains its shape unless it is subjected to violent impact, placed under stress, or put in