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ABE 410

FIELD HYDROLOGY &


BIOMETEOROLOGY

UNIT 2. ELEMENTS OF WEATHER


AND CLIMATE
2.3 TEMPERATURE
HEAT AND TEMPERATURE
Heat and temperature are NOT the same thing.
Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of
each particle within an object;
K.E. = mv2 m = mass, v = velocity
Sotemperature is a measure of air molecule speed

Thermal (heat) energy is the total energy of the particles


that make up an object
Heat flows from areas of high energy to areas of lower
energy

For example, there is a lot more heat inside a glacier than in a pot of
boiling water. The boiling water has a higher temperature, but the
glacier has a lot more molecules. All the slower moving molecules in the
large glacier equates to a higher thermal energy than the pot of hot
water.
Which picture shows the object that has more kinetic
energy of particles?

Figure A Figure B
TEMPERATURE SCALES
Different temperature scales use different reference
points, sometimes called fixed points.

The three common temperature scales used to measure


temperature are:
Fahrenheit scale, which is defined by using the ice
point (32) and steam point (212)
Celsius scale, a decimal scale on which the melting
point of ice is set at 0 and the boiling point of water at
100
Kelvin or absolute scale, where the zero point
represents the temperature at which all molecular
motion is presumed to cease (called absolute zero), the
ice point is set at 273, and the steam point at 373.
The Scientists
Standard Reference Points

Scale Boiling Point Freezing


Point
Fahrenheit 212 F 32 F

Celsius 100 C 0 C

Kelvin 373 273

Alta Physics
TEMPERATURE RELATIONSHIPS

(F) = 9/5*(C) +32

(C) = 5/9*[(F) 32]

(C) = (K) 273.15


Conversion Equations

Fahrenheit to Celsius
C = 5/9 (F 32)
Ex: C = 5/9 (212-32) = 100

Celsius to Fahrenheit
F = (9/5 C) + 32
Ex: F = (9/5)(100) + 32 = 212

Alta Physics
Conversion Equations

Celsius to Kelvin
K = C +273
Ex: K = 100 + 273 = 373

Kelvin to Celsius
C = K - 273
Ex: K = 373 - 273 = 100

Alta Physics
TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT
Thermometers measure temperature either
mechanically or electrically.

Most mechanical thermometers are based on the


ability of a substance to expand when heated or
contract when cooled.

One type of mechanical thermometer, the liquid in


glass thermometer, includes:
- maximum thermometers, which use the
liquid mercury
- minimum thermometers, which contain a
liquid of low density, such as alcohol.
Maximum Thermometer

Minimum Thermometer
A section of a maximum thermometer.

As air temp increases the mercury expand and freely moves past
the constriction up the tube until max temp is reached.

As air temp drops, the constriction prevents the mercury from


flowing back into bulb. Must be reset by whirling.
A section of a minimum thermometer showing both
the current air temperature and the minimum
temperature.
Thermometer Shelter

Why do we need a
shelter?

It is impossible to
measure temperature
accurately in direct
sunlight.
TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT
A bimetal strip mechanical thermometer is
frequently used in a thermograph, an
instrument that continuously records
temperature.

Electrical thermometers use a thermistor (a


thermal resistor) to measure temperature.
Thermograph
TEMPERATURE DATA
Daily Mean Temperature is determined by averaging the 24
hourly readings or by adding the maximum and minimum
temperatures for a 24-hour period and dividing by two.
Daily Temperature Range is computed by finding the
difference between the maximum and minimum
temperatures.
Monthly Mean Temperature is the sum of the daily means for
each day of the month divided by the number of days in the
month
Annual Mean Temperature is the average of the twelve
monthly temperatures
Annual Temperature Range is the difference between the
warmest and coldest monthly mean temperatures
TEMPERATURE CONTROLS

The controls of temperature, those factors that


cause temperature to vary from place to place,
are:

differential heating of land and water


ocean currents
latitude/geographic position
cloud cover
albedo
altitude
Land and Water Contrasts
Land heats and cools quickly while water heats and cools slowly

Figure 3.15, p. 101


Continentality
In summer, the sea and the land store and reflect
heat from the sun.
The land reflects more heat back to the atmosphere
than the sea.
Coastal areas are cooler than continental land
masses.

In winter, the sea and the land give out the heat
stored during the summer.
The sea has more heat to give out than the land.
Coastal areas are warmer than continental land
masses.
Ocean Currents
Ocean Currents are pronounced streams of water flowing
across the surface of the oceans
Warm Currents: Flow from low to high latitudes e.g.
North Atlantic Drift and cause warmer temperatures
Cold Currents: Flow from high to low latitudes e.g.
Labrador Current and cause cooler temperatures
Latitude

Higher latitudes receive


less insolation than lower
latitudes

suns rays are more


oblique
daylength is variable
Net energy surplus in
tropics; net energy
deficit in polar regions
Example of Cloud Cover in Day and Night
Albedo of a surface is the fraction of incident
radiation that is reflected by that surface.

Albedo of the Earth varies from place to place, and


from time to time. On average, it is 30%
(reflections - 20% by clouds; 5% by land/sea; 5%
back-scatter)

Fresh snow has the highest albedo, water the


lowest when the Sun is nearly overhead)
Altitude
Temperature decreases as
elevation increases.

The atmosphere thins out with


height (elevation).
Higher ground (elevation) has
less atmosphere to store heat
and therefore temperatures
decrease with height (elevation)

For every 150 meter above sea


level the temperature decreases
by an average of 1 C
.
Other Causes for the Decline in
Temperature with Altitude
Major source of heat for the air is the earth.
With increasing distance from the source of the
heat, the air's temperature must decline.
Density of water vapor decreases with elevation so
that less heat can be held in the air.
Temperature decreases result from expansion of
air rising from the earth's surface
ISOTHERM

On maps illustrating the world distribution of temperature,


isotherms, lines that connect points of the same
temperature, generally trend east and west and show a
decrease in temperature poleward.

Moreover, the isotherms illustrate a latitudinal shifting of


temperatures caused by the seasonal migration of the Sun's
vertical rays and also reveal the presence of ocean currents.

The north-south migration of isotherms is more pronounced


over the continents because the temperatures do not
fluctuate as much over water.
Isotherms (cont.)

Isothermal Pattern in July


Isotherms (cont.)

Isothermal Pattern in January


TEMPERATURE VARIATION: VERTICAL
The atmosphere is
largely warmed from
below
Thus the farther away the
air is from the surface the
colder it will be.
The decrease in air
temperature with the
increase in altitude is called
the environmental lapse
rate
TEMPERATURE INVERSION
Occasionally at some altitude
the temperature abruptly
increases instead of
decreasing, a condition
known as inversion.
Environment lapse rate
is negative. No air parcel will
rise freely in an inversion layer

CAUSES OF INVERSION
When the air near the ground cools off faster
than the overlying air because of heat loss to
cold land
From an actual warm layer passing over a
colder one
From warming by subsidence or falling
From turbulence
Radiation Inversion
Ideal conditions:
Calm conditions no mixing
Long nights more time for radiational cooling
Dry air, cloud-free clear skies allow maximum
cooling at the surface

Inversions are inhibited by several factors


Cloudinessincreases the greenhouse warming
Windscause mixing of warmer and cooler air
Condition of the groundsnow cover favors
inversions compared to dry ground
Inversions can trap air pollutants and allow
concentrations to exceed air quality standards
Diurnal Temperature Variation

The daily variation in air temperature is controlled


by incoming energy (primarily from the sun) and
outgoing energy from the earths surface.

Where incoming energy exceeds outgoing energy


the air temperature rises. Where outgoing energy
exceeds incoming energy the air temperature falls
Incoming energy exceeds outgoing energy (orange shade), the air temperature
rises. Where outgoing energy exceeds incoming energy (blue shade), the air
temperature falls
Temperature Diurnal Cycle

The incoming solar radiation


peaks around high noon
Outgoing radiation reaches its
minimum around dawn
Temperature attains its
maximum about 3 to 4 hours
after noon, thus, not coincident
with the radiation peak
This lag is the result of several
factors
thermal uplifting
winds that carry heat
upwards and slow down the
surface temperature rise
Air Temperature The Urban Heat Island

Water is channeled so surfaces tend to be dry


Surfaces are often dark (asphalt)
Building materials store heat, and heat is released
from buildings
Cooler Temperatures- Rural Areas
Transpiration (or evaporation from leaves) cools
the surface and the air around the plant
Evaporation from moist soils also cools the area
These two combined = Evapotranspiration
TEMPERATURE LAG: ANNUAL CYCLE
Although the greatest intensity of solar
radiation occurs at the time of the summer
solstice, in the Northern Hemisphere the
months of July and August are generally the
warmest of the year.

Conversely, in the Northern Hemisphere a


minimum of solar energy is received in
December at the time of the winter solstice, but
January and February are usually colder.
The Annual Cycle of Air Temperature
Location: Land and Water Contrasts
Land heats and cools quickly while water heats and cools slowly

Figure 3.15, p. 101


The Annual Cycle of Air Temperature: Land and
Water Contrasts

Maritime locations
experience a smaller
annual range of
temperature (maritime
climates)

Continental locations
experience a larger
annual range of
temperature (continental
climates)
VERTICAL AIR MOTION
When an air parcel moves from one location to
another, it typically has a horizontal component
(wind) and a vertical component (vertical motion)

Causes air may move upward or downward for a


number of reasons
Convergence and Divergence
Orography
Fronts
Convection (Heating/Cooling of isolated
parcels of air)
Atmospheric Lifting Mechanisms

Air lifting processes create clouds & precipitation


Are the only means of precipitation on Earth

Four types of lifting are recognized:

1. Convectional Lifting
2. Convergence
3. Orographic Lifting
4. Frontal Lifting
VERTICAL AIR MOTION

Convergence / Divergence

Convergence corresponds to a net inflow of air into a


given area
it may occur when wind speed slows down in the
direction of flow and/or when opposing airstreams meet

Divergence the net outflow from a given area


winds may diverge when the wind speed increases in
the direction of the flow and/or when an air stream
spreads out in the downstream direction
Convergence

Convergence occurs
when large air masses
meet & are forced to rise
vertically by crowding of
molecules.

This process is best seen


at the ITCZ where the
Trades Winds meet & rise
to form towering clouds
& heavy precipitation
Orographic Effects
Orography air can be forced upward or downward
when it encounters a barrier

a simple example is orographic lifting


when wind intersects a mountain or hill, it is
simply pushed upward
on the down-wind or lee side of the mountain,
air moves downward
Orographic Lifting

When air moving


horizontally
encounters a Moisture
mountain it must Lost

rise over the crest Dry


Air
Moist
As it rises, it cools Air
to create clouds,
and most often
precipitation
Run off NO Run off
Frontal Effects
Fronts when the atmosphere itself creates an obstacle to
the wind, a barrier effect similar to a mountain can be
produced
when a cold air mass is next to a warm air mass, a narrow,
sloping boundary is created between the two called a
front

Frontal lifting if either air mass moves toward the other,


the warm air moves upward over the cold, dense air mass in
a process called frontal lifting or in some special cases
overrunning
Frontal Lifting of Air

Although not a mountain range, masses of moving air


create the same effect Unlike mountains air masses
can provide lifting in many different locations

Fronts can lift air


which is stable,
creating clouds
& large amounts
of precipitation
as rain, snow,
sleet or hail
Convection

Convective Lifting as bubbles of warm air rise


in the convective lifting process, the
surrounding air sinks; and occurs under
unstable atmospheric conditions
Convectional Lifting

Anywhere air is warmer


than its surrounding, air
it will rise.

In this example an island


heats more than the
surrounding water and
causes a massive
cumulus cloud to form.
STABILITY OF AIR
a stable system may be defined as one that, if
displaced or distorted, tends to return to its
original location and/or configuration
-- a condition that makes it difficult for air parcels to
move upward or downward

an unstable system is one that tends to move


away from its original position, once it has been
displaced or distorted
-- a condition that promotes vertical motion
a system with neutral stability remains in its new
position if displaced or distorted
Stability in the Atmosphere

Unstable Neutral
An Initial Stable
Perturbation

If an air parcel is displaced from its original height it can:


Return to its original height - Stable
Accelerate upward because it is buoyant - Unstable
Stay at the place to which it was displaced - Neutral
Why is stability important?
Vertical motions in the atmosphere are a critical
part of energy transport and strongly influence
the hydrologic cycle
Without vertical motion, there would be no
precipitation, no mixing of pollutants away from
ground level - weather as we know it would
simply not exist!

There are two types of vertical motion:


forced motion such as forcing air up over a hill,
over colder air, or from horizontal convergence
buoyant motion in which the air rises because
it is less dense than its surroundings
Determining Atmospheric Stability
There are three basic concepts that help determine stability
dry adiabatic process
atmospheric soundings
lapse rates

Dry adiabatic process- The temperature of an ascending or


descending unsaturated parcel changes in response to expansion or
compression only (no heat is exchanged between an air parcel and its
surroundings)
cooling by expansion and warming by compression

Adiabatic cooling pressure always decreases with height


adiabatic cooling will always accompany upward motion
Adiabatic heating adiabatic heating will always accompany
downward motion
the rate of temperature change associated with a dry adiabatic
process is a constant: 3 degrees Celsius per 1,000 feet (5.4
degrees Fahrenheit per 1,000 feet
Vertical Motion and Temperature

Rising air expands, using


energy to push outward
against its environment,
adiabatically cooling the
air

A parcel of air may be


forced to rise or sink, and
change temperature
relative to
environmental air
Determining Atmospheric Stability
There are three basic concepts that help determine stability
the dry adiabatic process
atmospheric soundings
lapse rates

Soundings a measurement of meteorological conditions


between the ground and some higher level in the
atmosphere

Radiosondes the most common meteorological soundings


are made via freely rising, unmanned, instrumented balloons
called radiosondes or rawinsondes
Determining Atmospheric Stability
There are three basic concepts that help determine stability
the dry adiabatic process
atmospheric soundings
lapse rates

Lapse Rates an important stability measurement that can be


determined from a sounding
the change of temperature with altitude for a given
atmospheric layer

Lapse rate (LR) = T (bottom) T (Top) / DELZ


T (bottom) = temperature at the bottom of the layer
T (top) = temperature at the top of the layer
DELZ = thickness of the layer
Determining Atmospheric Stability
Dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR) the rate at which the
temperature of a dry parcel of air decreases as it ascends is
also a useful reference in stability determinations
equal to 3 degrees C per 1,000 feet

Isothermal layer no change in temperature with height


(LR = 0)

Inversion layers temperature increases with height (LR < 0)

Surface-based inversions often form at night and may


be the source of wind shear problems
Stability Evaluation

Stability criteria
select the layer in the sounding in which you are
interested
within the layer, compare the actual LR and DALR
determine which of the following stability criteria
are satisfied
LR > DALR absolutely unstable
LR = DALR neutral
LR < DALR stable
DRY ADIABATIC LAPSE RATE
(DALR)
TEMPERATURE DECREASE
EXPERIENCED BY A RISING
UNSATURATED PARCEL ABOUT 1
DEGREE CELSIUS PER 100 METERS OR 10
DEGREES/1000 METERS
SINKING PARCELS WARM AT THE SAME
RATE
DALR
WET ADIABATIC LAPSE RATE

RATE OF TEMPERATURE CHANGE FOR A


RISING SATURATED PARCEL OF AIR
ON THE AVERAGE IT IS ABOUT 5
DEGREES C/ 1000 METERS
PSEUDO ADIABATIC LAPSE
RATE
RATE OF TEMPERATURE CHANGE FOR A
RISING SATURATED PARCEL OF AIR
WITH ACCOMPANYING PRECIPITATION
ON THE AVERAGE IT IS ABOUT 5
DEGREES C/ 1000 METERS