The Factors That Affect Weather Conditions
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The Factors That Affect Weather Conditions

There are several elements that affect the weather condition. These factors are the temperature, the wind, the air moisture, the cloudiness and rain and the atmospheric pressure.

There are several elements that affect the weather condition. These factors are the temperature, the wind, the air moisture, the cloudiness and rain and the atmospheric pressure.

The temperatures of the atmosphere naturally change. This change in the temperature affects the weather condition in a particular place and time. The temperature begins to rise after the sunrise and it will begin to fall before the sunset.

Different places have different temperatures. The places that located or near the equator are hotter while the places that are located or near the north and south poles are colder. This happens because the equator of the earth receives vertical rays of sunlight while the north and the south poles receive slanting rays.

The temperature also changes from warmer to colder when measured from the sea level going up. The wind also affects the weather condition. In day time, the land area absorbs more heat faster than the water area or the sea. As the air from the land becomes warmer and rises, the cooler air from the sea takes the place of the warmer air.

The flow of the air from the sea to the land in the daytime is called as the sea breeze. In the night time, reverse process happens. The land cools down faster than the water do. As this happens, the cool air from the land takes place. The flow of the air from the land to the sea in the night time is called as the land breeze.

Air moisture also affects the condition of the weather. The oceans, the lakes, the rivers as well as the other water forms and the land naturally perform evaporation. The water vapor due to evaporation goes into the atmosphere (this time the water vapor is called as moisture). The amount of moisture in the atmosphere is also known as humidity.

When the air contains a lot of water vapor, the air is humid or moist. On the other hand, when the air has little water vapor, the air is dry. The air over the bodies of water is found to be humid while air over the land is found to be dry.

Clouds and Rain are other factors that affect weather condition. The clouds are made up of tiny water droplets that are suspended in the air. Clouds form because of three conditions; enough water vapor in air, low temperature that will condense the vapor and the tiny particles in where the water vapor condenses. The clouds will eventually fall back to the ground in time in the form of rain.

The atmospheric pressure also affects the weather. Pressure is defined in physics as the force that is exerted on a unit area. A gaseous substance in the atmosphere exerts pressure on every part of the earth's surface. The pressure that is exerted by the atmosphere is called as the atmospheric pressure.

The atmospheric pressure is affected by the altitude. It is found to be greater near the earth surfaces but it is found to be decreasing as latitude is increasing. In a weather forecast, we can usually hear the words "high-pressure" or the word "low pressure". In weather interpretation, a high pressure means "fair- weather" while low pressure shows a sign of an approaching storm.

More About Barometric Pressure

The barometric pressure really does have a huge affect on our weather. For example, where there is high barometric pressure to the west, and low barometric pressure to the east, especially over mountains, this can cause damaging winds. This is seen over the Cascades and Rocky Mountains in the form of Chinook winds.

In Southern California, when there is high barometric pressure to the east of Los Angeles and low pressure to the west, this causes the Santa Ana winds.

The difference between barometric pressures is what causes wind, including high winds. High barometric pressure wants to fill low barometric pressure, and this causes wind. The larger the barometric pressure different, the high the winds, on a weather map, you can see this with isometric bars. The closer they are together, the tighter the gradient is and the higher the winds can be.

In the northern hemisphere, high pressure rotates clockwise and in the winter, brings down bitterly cold weather from the Canadian provinces. Low pressure systems rotate counter-clockwise and bring up a southwesterly flow, which usually occurs in the winter before a cold front blows through.

Lake Effect Weather

Lake effect weather affects many parts of the United States, mainly in the Great Lake states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and New York. These lake effect weather events are very interesting and can be very localized.

These lake effect weather events happen during the winter when a cold air mass blows over the warmer waters of the Great Lakes. This causes condensation quickly, producing snow over the land. Mainly during the fall and early winter months, before the Great Lakes have cooled or frozen. Buffalo, New York is a great example of the lake effect when one part of town can get three feet of snow and just a couple of miles away doesn’t get any snow at all.

Lake effect snow in Buffalo, New York / Wikimedia

Cold Fronts

Cold fronts always have an effect on the weather. Usually coming from the north in the United States, they can bring dramatic temperature and weather changes. Temperatures have been known to drop as much as 60 degrees F after the passage of a cold front on the high plains of the United States.

Snow and cold follow these cold fronts. There is usually a low pressure system associated the cold front, and soon to follow is a high pressure system. The high pressure with its clockwise rotation will bring down cold air out of the north or northeast.

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