Descriptive Meteorology - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9781483231655, 9781483261430

Descriptive Meteorology

2nd Edition

Authors: Hurd C. Willett Frederick Sanders
eBook ISBN: 9781483261430
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 1959
Page Count: 376
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Descriptive Meteorology, Second Edition describes the principal weather phenomena. This book consists of 10 chapters. Chapter I discusses the composition and vertical extent of the atmosphere. The adiabatic changes and vertical stability of the atmosphere are considered in Chapter II, while the heat balance of the atmosphere and observed temperature distribution are explained in Chapter III. The fourth chapter elaborates the condensation processes in the atmosphere and their respective forms. In Chapter V, the determination of wind velocity and vertical distribution of winds in the atmosphere are analyzed. The formation of characteristic air masses in the general circulation with the migratory types of cyclones, anticyclones, and tropical hurricanes and small-scale circulations which constitute most local weather phenomena are covered in Chapters VI to IX. The last chapter discusses the principles of weather forecasting and modification and present prospects for advances in meteorology.

This edition is a good reference for meteorologists and college students familiar with general physics and elementary calculus.

Table of Contents



I. General Outline

II. Definitions of the Meteorological Elements

A. Temperature

B. Atmospheric Pressure

C. Wind

D. Humidity

E. Condensation Forms

F. Sunshine

G. Visibility

H. Ceiling

I. Optical Phenomena

J. Electrical Phenomena

Chapter I. The Composition and the Vertical Extent of the Atmosphere

I. The Composition of the Lower Atmosphere

II. The Composition of the Upper Atmosphere

III. Hydrostatic Equilibrium

IV. The Equation of State and the Hypsometric Formula

V. Practical Applications of the Hypsometric Formula

A. The Determination of the Total Pressure and of the Composition of the Upper Atmosphere at Great Heights

B. The Reduction of Atmospheric Pressure to Sea Level

C. The Measurement of Elevation—Altimetry

Problems: I. Hypsometry

II. Altimetry

Chapter II. Adiabetic Processes and the Vertical Stability of the Atmosphere

I. Introductory Remarks

II. The Adiabatic Relationship Between Temperature and Pressure in Dry Air

III. The Dry Adiabatic Rate of Change of Temperature with Elevation

IV. The Effect of Water Vapor on the Dry Adiabatic Relationship

A. Unsaturated Conditions

B. Saturated Conditions

V. The Dependence of the Vertical Stability of the Atmosphere on the Temperature Lapse Rate

A. Lapse Rate Definitions

B. Thermodynamic Significance of the Lapse Rate

C. Stable Equilibrium

D. Conditionally Unstable (Also Called Conditionally Stable) Equilibrium

E. Neutral Equilibrium

F. Unstable Equilibrium

G. Auto-Convective Instability (No Equilibrium)

VI. The Adiabatic and Pseudoadiabatic Diagrams

A. The Representation of Atmospheric Conditions on the Adiabatic Diagram

B. Uses of the Dry Adiabatic Diagram

C. The Representation of Atmospheric Conditions on the Pseudoadiabatic Diagram

D. Uses of the Pseudoadiabatic Diagram

Problems: The Adiabatic Diagram

Chapter III. The Heat Balance of the Atmosphere and the Explanation of the Observed Temperature Distribution

I. Heating and Cooling of the Atmosphere

A. The Transfer of Heat by Radiational Processes

B. The Transfer of Heat and Other Elements by Molecular and by Turbulent Conduction

C. The Transfer of Latent Heat in the Form of Water Vapor

II. The Heat Balance of the Atmosphere

A. The Nature of the Heat Balance

B. The Determination of the Solar Constant

C. The Disposition of Insolational Energy

D. The Further Disposition of the Effective Insolational Energy

E. The Latitudinal Distribution of Heating and Cooling

III. The Distribution of Temperature in the Earth's Atmosphere

A. Temperature Distribution at the Ground

B. Distribution of Temperature in the Upper Atmosphere

Problems: Radiation

Chapter IV. Evaporation and Condensation in the Atmosphere

I. Evaporation in the Atmosphere

A. Rate of Evaporation into Still Air

B. The Effect of Wind on the Rate of Evaporation

II. Condensation in the Atmosphere

A. The Physical Basis of Atmospheric Condensation

B. The Meteorological Basis of Atmospheric Condensation

III. The Condensation Forms

A. Hydrometeors of the Stratiform Type

B. Hydometeors of the Limited Convective Type

C. Hydrometeors of the Convective Type (Unlimited)

Problems: Evaporation and Condensation

Chapter V. Wind Velocity in the Atmosphere

I. The Pressure Gradient Force

II. The Horizontal Deflecting Force due to the Earth's Rotation

III. The Frictional Force

IV. The Geostrophic Wind Velocity

V. Nongeostrophic Winds

A. The Relationship Between the Geostrophic Deviation and the Acceleration of the Air Particle

B. The Gradient Wind

C. Other Nongeostrophic Winds

VI. The Variation of Geostrophic Wind with Altitude

VII. The Effects of Friction

A. The Effect of Surface Friction on the Wind Velocity at the Ground

B. The Effect of Turbulent Viscosity on the Vertical Distribution of Wind Velocity Above the Ground

C. Characteristic Variations of Wind Speed, Temperature and Cloudiness in the Friction Layer

VIII. The Maintenance of the Kinetic Energy of Air Motion

IX. The Vorticity of Air Motion

Problems: Wind Velocity

Chapter VI. The General Circulation of the Atmosphere

I. Introductory Remarks

II. The Physical Basis of the General Circulation

III. The Effect of the Earth's Rotation on the General Circulation

A. The Inadequacy of the Simple Thermally Direct Circulation

B. The Zonal Component of the General Circulation

IV. Observations of the Zonal Component of the General Circulation

V. The Meridional Component of the General Circulation

A. The Cellular Character of the General Circulation

B. The Seasonal Meridional Cells (Centers of Action)

C. The Migratory Meridional Cells (Migratory Highs and Lows)

VI. Irregular Changes of the General Circulation on the Northern Hemisphere During the Colder Half of the Year

A. Characteristics of the Extreme High-Latitude Zonal Circulation

B. Characteristics of the Extreme Low-Index Cellular Circulation

C. Characteristics of the Low-Latitude Zonal Circulation

D. Cycles of the Circulation Patterns

Chapter VII. The Secondary Circulations of the Thermal Type

I. Classification of the Secondary Circulations

II. Thermal Secondary Circulations which are Formed by Local Heating or Cooling at the Ground—Monsoon Circulations

A. Principles of Formation

B. The Monsoon Circulation Over North America

C. The Monsoon Circulation Over Asia

III. Thermal Secondary Circulations which are Produced by Local Thermal Influences at Upper Levels in the Atmosphere—Tropical Hurricanes

A. Principles of Formation

B. The Early Formative Stage of the Tropical Hurricane

C. The Stage of Rapid Intensification of the Hurricane Vortex

D. The Mature Stage of the Tropical Hurricane

E. Long-Term Fluctuations of Hurricane Frequency

Chapter VIII. The Secondary Circulations of the Dynamic Type

I. Introductory Remarks

II. Definition and Classification of Air Masses

A. Polar Versus Tropical Origin

B. Continental Versus Maritime Influence

C. Surface Heating Versus Surface Cooling

D. Dynamic Stability Versus Instability Aloft

III. The Geographical Distribution of Air Masses and Source Regions

A. General Remarks

B. Source Regions in January

C. Source Regions in July

IV. Three-Dimensional Air Motion and Weather Phenomena in the Migratory Circulation

A. The General Field of Motion in the Migratory Circulations

B. Frontal Structure

C. Weather Phenomena Associated with the Secondary Circulations of Dynamic Type

V. The Behavior of Migratory Circulations

A. Initiation and Intensification of Cyclones

B. Preferred Surface Cyclone Tracks on the Northern Hemisphere

C. Initiation and Intensification of Anticyclones

D. Preferred Anticyclone Tracks on the Northern Hemisphere

VI. Dynamical Secondary Circulations of Limited Vertical Extent

A. Migratory Circulations Restricted to the Lower Troposphere

B. Migratory Circulations Restricted to the Higher Levels

Chapter IX. The Tertiary Circulations

I. Classification

II. Tertiary Circulations Produced by Local Cooling

A. The Mountain Breeze

B. Glacier Winds (Fall Winds)

III. Tertiary Circulations Produced by Local Heating

A. The Valley Breeze

B. Dry Thermal Convection (Sand and Dust Whirls)

C. Cumulus Convection

IV. Tertiary Circulations Produced by Simultaneous Adjacent Local Heating and Local Cooling

A. The Land and Sea Breeze

B. Thermal Convective Showers and Thunderstorms

V. Dynamic Tertiary Circulations

A. Large-Scale Vertical Eddies

B. Föhn (Chinook) Winds

C. Orographic and Frontal Showers and Thunderstorms

D. Tornadoes

Chapter X. Weather Forecasting and Weather Modification

I. Weather Forecasting

A. Weather Forecasts Classified by Range

B. Weather Forecasting Techniques

II. Forecasting Performance

A. Short-Range (Twelve to Forty-Eight Hours Ahead)

B. Extended-Range (Five to Seven Days Ahead)

C. Long-Range (Monthly or Seasonal)

D. Climatic Ranges (Decadal or Longer)

III. Weather Modification (Weather Control)

A. The Increase of Effective Precipitation Nuclei

B. The Increase of Effective Condensation Nuclei

C. Modification of the Transmissive Properties of the Atmosphere for Solar or Terrestrial Radiation

D. Modification of the Reflective or Evaporative Characteristics of Solid Surfaces

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1959
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Hurd C. Willett

Frederick Sanders