31 Facts Everyone Should Know About Air Mass! | Kidadl


31 Facts Everyone Should Know About Air Mass!

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The Earth is blanketed by layers of the atmosphere.

This atmosphere is made of massive volumes of air that we know as air mass. Unless unstable in nature, air masses are characterized by steady temperatures and constant moisture levels.

Air mass is capable of stretching all the way from the surface of the Earth to the sky, where it touches and extends past the clouds. Air mass originates in vast lands, preferably stable, where the atmosphere meets the ground or is in contact with sea levels. Another requirement for the formation of air mass in the atmosphere of a region is that the air touches the respective surface for long enough for it to adopt the area's temperature and water vapor qualities. Latitudes most favorable and common for Earth's prime air masses to arise in are the polar air and subtropical air. The latitude portion of regions between the polar and subtropical latitudes serves the purpose of not just guaranteeing the improvement and exchange of polar air masses and tropical air masses but their collision as well.

Four kinds of air masses are found on Earth: polar air masses, tropical air masses, arctic air masses, and equatorial air masses. Each of these air masses varies based on temperature and moisture (and temperature and humidity), for these factors further classify them into warm air masses and cold air masses.

Afterward, you can also read our Albert Einstein facts and battle of cold harbor facts.

Facts About Air Mass And Weather

Air mass moves to bring changes in the weather. Different air masses affect weather patterns, dominating their origin territories in different ways compared to others.

The source region of all air masses varies in two ways. First, they are classified into continental air masses and maritime air masses. These masses of air are always looking to travel away from their source region and closer to where they do not belong. The cold air mass is constantly moving from the poles to get to the South, while the warm air mass is on the run to the North from where it is meant to be in the tropical territories. These two air masses succeed in reaching their desired destinations, and it is at this point that they collide but never merge. This happens because they are protected within bounds called fronts. They could either be cold fronts or warm fronts, depending upon the air mass and region of their formation.

The collision of cold air masses with warmer air masses gives rise to a cold front. Here, cold air moves at a pace that is a lot faster than warm air. Their bump sends the latter up in the air. It is because of the rising of this hot air that the water vapor content in it starts to condense. Consequently, the water comes down in the form of rain showers. The degree of rain is in direct correspondence with the humidity of the warm air, for the more loaded it is, the heavier the showers will be. The temperature, along with the pressure of these air masses, is what causes wind. In the case of warm fronts, humid and warm temperatures are caused by hot air.

What are the four types of air masses?

There are four types of global air masses.

Polar air masses reside in higher levels of latitude and are found either over land or sea. An air mass of this sort is cold in temperature, but it is not a match for arctic air masses, as the air there is not as dense as in colder parts. Polar air masses are characterized for being highly stable in nature. This air mass further branches into continental polar air mass and maritime polar air mass. Continental polar air masses originate over land. They are recognized for their frigid temperatures, high pressures, and the dryness of the air. Continental polar mass of air is also identified for its stability. Maritime polar air mass, on the other hand, occurs in latitudes existing above large water bodies. It is cold to a considerable extent, made with a hint of moisture, and has an unstable order. The transitional zone of polar air masses refers to the cold front that separates the warm air from tropical regions from merging with the cold air in polar territories. A fair portion of maritime polar air is often found in the northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Tropical air mass forms in lower latitudes and is categorized as being moderate to a reasonable degree. Continental tropical air masses originate over land and are, therefore, notable for possessing drier air qualities. Consequently, the temperatures down there are intensely hotter. Maritime tropical air masses form over oceans, seas, and water bodies large enough to be significant and are not as warm and parched in comparison. An interesting fact about maritime tropical air masses is that they are crucial bearers of moisture, and it is because of this significance that they also contribute largely to yielding rain. Thus, the maritime tropical air mass is also recognized for its fog, drizzle, and lack of visibility.

Equatorial air masses are found residing near the equator. All equatorial masses belong to the maritime class, indicating that they hardly exist in surface regions. They exist in warmer latitudes. Consequently, temperatures blanketing this air mass are high and hot. It is because they originate above water bodies and are fairly warm that moisture forms due to active evaporation.

An arctic air mass is a cold body of air that occurs in regions that as freezing, namely the Arctic and Antarctic territories. The temperatures in arctic air masses are frigidly high, owing to the region. A continental arctic air mass forms over surfaces. They are extremely cold and equally dry. In comparison to a maritime polar air mass, a maritime arctic air mass is characterized by its colder temperatures and is not as moist because it does not have a sea track that is as wide.

The collision of cold, dry air with moist, warm air gives rise to a thunderstorm.

Arctic And Polar Air Mass Facts

A large body of air that forms in the frozen lands of the Arctic and Antarctic regions is known as an arctic air mass.

The cold and dry air in Arctic areas distinguishes it from all the other air masses. It experiences high atmospheric pressure. Continental arctic air masses originate over the Earth's surface. They are widely characterized for having high pressure and being dry as they are cold. Maritime arctic air shares quite a few characteristics with maritime polar air, except the fact that the former covers a sea track that is much smaller in comparison to what the latter stretches over. It dominates the Arctic ocean. Despite rising from continental land only, continental arctic air masses do not form anywhere in mountainous regions.

Polar air masses are found in higher latitudes of both land and water. A continental polar mass is traced to the surface regions of the Earth. It is frigid, dry, and stable in nature. Consequently, this cold area experiences temperatures that are just as low. While the surface pressure remains high in continental polar regions, the dew points are low. Maritime polar air is a contrast to continental polar air. The former is only found over water bodies such as oceans like the North Atlantic. Unlike the latter, maritime polar air is identified as being unstable. It is not dry, and the moisture content here is quite high. The atmosphere is cool instead of biting frostiness.

A cold front separates an arctic air mass from a polar air mass, keeping the cold and warm masses from merging. The cold air clashes into the warm air, sending it floating up into the atmosphere. This warm air, loaded with moisture, rains down its contents in the form of precipitation, the degree of which depends on how heavily the air was laden with moisture.

Air Mass Thunderstorm Facts

Thunderstorms have always been oddly satisfying to the eye from afar. What causes them? Is it possible that air mass plays a role in its occurrence?

The clash between high temperatures of air, rich in moisture content, and cold temperatures of the same, heavily frigid, gives rise to severe weather. This is how a thunderstorm awakens. Hot air begins to adapt to colder air by cooling and loading itself with moisture. This moisture-laden air then falls lower in the atmosphere and releases its moisture, which is water vapor, in the form of rain through a process called condensation. This happens over and over again. If the moisture content is extremely high, the drops of precipitation fall rather heavily, thereby causing a thunderstorm.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our air mass facts, then why not take a look at our facts about Alaska or the white cliffs of England.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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