Thermodynamics and Dynamics in the Vertical
Much can be learned about the local weather—the height at which clouds will form, the likelihood of thunderstorms or of an air-pollution episode— by analyzing the thermodynamics and dynamics of parcels of air moving up and down through the atmosphere. Such parcels move through an atmospheric environment in which the vertical forces, the weight of the air and the upward decrease in pressure, are in balance. This is termed hydrostatic balance. The first model in this chapter uses this balance to find the pressure and density of the atmosphere given the pressure at the ground and a vertical temperature profile. This model then becomes a component of the subsequent models, which include first the thermodynamics, dry and moist, and then the dynamics, of air moving vertically.
KeywordsSaturation Vapor Pressure Convective Available Potential Energy Vertical Temperature Profile Lift Condensation Level Hydrostatic Balance
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