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Air Masses – Questions

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The figure below shows the pressure system over the UK and western Europe on 9 May.

1. What is the name given to the type of front which is running from the southern part of the Baltic Sea inland into Poland?

2. What is the air mass most likely to be associated with this type of front?

3. Where is the source region for this air mass?

4. Describe and explain how the characteristics of this air mass might have changed since it left its source region and passed over the UK and western Europe.

5. What is the name given to the type of front which is running from Scotland east into Scandinavia?

6. What is the air mass most likely to be associated with this type of front?

7. Where is the source region for this air mass?

8. Describe and explain how the characteristics of this air mass might have changed since it left its source region.

9. What further changes might take place as it moves south over Britain?

10. What differences in weather patterns might occur if a tropical continental air mass moved north over the UK at this time of year?

Air Masses

Air masses are parcels of air that bring distinctive weather features to the country. An air mass is a body or ‘mass’ of air in which the horizontal gradients or changes in temperature and humidity are relatively slight. That is to say that the air making up the mass is very uniform in temperature and humidity. An air mass is separated from an adjacent body of air by a transition that may be more sharply defined. This transition zone or boundary is called a front. An air mass may cover several millions of square kilometres and extend vertically throughout the troposphere.

 

 

More detailed information on air masses

Web page reproduced with the kind permission of the Met Office

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