Name: ___________________________

Assignment 4
Earths Dynamic Atmosphere (Chapters 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20)
This assignment is going to look at the atmosphere, its structure, features, weather
patterns, storms and climate. Weather is a feature that impacts everyone across the
world, and as such is something that is good to have an understanding of.
Part 1 The Atmosphere: Composition, Structure and Temperature
1) Answer the following
questions using the
diagram to the right.
Select the letter that
identifies each
specified part of the
atmosphere:
a) Stratosphere:
b) Thermosphere:
c) Tropopause:
d) Mesosphere:
e) Troposphere:
f) Mesopause:
g) Stratopause:
In which layers does
the temperature
decrease?
In which layers does
the temperature
increase?

2) The accompanying graph shows average monthly high temperatures for Urbana,
Illinois, and San Francisco, California. Although both
cities are located at about the same latitude, the
temperatures they experience are quite different.

Name: ___________________________

Which line on the graph represents Urbana and which represents San Francisco? How
did you figure this out?
3) Determine which statements refer to weather and which refer to climate.
a) The baseball game was rained out today.
b) January is Omahas coldest month.
c) North Africa is a desert.
d) The high this afternoon was 25C.
e) Last evening a tornado ripped through central Oklahoma.
f) I am moving to southern Arizona because it is warm and sunny.
g) It is partly cloudy.
Part 2 Moisture, Clouds and Precipitation
4) Why does radiation fog form mainly on clear nights as opposed to cloudy nights?
5) Refer to the data for Phoenix, Arizona and Bismarck, North Dakota (Table B) to
complete the following:
a) Which city has a higher
relative humidity?
b) Which city has the
greatest quantity of water
vapor in the air?
c) In which city is the air closest to its saturation point with respect to water vapor?
d) In which city does the air have the greatest holding capacity for water vapor?

A
B
C

D
E

Name: ___________________________

7) Briefly describe the circumstances that result in the formation of each of the following
forms of precipitation:
a) Hail
b) Sleet

Part 3 Air Pressure and Wind
8) Please identify the following:
a) High Pressure
b) Low Pressure
c) What is another name for
a High Pressure system?

d) What is another name for
a
Low Pressure system?
e) Where would you expect surface convergence? What about surface
divergence?
9) If you wanted to erect wind turbines to generate electricity, would you search for a
location that typically experiences a strong pressure gradient or a weak pressure
gradient? Explain.
10) Refer to the accompanying satellite image of a
hurricane. Is the storm located in the Northern
Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere? How were
you able to determine your answer?

Name: ___________________________

Part 4 Weather Patterns and Severe Storms
11) Using the figure, a diagram of a typical mature, middle-latitude cyclone, answer the
following:
a) Which type of front is shown at B?
b) Which type of front is shown at
D?
c) Which air-mass type would most
likely be found at C?
d) Which air-mass type would most
likely be found at G?
e) The wind direction at C would
most likely be from?
f) The wind direction at G would
most likely be from?
g) As the center of the low moves to
F, what would be the expected
weather changes experienced by
people living at C?

12) Refer to the accompanying weather map and answer the following questions:
a) What is the probable wind direction at each of the cities?

Name: ___________________________

b) Identify the likely air mass that is
influencing each city.
c) Identify the cold front, warm front,
and occluded front.
d) What is the barometric tendency
at city A and city C?
e) Which of the three cities is
coldest? Which one is warmest?
13) The accompanying table lists the
total number of tornadoes reported in the
United States by decade. Propose a
reason to explain why the totals for the
1990s and 2000s are so much higher than
for the 1950s and 1960s

Year
19501959
19601969
19701979
19801989
19901999
20002009

Number of Tornadoes
Reported
4,796
6,613
8,579
8,196
12,138
12,914

Part 5 World Climates and Global Climate Change
14) Using the figure (Figure A.), the climate diagram
for Chicago, Illinois, answer the following questions:
a) During which month does the highest
temperature occur? What is the highest
temperature?
b) During which month does the lowest
temperature occur? What is the lowest
temperature?
c) What is the annual temperature range for
Chicago?
d) Which month receives the greatest amount of
precipitation?
e) The precipitation is concentrated in which
season?
f) Using the Kppen system of climatic
classification presented in Table 20.1 of the textbook and the data represented in

Name: ___________________________

the figure to the right, determine the Kppen climate classification for Chicago,
Illinois?

15) Indicate by the name the climate group best described by each of the following
statements
a) Tropical rain forest:
b) Location coincides with the subtropical high-pressure system
c) Vast areas of northern coniferous forest
d) Very little change in monthly precipitation and temperature throughout the year
e) Average temperature of the warmest month is below 10C
f) Potential evaporation exceeds precipitation
g) Situated on the windward side of continents, from 40-65 latitude
Extra Credit (2pt)
What type of cloud is shown here?
Hint: This picture was taken in Seattle,
Washington. The cloud circled formed
near Mount Rainier in January 2011.
These types of clouds tend to form
above or near mountains due to stable
moist air flowing over the mountains
reaching the dew point.