GSC125-01 Homework 11 Name: _ Please use the textbook and your class notes to answer the following questions Chapter 11, Review Questions: 1. Briefly describe the characteristics of the mature stage of the life cycle of a thunderstorm cell…
A strong downdraft is created when precipitation descending through the cloud drags the adjacent air downward. Entrained dry air at the edge of the cloud leads to evaporative cooling, which weakens the buoyant uplift and strengthens the downdraft. At the surface, the leading edge of downdraft air resembles a miniature cold front and is called a gust front. Ominous-appearing low clouds associated with a gust front include a roll cloud and a shelf cloud also called an arcus cloud. Thus, a thunderstorm cell attains maximum intensity during its mature stage. 3. What causes the anvil top of a cumulonimbus cloud? Answer: When the upward billowing cumulonimbus cloud reaches the tropo-pause, it spreads out forming a flat anvil top. Cloud tops during the mature stage can build to altitudes in excess of 18,000 m (about 60,000 ft). 6. Why are severe thunderstorms and tornadoes more likely in spring than winter? Answer: severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are more likely in spring than winter due to the relative instability of atmosphere at that time of the year. During the transition from winter to summer, solar radiation incident on Earth’s surface is more intense transporting heat from relatively warm ground into the cold troposphere. However, it takes time for the temperature of the entire troposphere to adjust to heating from below. The steep air temperature lapse rate favors deep convection forming severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. ...
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