WW2010
University of Illinois

WW2010
 
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Online Guides
 
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> meteorology
 
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Meteorology
 
  introduction
 
> air masses, fronts
 
  clouds, precipitation
 
  el nino
 
  forces, winds
 
  hurricanes
 
  hydrologic cycle
 
  light, optics
 
  midlatitude cyclones
 
  severe storms
 
  weather forecasting

Air Masses, Fronts
 
  introduction
 
> air masses
 
  fronts
 
  advection

Air Masses
 
  introduction
 
  continental polar
 
> maritime tropical

User Interface
 
  graphics
> text

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Maritime Tropical Air Masses
warm temperatures and rich in moisture

Maritime tropical air masses originate over the warm waters of the tropics and Gulf of Mexico, where heat and moisture are transferred to the overlying air from the waters below. The northward movement of tropical air masses transports warm moist air into the United States, increasing the potential for precipitation.

Tropical air masses are generally restricted to the southern states during much of the winter. However, southerly winds ahead of migrating cyclones occasionally transport a tropical air mass northward during the winter season.

Below is a map of surface observations and the leading edge of a tropical air mass surging northward into the Ohio Valley has been highlighted in red. Southerly winds behind the boundary signify the continued northward transport of warm moist air.

From these reports, we see that most stations in the tropical air mass generally exhibit relatively warmer temperatures, with higher dew point temperatures, and winds generally out of the south. Notice that on the other side of the red boundary, outside of this air mass, surface conditions are much different, which indicates the presence of an entirely different air mass.



continental polar
Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Fronts