WW2010
University of Illinois

WW2010
 
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Online Guides
 
  introduction
 
> meteorology
 
  remote sensing
 
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  projects, activities

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

Hydrologic Cycle
 
  introduction
 
  water budget
 
  evaporation
 
  condensation
 
> transport
 
  precipitation
 
  groundwater
 
  transpiration
 
  runoff
 
  summary

transport
 
> introduction
 
  satellite images

User Interface
 
  graphics
> text

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Transport
transport of water vapor around the globe

[Image: Transport Animation (54K)]
Animation by: Bramer

In the hydrologic cycle, transport is the movement of water through the atmosphere, specifically from over the oceans to over land. Some of the earth's moisture transport is visible as clouds, which themselves consist of ice crystals and/or tiny water droplets. Clouds are propelled from one place to another by either the jet stream, surface-based circulations like land and sea breezes, or other mechanisms. However, a typical 1 kilometer thick cloud contains only enough water for a millimeter of rainfall, whereas the amount of moisture in the atmosphere is usually 10-50 times greater.

Most water is transported in the form of water vapor, which is actually the third most abundant gas in the atmosphere. Water vapor may be invisible to us, but not to satellites, which are capable of collecting data about the moisture content of the atmosphere. From this data, visualizations like this water vapor image are generated, providing a visual picture of moisture transport in the atmosphere.

[Image: example water vapor image (40K)]

Bright areas indicate higher amounts of moisture and are often associated with clouds. Dark areas indicate less moisture, or relatively drier air. However, moist air does not always contain clouds.



condensation
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.

satellite images