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UNIT 6—LESSON 7

WORLD WEATHER

OVERVIEW 

Identify the various types of weather and climate of the oceans and continents.

OUTLINE

Oceanic weather

Arctic and antarctic weather

United States weather

European weather

Asiatic weather

South American weather

African weather

Australia and New Zealand weather

WORLD WEATHER

Aerographer’s Mates are stationed, and may travel, around the world. Ships and aircraft are constantly in global transit. Therefore, the Aerographer’s Mate must have a general know-ledge of types of weather encountered during various seasons in regions all around the world. This knowledge also increases insight into atmospheric circulation, weather development and movement, weather effects on the environment, and credibility as a knowledgeable analyst, inter-preter, and briefer.

NOTE: You will find that a world atlas can be extremely useful and informative if used in con-junction with the information that follows.

Learning Objective: Identify the various types of weather and climate of the oceans and continents.

OCEANIC WEATHER

Naval vessels of the United States operate in virtually all the oceanic areas of the world; therefore, the Aerographer’s Mates must be acquainted with oceanic weather. Some general considerations of the weather encountered over ocean areas are discussed in this lesson. Because land and water heat and cool at different rates, the location of continents and oceans greatly affects the Earth’s pattern of air temperature and therefore influences the weather. The upper layers of the ocean are almost always in a state of motion. Heat loss or gain occurs at the sea surface and is distributed throughout large volumes of water. This mixing process sharply reduces the temperature contrasts between day and night and between winter and summer.

Oceanic Weather Control

It has long been recognized that the ocean plays an important part in climate and weather, particularly in the realms of temperature, humid-ity, and precipitation. This is only natural, since three-fourths of Earth’s surface is covered by water.

The two climatic extremes that relate to water and land distribution over Earth are MARITIME and CONTINENTAL. Continental climate is generally evidenced by a wide range in annual and diurnal temperatures, little cloudiness, and little precipitation. Continental climate is a product of a minimal influence from the oceans. Maritime climate prevails over the oceans and is charac-terized by a small temperature range, both annual and diurnal, and considerable precipitation and cloudiness. 

Water vapor is considered one of the most imp-ortant variables in meteorology. The state of the weather is largely expressed in terms of the amount of water vapor present and what is hap-pening to the water vapor. Two principal elements of climate, precipitation and humidity, are de-pendent upon water vapor. Since the oceans are the main source of water vapor, it follows that weather is largely controlled by the oceans.

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