Quantcast Unit 8 - Lesson 3 - Circulation patterns on upper-air charts

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UNIT 8—LESSON 3

CIRCULATION PATTERNS ON UPPER-AIR CHARTS

OVERVIEW 

Identify atmospheric circulation patterns and define special circulation features.

OUTLINE

Long and short waves

Upper-level highs and lows

Blocks

Zonal and meridional flow

Jet streams

CIRCULATION PATTERNS ON UPPER-AIR CHARTS

The patterns on constant-pressure charts are much the same as those patterns delineated by isobars on surface charts. However, the pattern becomes smoother and less complex on upper-level charts. The 850-mb chart, for example, may show many closed centers, but by the time the 200-mb level is reached, there are few, if any, closed centers. Instead, the contours present a wavelike pattern. These waves, like their ocean counterparts, have definite properties by which they can be identified.

Learning Objective: Identify the circula-tion patterns of long waves, short waves, upper highs, and upper lows on upper-air charts.

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