Quantcast Island and Coastal Weather

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Island and Coastal Weather

Cumuliform clouds and precipitation are more abundant over island and coastal areas than over the open oceans except in the vicinity of certain tropical weather producers, such as hurricanes or typhoons, the ITCZ, and tropical waves. During the day, warm moist air moves over islands and coastal areas and is lifted. This orographic lifting produces the cumuliform clouds. Tower-ing cumulus form on the windward side of mountainous islands, while over less mountainous islands, the cumulus build slowly and reach their maximum vertical development over the lee side of the islands.

On the other hand, certain coastal sections of continents, such as those of northern Chile and Peru, do not experience abundant precipitation. In fact, the coastal regions of northern Chile and Peru are like deserts. Fog is prevalent over the cold coastal waters. The cold Peru current is the primary reason for the low average temperature and small diurnal temperature differences ex-perienced in this area.

Continental Weather

Central America and large portions of South America, Africa, India, southern Asia, Australia, and the Middle East are located within the tropical belt. Temperature and pressure variations in this belt are greatest over these land masses because of the radiational heating and cooling of the land. The oceans heat and cool at a much slower rate and to a much lesser degree; therefore, tempera-ture and pressure variations over the water are not nearly as great as those over the continents.

Precipitation differences can also be great. Over eastern and southern Asia monsoon winds of summer produce a hot, damp climate with excessive rainfall. In winter, the winds reverse, and the dry season begins. Many continental areas experience wet and dry seasons that are related to either monsoons or the latitudinal shift of the wind belts. Remember, the wind belts shift farther north and south over the continents than over the oceans.

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