Moisture precipitates out of the atmosphere primarily as three types of rain: convective, stratiform and orographic. In each case, warm, moist air is lifted up and suspended until it reaches saturation and then discharges its water content as rain.Know More
Convective rain is the simplest form, and it occurs mainly in tropical regions. In a convection system, water evaporates off of ocean and lake surfaces, rises through the air by simple convection and falls when the air is saturated. Convective fronts are usually localized and limited in their horizontal extent.
Stratiform rain results when a moist warm front encounters cooler, drier air. The cool air is denser than the warm front, so it subducts under the warm air and drives it to a higher altitude. Then, if conditions are right for precipitation, the warm mass discharges.
Orographic rain is driven by a process very similar to stratiform rain, but with the rain-laden clouds rising against mountains rather than sliding over cool air. A typical orographic rain begins over the ocean as a convection cell, moves toward land and is suddenly lifted high by a coastal range of mountains. Orographic systems usually drop their moisture soon after making landfall and rarely have the energy to penetrate deep inland. This deprives inland areas of rain and creates rain shadow deserts such as the Atacama.Learn more in Atmosphere
The layers of gas that surround the Earth are collectively referred to as the atmosphere. The atmosphere is subdivided into five layers: the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. The outermost layer is the exosphere, and the innermost layer is the troposphere.Full Answer >
The gas that makes up about 21 percent of the atmosphere is oxygen. The atmosphere surrounding the Earth is not the same as it once was, as oxygen was not nearly as abundant.Full Answer >
The thermosphere is a layer of the Earth's atmosphere situated directly above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. The thermosphere performs several important functions, such as temperature regulation and filtering powerful X-rays and ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun. The thermosphere has the unique ability to expand to absorb heat and contains a diverse range of temperatures throughout its different layers.Full Answer >
In meteorology, temperature inversions occur in the layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth's surface, known as the troposphere. Temperature inversions in the atmosphere occur when a cool layer of air close to the Earth's surface is covered by a warm layer above.Full Answer >