Precipitation Rain, Snow, Sleet, hail Steps that Lead to Precipitation 1. Air Rises (goes up) 2. Air Cools (colder as you go up) 3. Moisture Condenses (water droplets) 4. Precipitates (Falls to earth) 3 Types of Rainfall http://www.curriculumbits.com/ prodimages/details/geography/types-ofrainfall.html OROGRAPHIC (mountain)
Rainshadow Orographic precipitation results when warm moist air of the ocean is forced to rise by large mountains. As the air rises it cools, moisture in the air condenses and clouds and precipitation result on the windward side of the mountain while the leeward side receives very little (rainshadow) . This is common in British Columbia. CONVECTION (Heat) Convectional precipitation results from the heating of the earth's surface that causes air to rise rapidly. As the air rises, it cools and moisture condenses into clouds and precipitation. This type of precipitation is common in the prairie provinces (and here too!!) in the summer.
FRONTAL (air masses meet) When two air masses meet, one must go over the other. When a cold air mass meets a warm air mass the warm air rises, cools and condenses quickly. You get heavy precipitation but of short duration over a small area. When a warm air mass meets a cold air mass the warmer air mass rises slowly over the cold air. As it rises the warm air cools, moisture in the air condenses, clouds and precipitation result. You get a steady rain of a longer duration
over a larger area. Fronts http://www.stevemcentee.com/ animation3.html Comparison Chart Similarities Orographic (mountain) Frontal (air masses) Convection
(Heat) Moist Air Mass YES Yes / No Yes/No Air mass Rises YES YES
YES Air mass Cools YES YES YES Precipitates YES YES
YES Reason for Rising Mountain Warm air meets cold Hot Ground All Year All Year
Summer Heavy Moderate Low Seasons Amount of Precipitation
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