Discover the World of Air Masses

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is an air mass?

What is the difference between polar air masses and tropical air masses?

What is the difference between continental and maritime air masses?

What separates air masses with different characteristics?

What is the Bergeron classification?

What does the first letter in air mass classification represent?

What are continental polar air masses?

What type of air masses are hot as they develop over lower latitudes?

What are some factors that can modify air masses?


Air Masses: Characteristics, Classification and Modification

  • An air mass is a volume of air characterized by its temperature and humidity.
  • Air masses cover many hundreds or thousands of square miles, and adapt to the characteristics of the surface below them.
  • Colder air masses are termed polar or arctic, while warmer air masses are deemed tropical.
  • Continental and superior air masses are dry, while maritime and monsoon air masses are moist.
  • Weather fronts separate air masses with different density (temperature or moisture) characteristics.
  • The Bergeron classification is the most widely accepted form of air mass classification.
  • Air mass classification involves three letters: the first letter describes its moisture properties, the second letter represents its source region, and the third letter shows its stability.
  • Tropical and equatorial air masses are hot as they develop over lower latitudes.
  • Continental Polar air masses (cP) are air masses that are cold and dry due to their continental source region.
  • Arctic, Antarctic, and polar air masses are cold.
  • Cold fronts and occluded fronts generally move from west to east, while warm fronts move poleward.
  • Air masses can be modified by surface flux from underlying vegetation, heat from underlying warmer waters, and other factors.


Test your knowledge on air masses with this quiz! Learn about the characteristics and classification of air masses, as well as how they can be modified. From polar to tropical air masses, and continental to maritime, this quiz covers it all. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about the fascinating world of air masses.

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