Mountains SPI 0507.8.2 Explain how mountains affect weather and climate.
Three Ways In this PowerPoint you are going to study three ways mountains affect climate. • Elevation • Rain Shadows • Mountain and Valley Breezes
How Mountains Affect Weather & Climate Number 1 - Elevation
Have you ever noticed as you are driving into Mountain City from Bristol or Johnson City that the temperatures get cooler?
Johnson County How many times have you seen snow on the top of Snake Mountain when there was none in Mountain City?
The reason for this is the elevation. Mountain City has the highest elevation of any city in Tennessee at 2350 feet above sea level. The highest point in Johnson County is Snake Mountain at an elevation of 5574 feet above sea level.
Elevation • The higher the elevation, the lower the temperature becomes. • The rate at which the temperature drops is known as the lapse rate. On average, the lapse rate is 3.6 degrees per 1,000 feet.
Elevation Differences • With Snake Mountain over 2000 feet higher in elevation than Mountain City, the temperature on top of Snake Mountain could easily be 7 degrees cooler.
How Mountains Affect Weather & Climate Number 2 - Rain Shadows
Rain Shadows Mountains greatly affect the climate. They act as barriers blocking rain and wind.
One side of the mountain may have a very different climate from the other side. In some cases mountains create a shadow. This is where rain does not fall. Deserts can form in the rain shadow regions.
Animations • http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/genbio/tlw3/eBridge/Chp29/animations/ch29/rain_shadow_formation.swf • http://bio1100b.nicerweb.com/med/Vid/Discover2e/ch39a04_RainShadow.swf • http://www.uky.edu/AS/Geology/howell/goodies/elearning/module07swf.swf • http://www.mrphome.net/mrp/rainshadow.swf
Example – Rain Shadow Death Valley in the United States is behind the Pacific Coast Ranges of California and the Sierra Nevada range.
BrainPop • http://www.brainpop.com/science/earthsystem/mountains/
How Mountains Affect Weather & Climate Number 3 – Mountain Breezes and Valley Breezes
Mountain Breeze –Valley Breeze Mountain and valley breezes are very similar to land and sea breezes. Remember – Air pressures try to equalize themselves through wind. High pressures move toward low pressures.
During the day the surface of the mountain heats the air high up in the atmosphere quicker than the valley floor can. This creates a low pressure area near the top of the mountain. Wind moves from the valley where the air pressure is high to equalize this pressure.
Day – Valley Breeze When the wind moves from the valley to the top of the mountain, this is called a valley breeze.
During the night the mountain tops cool more quickly than the air in the valleys. This creates a high pressure area at the mountain top where the air becomes more densely packed.
The wind changes direction and moves from the mountain top to the valley floor to equalize this high pressure.
Mountain Breeze –Valley Breeze Most of the time we see valley breezes during the day, as winds blow from the valley up towards the mountains. During the night we see mountain breezes, as winds travel from the mountains, down towards the valleys.
Animation • http://www.bborucki.com/wind.swf