Differentiate between maritime and continental air masses

Differentiate between maritime and continental air masses

Here is a comparison between maritime and continental air masses in tabular form:

Maritime Air MassContinental Air Mass
Source RegionOver oceans or large bodies of waterOver land areas
TemperatureRelatively mild or warmCan vary from very cold to hot
Moisture ContentRelatively high humidityGenerally drier
StabilityOften less stable due to moisture contentCan be more stable
Weather CharacteristicsCan bring cloudy conditions and precipitationTends to have clearer skies and less precipitation
Effect on TemperatureCan moderate temperaturesCan lead to greater temperature extremes
Effect on HumidityCan increase humidity levelsMay have lower humidity levels
Effect on PrecipitationCan contribute to widespread precipitationMay result in less widespread precipitation
Typical Weather PatternsFog, drizzle, and steady rain are commonClear skies, limited cloud cover, and drier conditions
Influence on FrontsOften associated with warm fronts and can trigger convectionCan lead to the formation of cold fronts and more stable atmospheric conditions
ExamplesMaritime Tropical (mT) and Maritime Polar (mP) air massesContinental Polar (cP) and Continental Tropical (cT) air masses

It’s important to note that air masses can exhibit variations and undergo modifications as they travel and interact with other air masses or atmospheric features. The characteristics listed above provide a general comparison between maritime and continental air masses, but specific weather conditions associated with these air masses can vary depending on other factors such as topography, prevailing winds, and the presence of other atmospheric systems.


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