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Air Masses, Fronts, and Frontal Cyclones

Multiple Choice Quiz

Choose the best answer.


Which of the following statements is false?
A)Cyclones move cold air toward the equator and warm air poleward.
B)The temperature contrast on either side of the polar front serves as a source of potential energy for developing cyclones.
C)Cyclones convert kinetic energy into potential energy as the storm's winds strengthen.
D)Cyclones derive energy from latent heat released by condensing water vapor.

A front is:
A)characterized by sharp temperature changes.
B)a dividing line between two air masses of different characteristics.
C)a region of drastically changing weather conditions.
D)all of the above.
E)none of the above.

A good source region for a continental air mass would be:
A)the southern Indian Ocean.
B)the Hawaiian Islands.
C)the Canadian Prairie.
D)Lake Ontario.

If a short wave trough is forecast to pass over your location, what kind of weather might you expect?
A)A relatively short bout of stormy weather, followed by clearing skies.
B)A prolonged period of unsettled weather.
C)Plenty of sunshine, followed by clouds and precipitation.
D)Several days of sunny weather and warm temperatures.

Which of the following processes/phenomena lead(s) to strengthening cyclones?
A)Baroclinic instability.
B)Westward 'tilt' of the system with height (upper trough behind surface low).
C)Warm and cold advection associated with the cyclone's cold and warm fronts.
D)All of the above are true.
E)None of the above is true.

The earth's desert regions serve as source regions for _____ air masses.
A)continental tropical (cT)
B)continental polar (cP)
C)maritime polar (mP)
D)maritime tropical (mT)
E)continental Arctic (cA)

Occluded fronts:
A)form as fast-moving cold fronts overtake slower warm fronts.
B)are usually found at the end of a cyclone's life cycle.
C)are characterized by cool/cold air on both sides of the boundary.
D)All of these statements apply.
E)None of these statements applies.

The late afternoon is characterized by sunshine and warm temperatures, while thunderstorms occur in the evening, followed by clear skies and a sharp drop in temperatures that night. What type of boundary has most likely passed through?
A)Dry line.
B)Cold front.
C)Warm front.
D)Stationary front.
E)Occluded front.

What features allow us to determine the position of a front on a weather map?
A)Sharp changes in wind direction.
C)Drastic changes in dew-point temperature.
D)A and B are useful.
E)All of these features are useful.

How do the Rocky Mountains lead to the development of stationary fronts?
A)Shallow cold air masses from central Canada cannot move over the mountains.
B)Overrunning and topography combine to form clouds and precipitation.
C)Air gliding down the lee side of the mountains becomes warmer and advances into the Plains region of the U.S.
D)Cold air masses travel unimpeded over the Rockies, meaning that stationary fronts do not form near mountains.

A)typically occurs with cold fronts.
B)produces a narrow band of clouds and precipitation right along or just ahead of a front.
C)often results in cumulonimbus clouds and thunderstorms.
D)occurs as warm (less dense) air glides up and over colder (more dense) air near the ground.

When cP air moves southward from Canada into the U.S. during the summer, it passes over warmer land. As a result, the thermal contrast across the cold front decreases. This is an example of:
C)cold occlusion.
D)warm occlusion.

How does upper-level divergence lead to the intensification of cyclones at the surface?
A)If upper-level divergence exceeds low-level convergence, the cyclone's pressure falls.
B)Upper-level jet streaks produce areas of upper-level divergence and convergence.
C)If low-level convergence exceeds upper-level divergence, the cyclone's pressure falls.
D)Upper-level divergence is associated with increasing cyclonic vorticity, which in turn makes cyclones spin faster.

Which of the following is not a part of the conveyor belt model of frontal cyclones?
A)Warm conveyor belt.
B)Moist conveyor belt.
C)Cold conveyor belt.
D)Dry conveyor belt.
E)All of these are part of the conveyor belt model.

Continental polar air masses are typically associated with what kind of winter weather?
A)Clear skies and warm temperatures.
B)Sunny but cold.
C)Cool, rainy conditions.
D)Hazy, hot and humid, with scattered afternoon thunderstorms.