Thursday, August 14, 2008

Somethin's A Brewin' In The Tropics

We may be dealing with the next tropical system in the Atlantic Basin over the next few days.

If so, it will be Tropical Storm Fay.

There is a large area of disturbed weather just east of Puerto Rico moving west. Regardless of if it organizes, it will bring heavy rain and wind to the island and surrounding locations, such as Hispaniola, over the next few days.

Hurricane hunters are flying through the storm today and we should know more later in the day.

Meanwhile, there was a second day of rain over much of the southeast. This time the heavy rain fell in a band from Mobile, Ala. and extending across southern Georgia and the Carolinas.

There was also a pocket of good rain over the lower Great Lakes, in and around Chicago, as well as over Kansas and Nebraska.

Elsewhere it was dry for the most part.

Today's Lesson

We are ready to dive into energy, temperature and heat.

Energy is the ability or capacity to do work on some form of matter. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space.

If matter is either pushed, pulled or lifted over some distance, then work has been done.

The total amount of energy stored in any object determines how much work that object is capable of performing.

This is called potential energy because it represents the potential to do work.

It can be represented by a math equation.

PE = m x g x h

In words, that would be potential energy equals the object's mass (m), times the acceleration of gravity (g), times the objects height above the ground (h).

To relate this to weather, if you have a parcel of air at the surface and then one up in the air -- the one above the surface has more potential energy because it can sink and warm through a greater depth of the atmosphere than the parcel of air already at ground level.

I know this might be boring to some, or hard to understand. Others may love it.

Bare with me, I am just setting the stage so we can get into the fun things that pertain to weather, like convection and thermals.

1 comment:

  1. It's not boring. It's fun. Keep up the great work on each entry lesson! Thanks for taking the time.