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Encyclopedia > Orographic lifting
This wave cloud pattern formed off of the Île Amsterdam in the far southern Indian Ocean, due to orographic lift of an airmass by the island, producing alternating bands of condensed and invisible humidity downwind of the island as the moist air moves in vertical waves and the moisture successively condenses and evaporates.
This wave cloud pattern formed off of the Île Amsterdam in the far southern Indian Ocean, due to orographic lift of an airmass by the island, producing alternating bands of condensed and invisible humidity downwind of the island as the moist air moves in vertical waves and the moisture successively condenses and evaporates.

Orographic lift occurs when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain. As the air mass gains altitude it expands and cools adiabatically. This cooler air cannot hold the moisture as well as warm air and this effectively raises the relative humidity to 100%, creating clouds and frequently precipitation. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1919x1215, 544 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Cloud Orographic lift Wave cloud ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1919x1215, 544 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Cloud Orographic lift Wave cloud ... Orthographic projection centred over Ile Amsterdam Île Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam) is a sub-Antarctic island discovered by Juan Sebastián de Elcano on March 18, 1522. ... In meteorology, an air mass is a large volume of air having fairly uniform characteristics of temperature, atmospheric pressure, and water vapor content. ... Basic Definition In geography, the elevation of a geographic location is its height above mean sea level (or some other fixed point). ... Altitude is the elevation of an object from a known level or datum. ... This article covers adiabatic processes in thermodynamics. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Cumulonimbus capillatus incus floating over Swifts Creek, Victoria in Australia A cloud is a visible mass of condensed droplets or frozen crystals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of the Earth or another planetary body. ...

Contents

Effects of orographic lifting

Precipitation

Precipitation induced by orographic lift occurs in many places throughout the world. Examples include: // A rain shadow (or more accurately, precipitation shadow) is a dry region on the surface of the Earth that is leeward or behind a mountain with respect to the prevailing wind direction. ...

The Andes form the longest mountain chain in the world. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... Official language(s) None Capital Salem Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq mi (255,026 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) None Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Area  Ranked 18th  - Total 71,342 sq mi (184,824 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 6. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Official languages English de facto (none stated in law) Flower Pacific dogwood Tree Western Redcedar Bird Stellers Jay Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 36 6 Area... Mount McKinley (Denali) in Alaska (USA) has the highest visible base-to-summit elevation on Earth (approximately 5400 metres). ... A roll cloud associated with a heavy or severe thunderstorm over Enschede, Netherlands A storm is any disturbed state of a planets atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. ...

Rain shadowing

A lenticular cloud in New Mexico.
Enlarge
A lenticular cloud in New Mexico.
A cap cloud.
Enlarge
A cap cloud.
Wave clouds forming over Mount Duval.
Wave clouds forming over Mount Duval.
Koryaksy volcano, Kamchatka, Russia, showing banner clouds streaming to the right from the peaks.
Koryaksy volcano, Kamchatka, Russia, showing banner clouds streaming to the right from the peaks.
Chinook arch in Calgary, Alberta, November 19, 2005
Chinook arch in Calgary, Alberta, November 19, 2005
A view of the Front Range of the Rockies capped by a foehn wall.
A view of the Front Range of the Rockies capped by a foehn wall.
Main article: Rain shadow

The highest precipitation amounts are found slightly upwind from the prevailing winds at the crests of mountain ranges, where the relief and therefore the upward lifting is greatest. As the air descends the lee side of the mountain, it warms and dries, creating a rain shadow. On the lee side of the mountains, sometimes as little as 15 miles (25 km) away from high precipitation zones, annual precipitation can be as low as 8 inches (200 mm) per year.[1] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2304x1728, 243 KB) Description:Lenticular clouds, New Mexico, USA Author:Brandy Jenkins Date:March 17, 2005 File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Orographic lift ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2304x1728, 243 KB) Description:Lenticular clouds, New Mexico, USA Author:Brandy Jenkins Date:March 17, 2005 File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Orographic lift ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1776x1136, 906 KB) Description: A sharp mountain peak with cloud formed by orographic lifting of the air. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1776x1136, 906 KB) Description: A sharp mountain peak with cloud formed by orographic lifting of the air. ... Image File history File links Wavecloudsduval. ... Image File history File links Wavecloudsduval. ... Image File history File links Koryaksky_volcano. ... Image File history File links Koryaksky_volcano. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 708 KB)Chinook Arch in Calgary on november, 19th 2005. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 708 KB)Chinook Arch in Calgary on november, 19th 2005. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (13433x2649, 4330 KB) Summary Adam Ginsburg 12/31/05 Panorama taken from Westlands Park in Greenwood Village, Colorado Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Denver, Colorado... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (13433x2649, 4330 KB) Summary Adam Ginsburg 12/31/05 Panorama taken from Westlands Park in Greenwood Village, Colorado Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Denver, Colorado... // A rain shadow (or more accurately, precipitation shadow) is a dry region on the surface of the Earth that is leeward or behind a mountain with respect to the prevailing wind direction. ...


Areas where this effect is observed include:

Atacama The Atacama Desert of Chile is a virtually rainless plateau made up of salt basins (salares), sand, and lava flows, extending from the Andes mountains to the Pacific Ocean. ... Starry Night Over the Rhone, by Vincent van Gogh (1888) The River Rhône (French Rhône, Occitan Ròse, Franco-Provençal Roun, standard German Rhone, Valais German Rotten, Italian Rodano) is one of the major rivers of Europe, running through Switzerland and France. ... Mount Adams in Washington The Cascade Range is a mountainous region famous for its chain of tall volcanoes called the High Cascades that run north-south along the west coast of North America from British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to the Shasta Cascade area of northern California. ... Official language(s) None Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Area  Ranked 18th  - Total 71,342 sq mi (184,824 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 6. ... Official language(s) None Capital Salem Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq mi (255,026 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 2. ... The Olympic Mountains The Olympic Mountains are a mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula of western Washington in the United States. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Kaua‘i (usually called Kauai outside the Hawaiian Islands, pronounced kawa-ee) is the oldest and fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands, having an area of 1,430. ... This article is becoming very long. ... The California Central Valley The California Central Valley dominates the central portion of the state of California. ... Drainage map showing the Great Basin in orange Various Definitions of the Great Basin (NPS) The Great Basin is a large, arid region of the western United States. ...

Atmospheric waves

As air flows over mountain barriers, orographic lift can create a variety of wave effects, which produce vertical air motion. If the air mass is close to the dew point, the waves may show as a variety of leeward clouds[1]:

  • Lenticular clouds are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally aligned at right-angles to the wind direction. Orographic lifting creates a wave which creates the condition for cloud formation.
  • A cap cloud is a special form of the lenticular cloud with a base low enough that it forms around and covers the peak, capping it.[1]
  • Wave clouds are lenticular clouds, created when an air mass passes over a geographic feature and a standing wave forms downwind.
  • A banner cloud is a cloud that forms downstream from the upper lee slopes of isolated, steep-sided mountains. This cloud is similar to the condensation observed off the tips of high-performance aircraft wings when they operate in humid conditions; it is created by the vortices and local uplifting in the air caused by the orographic lifting as the wind passes the mountain. The most famous such cloud forms routinely in the lee of the Matterhorn.[1][2].
  • A foehn wall is an extensive cloud formed along and parallel to the ridge line. The wall appears stationary, while the wind flows through; moisture condenses on the upslope and evaporating when it descends the lee slope. When viewed as one faces it, it often appears to have an abrupt wall like edge. The foehn wall is a common feature along the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies.[1]
  • A chinook arch cloud forms above a mountain range, usually at the beginning of a chinook wind as a resulting of orographic lifting over the range. It appears when seen from downwind to form an arch over the mountain range. A layer of clear air separates it from the mountain.[1]

Lenticular clouds, technically known as altocumulus standing lenticularis, are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally aligned at right-angles to the wind direction. ... This wave cloud pattern formed off of the ÃŽle Amsterdam in the far southern Indian Ocean. ... In meteorology, an air mass is a large volume of air having fairly uniform characteristics of temperature, atmospheric pressure, and water vapor content. ... The Matterhorn (French: Mont Cervin or Le Cervin, Italian: Monte Cervino) is perhaps the most familiar mountain in the European Alps. ... The Front Range is shown highlighted on a map of the western United States The Front Range is a mountain range in the United States on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, and on the western edge of the Great Plains. ... Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Area  Ranked 8th  - Total 104,185 sq mi (269,837 km²)  - Width 280 miles (451 km)  - Length 380 miles (612 km)  - % water 0. ... Chinook winds, often just called chinooks, are a wind pattern observed in midwestern North America, named for the Chinook Indians. ...

Leeward winds

Downslope winds occur on the leeward side of mountain barriers when a stable air mass is carried over the mountain by strong winds that increase in strength with height. Moisture is removed and latent heat released as the air mass is orographically lifted. As the air mass descends, it is compression heated. The warm Föhn wind, locally known as the Chinook wind, Bergwind or Diablo wind depending on the region, provide examples of this type of wind, and are driven in part by latent heat released by orographic lifting induced precipitation. A föhn wind or foehn wind occurs when a deep layer of prevailing wind is forced over a mountain range. ... Chinook winds, often just called chinooks, are a wind pattern observed in midwestern North America, named for the Chinook Indians. ... Bergwind (i. ... Diablo wind is a regional term for the föhn wind that often occurs in the San Francisco Bay Area. ...


A similar class of winds, the Sirocco, the Bora and Santa Ana winds, are examples where orographic lifting has limited effect since there is limited moisture to remove in the Saharan or other air masses; the Sirocco, Bora and Santa Ana are driven primarily by compression heating. Sirocco, scirocco, jugo or, rarely, siroc is a strong southerly to southeasterly wind in the Mediterranean that originates from the Sahara and similar North African regions. ... Bora or Bura is a northern to north-eastern katabatic wind in the Adriatic, Greece and Turkey. ... Santa Ana winds are warm, dry winds that characteristically appear in Southern California weather during autumn and early winter. ... Satellite image The Sahara is the worlds largest hot desert, and second largest desert at over 9,000,000 km² (3,500,000 mi²), almost as large as the United States. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Category:Orographics Clouds

Orography is the average height of land, measured in geopotential meters, over a certain domain. ... // A rain shadow (or more accurately, precipitation shadow) is a dry region on the surface of the Earth that is leeward or behind a mountain with respect to the prevailing wind direction. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Whiteman, C. David (2000). Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513271-8.
  2. ^ Example of a banner cloud forming in the lee of the Matterhorn.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Orographic lift - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (873 words)
This wave cloud pattern formed off of the Île Amsterdam in the far southern Indian Ocean, due to orographic lift of an airmass by the island, producing alternating bands of condensed and invisible humidity downwind of the island as the moist air moves in vertical waves and the moisture successively condenses and evaporates.
Orographic lift occurs when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain.
A similar class of winds, the Sirocco, the Bora and Santa Ana winds, are examples where orographic lifting has limited effect since there is limited moisture to remove in the Saharan or other air masses; the Sirocco, Bora and Santa Ana are driven primarily by compression heating.
Orography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (412 words)
Orographic precipitation, also known as relief precipitation, is precipitation generated by a forced upward movement of air upon encountering a physiographic upland (see anabatic wind).
Orographic precipitation is well known on oceanic islands, such as the Hawaiian Islands, where much of the rainfall received on an island is on the windward side, and the leeward side tends to be quite dry, almost desert-like, by comparison.
Another well known area for Orographic precipitation is the Pennines in the north of England where the west side of the Pennines receives more rain than the east because the clouds are forced up and over the hills and cause the rain to fall.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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