April 24, 2013
Weather And Climate: Sun Impact On Earth
The impact the Sun has on different weather features on Earth and how it impacts climates of our planet.
In the table below, we look at a mid-latitude location that experiences the interaction of both high pressures and low pressures on a daily basis; a place like Chicago, Illinois or Sioux Falls, South Dakota and even New York City, NY. All three of these places have something in common and that is their climate, or long trend impact on temperature impacted by low pressures and high pressures.
So, how do a high pressure and low pressure impact the climate? Here is a look, if we use the table above for the example. On day one, the clouds begin to erode away from the passing front; now we have about 50 percent cloud cover. This happens during the evening time frame. This region will stay warmer because the heat is trapped somewhat, so we will say our location saw a low temp of 55F for the night. Now on day two, the clouds are completely cleared out to zero percent, so this night our low temp for that same place fell to 30F. It was colder because of night-time cooling. Going into day three, we have another clear sky night and it gets even cooler as the temp falls to 24F. But by day four the warm air begins to return, which leads to the development of more cloud cover; so now this evening our temp only fall to around 35F. Day five begins and now we are looking at about 75 percent cloud cover; the winds out of the southwest are bringing in warm air that gets trapped at the surface by the cloud cover. This brings our low temp up to around 54F. By day six and seven we have complete cloud cover and probably showers or thunderstorms; this leads our night time low to around 60F. Now for those cities that we mentioned above, this cycle will probably happen about two to three times per month. So, what does this do? It leads us to finding a monthly average of the temperatures. If we look, half of the month will be warm, while the other half of the month will probably be cooler. To get an average, you have to have some low numbers and high numbers.
So, now let’s look at how this impacts climate. To do this, we need to look at two other cities. Let’s compare Seattle, WA to Minneapolis, MN, since they both lay on about the same latitude. Because of that, they should both have the same type of weather, right? Well, no. They don’t. The big reason is that the ocean current along the Pacific Coast keeps the winters warmer, but it also keeps Seattle in a more cloud cover and rainfall period than we see in Minneapolis. This leads Minneapolis to have more extreme weather than Seattle in regards to climate and temperatures. This is just one scenario that can be seen on our earth; there are many more examples of this. So, before you get to happy and jump on the CO2 band wagon, make sure you understand climate to its fullest.
Featured Image Credit: Photos.com