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How do fluids affect meteorology?
Question Date: 2005-09-26
Answer 1:

This question is too open ended. Essentially meteorology is the study of the movement of air masses in response to solar heating, the spin of the earth and the interaction of the atmosphere with the oceans in heat exchange.

Air is a compressible fluid. This means that the volume of a package or parcel of air responds rapidly to changes in pressure and temperature. A good example comes from coastal California and the Sundowner effect.

For example, a scientific journal mentions the Sundowner effect. It shows how fluids, their movement, expansion and compression are very much the essence of the science of weather:

Significant down slope wind and warming events periodically occur along a short segment of the southern California coast in the vicinity of Santa Barbara. This region is characterized by unique mesoscale topography: over a length of about 100 km the coastline is oriented approximately west-east, with the adjoining narrow coastal plain bounded by a steeply rising (to elevations greater than 1200 m) and coast-parallel mountain range.

Called Sundowner winds because they often begin in the late afternoon or early evening, their onset is typically associated with a rapid rise in temperature and decrease in relative humidity. In the most extreme Sundowner wind events, wind speeds can be of gale force or higher, and temperatures over the coastal plain, and even at the coast itself, can rise significantly above 37.8C (100F). In addition to causing a dramatic change from the more typical marine-influenced local weather conditions, Sundowner wind episodes have resulted in significant property and agricultural damage, as well as extreme fire danger. They have, in fact, been associated with many of the most destructive conflagrations that have occurred in the Santa Barbara region.

In the present study, three different Sundowner wind episodes are examined. These include midsummer and mid autumn events primarily manifested by extremely warm temperatures, and a winter season event notable for its damaging winds.

The associated meteorological conditions are examined, and possible physical mechanisms responsible for these episodes are discussed. In at least two of the three cases considered here, mountain wave development appears to have played a significant role.
(Warren Blier, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, UCLA Los Angeles, California Weather and Forecasting: Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 702-716).

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