Weather and Caves Windward and Leeward Sides Essay

Pages: 3 (944 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Weather

Weather and Caves

Windward and Leeward Sides of Mountains- Orographic precipitation, or a rain shadow effect, is an explanation of why the windward side of a mountain is typically rainy and the leeward side dry. The diagram shows that warm moist wind rises, cools and condenses, forming precipitation, which is then lost and the resulting clouds are dry on the opposite side of the mountain. The condition exists because warm moist air rises. As it rises, the decrease in atmospheric pressure (with increased altitude) causes the air to expand and reach dew point. At this dew point, moisture condenses onto the mountain, dumping rain, snow, etc. On the windward side. Then as the air descends on the leeward side, there is little moisture left. This, in combination with the air getting warmer because of compression, creates an arid region (Mountain Weather, 2011).

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The actual process of this air mass moving from low to higher elevation, orographic lift, can actually raise the relative humidity in the clouds to 100% and induce precipitation. Orographic fog is sometimes also formed as the air rises up the slope. Depending on the shape of the mountain, where there is high wind, a banner cloud is formed downwind of the upper slopes of mountains that are isolated and very sleep (Alps, Himalayas, some of the Rockies, etc.). This type of cloud is created by the various vortices and local uplifting of the air in relation to the terrain, the most famous being the leeward side of the Matterhorn. In contrast, on the leeward side of the mountain, the warmer air flowing downward is called a foehn wind. Any suspended moisture quickly evaporates as the air descends, and there is a rather distinct cut-off line that tends to form along and parallel to the ridge line on the mountain range, often called the foehn wall. Lenticular clouds are stationary clouds that form downwind of mountains by leeward air, often shaped like lenses (see picture). Additionally, and most well-known in California during certain seasons, a Chinook wave and wind forms above the mountain range and pushes warm air rapidly off the leeward side into the resulting valley or plain (Clouds and Currents, 2010).

TOPIC: Essay on Weather and Caves Windward and Leeward Sides Assignment

Part 2 -- Inquiry Strategy on Cave Formation - A cave, or cavern, is a natural underground space, and may include rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos. Caves are formed by a process called spelogenisis and by various geological processes: chemical erosion, water erosion, tectonic forces, microorganisms, pressure, atmospheric influences, and even digging. However, most caves of any size are formed in limestone by dissolution. Dissolution is the process in which is, essentially, a chemical way of dissolving rock through water or other moisture until a cave is formed. Obviously, some rock and mineral types lend themselves to becoming caves more readily, and are usually comprised of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Weather and Caves Windward and Leeward Sides.  (2011, August 20).  Retrieved September 25, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Weather and Caves Windward and Leeward Sides."  20 August 2011.  Web.  25 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Weather and Caves Windward and Leeward Sides."  August 20, 2011.  Accessed September 25, 2021.