DescriptionIso-line Lab
Name ____________________________
Per. ______ Date___________________
Weather patterns are often
difficult to study since the conditions are a
part of a large and complex system that
you can not see. One of the best ways is to
look at the variables such as temperature,
pressure and wind. In this lab you will
examine a way of understanding some of
the variables.
All over the country, meteorologists
at weather stations collect data on the
weather variables. This tends to be a large
amount of information, but it can be
Study the solid line
that has been drawn
through all the stations that
have a temperature of 15
degrees C. Notice that the
line sometimes goes
between stations of 14
degrees and 16 degrees.
This is because there is a 15
degrees temperature
reading about halfway
between those readings
even though there may not
be a reporting stating at that
point.
analyzed in a simple and meaningful way. In
the past we connected point of equal
elevations with contour lines. We can also
connect points that have the same
temperature or pressure.
Isotherms help us to identify both
warm and cold air masses. Isobars show
areas of high and low pressure. In this lab
you will practice drawing isotherms and
isobars and locating air masses and areas
of different pressures.
18
17
19
20
19
22
17
20
17
23
21
24
23
21
18
19 21
16
Map A –
Isotherms
22
14
21 19
21
18
18
19
23
15
17
21
13
15
17
15
13
11
13
19
16
15
14
13
15
13
13
15
14
15
16
Procedure
On map A, a two-degree interval will work best. Find a station where the
temperature is 13 degrees. Starting at that point draw a light line to show where 13degree locations would be. Remember, if there is not 13-degree location nearby, you will
need to draw halfway between the 12 and 14-degree stations. Continue the line until it has
gone through all the stations and all locations that are 13. Your line should form a closed
loop. Darken your line when you are sure it is correct.
Draw lines for the 17,19, 21 and 23-degree stations. Not all are closed loops.
1. If temperature were available from several stations in Canada near the Great Lakes, Do you think the 15degree line would form a closed loop? __________________________________________________
Iso-line Lab
-1-
©HGB 3/27/2000
2. Which isotherms are closed loops? _____________________________________________________
3. What is the lowest temperature found in the smallest closed loop in the eastern half of the map?
_____________________________
4. What is the highest temperature found in the smallest closed loop in the western half of the map?
______________________________
The closed loops show where the air masses are located. Cold masses have isotherms
that decrease in temperature as you move towards the center.
5. Where is the center of the cold air mass? ( name the region of the state near the center)
____________________________________________________________________________________
6. Warm air masses have isotherms that increase in temperature as you move towards the center. Where is
the center of the warm air mass? ( name the region of the state near the center)
____________________________________________________________________________________
Map B
Draw in a 10, 20, 30, 40,
50, 60 & 70-degree isotherms
on the map B. Note you will
have to approximate using the
numbers on the map. Label
each isotherm.
Isotherms can be used
to identify air masses (large
areas of the lower atmosphere
with similar weather).
Map BIsotherms
1. Name a state over which a cold
air mass is located? __________________________________________
2. Name a state over which a warm air mass is located? ____________________________________
Air masses are also categorized as dry or humid. Humid air masses develop over ocean
waters. Dry air masses come from large land areas. An air mass found over the Gulf of
Mexico would be humid and warm. An air mass located in central Canada in winter would
be dry and cold.
Iso-line Lab
-2-
©HGB 3/27/2000
3. How would you describe the air mass moving into the United States from Canada? _________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
4. How would you describe the air mass moving into the United States from the south? ________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Map C
On map C you will draw
isobars on the map. You will
use them to locate areas of
high and low pressure.
The numbers on the map
indicate the atmospheric
pressure in millibars. Draw a
smooth line connecting all the
weather stations that have the
same pressure. A four-millibar
increment is standard. Draw
and label a separate line for
1000, 1004, 1008, 1012, 1016,
1020 & 1024 pressures.
1016
1016
1020
1020
1024
1020
1016
1024
1008
1012
1012
1020
1024
1012
1004
1000
1000
1008
1000
1004
1016
1012
Map C
Isobars
1008
1008
1004
1004
1016
1020
1016
1008
1016
1016
1024
1012
1008
1012
1024
1024
1012
1004
1008
1000
1004
1012
1004
1008
1012
1012
1012
1. What are these lines called? _______________________________
2. Some of the lines form closed loops. The center of each loop represents an area of high or low pressure.
Write an H in the loop on the map that represents a high-pressure area. Write an L in the low-pressure
loop. Give the value of the air pressure in each area? _________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Wind blows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. The strength of the
wind is determined by changes in the pressure, the pressure gradient. A large change in
pressure over a short distance would indicate strong winds. On a weather map, isobars
that are close together indicate a strong pressure gradient.
3. Indicate on your map with a dark arrow the direction that you expect the winds to blow. (Remember high
to low.
Iso-line Lab
-3-
©HGB 3/27/2000
Map D
1. Determine which 4-millibar intervals
will be necessary to use for this map.
_______________________________
_______________________________
Draw in the isobars on the map
D. Start with smallest line, then
increase from their, label each
isobar. Note: isobars form sets of
curves that do not cross each
Map D
other.
Isobars
Isobars can be used to identify
“Highs” and “Lows”. The pressure
in a high is greater than the
surrounding air. The pressure in a low is lower than the surrounding air.
2. Label with an “H” the center of a high-pressure area. What state is it over? ___________________
3. Label with an “L” the center of a low-pressure area. What state is it over? ____________________
High-pressure regions are usually associated with dry weather because as the air
sinks it warms and the moisture evaporates. Low-pressure regions usually bring
precipitation because when the air rises it cools and the water vapor condenses.
4. Over which state would you expect to see rain or snow? ______________________________
5. Over which state would you expect to see clear skies ? _____________________________________
Questions
1. Where do cold air masses form? And how do they move in to the United States?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
2. Where do warm air masses form? And how do they move in to the United States?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
3. What is the weather in a high-pressure area usually like? In a low?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Iso-line Lab
-4-
©HGB 3/27/2000
Study the isobar map you have drawn to answer the following questions.
4.
5.
The diagram below contains wind direction and atmospheric pressure information for a typical weather station. The weather
information is reported according to the following station model.
Atmospheric Pressure: Only the last three digits are plotted. If the first is less than 5, then number 10 is omitted. I it is 5 or higher,
the number 9 is omitted. Note : The pressure values are given to tenths of millibars, but the decimal point is not plotted. So, 043
really means 1004.3
Wind Direction: The wind lows toward the center of the station model ( from the east)
The map on the next page shows weather station information from a variety of weather stations. Scientists often connect areas of
equal pressure with lines called isobars. Using a pencil, draw the following isobars. It will be best to lightly sketch the lines first.
Then draw the isobars as smooth, curved lines. Label each isobar.
996 millibars
1000 millibars
1004 millibars
1008 millibars
1012 millibars
1016 millibars
Now locate the centers of the two pressure systems and label each appropriately as either HIGH or LOW.
Iso-line Lab
-5-
©HGB 3/27/2000

Purchase answer to see full
attachment

  
error: Content is protected !!