Air Masses (upper level)

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Knowing about air masses provides interesting information about the kind of weather to expect.
An air mass can be defined as a large body of air that has relatively uniform characteristics, that is, similar temperature, surface pressure and moisture properties throughout. Air takes characteristics from the underlying surface, modifying its original ones. The best source regions for air masses are large flat areas where air can be parked long enough (a minimum of a few days) to acquire the characteristics of the surface below. Topography influences the movement of air masses from their source region. The boundaries of these masses are not sharp, varying with the season and the changes in surface conditions. In fact, contrasting conditions between neighboring air masses can produce a wide variety of unsettled weather conditions along their boundaries (frontal zone or front), while air masses themselves can provide some of the most stable and settled weather whatsoever.

Types of Air Masses

According to the source region, air masses are classified as: P – Polar Air Masses, originated in polar latitudes, located pole-ward of 60 degrees north and south. T – Tropical Air Masses, [...]