As the air moves up the windward side of a mountain, it cools, and the volume decreases. As a result, humidity increases and orographic clouds and precipitation can develop. When the air descends the leeward side, it warms and is drier because the moisture in the air was wrung out during the ascent.
What happens on the windward side of a mountain?
Mountains have two sides: windward and leeward. The windward side faces the wind and typically receives warm, moist air, often from an ocean. As wind hits a mountain, it is forced upward and begins to cool. Cool air reaches its dew point more quickly, and the result is rain and snow.
What happens to dry air as it moves down the mountain?
Answer: It will happen is precipitation falls as the air rises over the mountains, the air will be dry as it sinks on the leeward size. This dry, sinking air causes a rainshadow effect , which creates many of the world’s deserts.
What happens to air as it ascends a mountain?
As a cloud goes over a mountain, it rises. As air rises, it expands because there is less atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes. As air expands, it cools. … After it passes over the mountain, it drops down in elevation and the air becomes compressed and becomes warmer.
What happens to the air as it moves down the leeward side?
Answer: As the air becomes warmer and drier while it moves down the leeward side of the mountain, the orographic effect takes place. This effect will then further lower the humidity of the leeward side-bound air and loses moisture even faster.
Which side of the mountain receives the most precipitation?
The leeward side receives more precipitation than the windward side.
Which side of the mountain is more often cloudy and which side is more often clear?
The Windward side of the mountain is more often cloudy, while the leetward side is more often clear.
What happens to warm moist air as it rises over the mountain?
As the relatively warm, moist air rises over the windward side of the mountains, it cools and contracts. If the air is humid, it may form clouds and drop rain or snow. When the air sinks on the leeward side of the mountains, it forms a high pressure zone.
What is most likely to happen when moist air is forced up the windward side of a mountain?
When air is forced to rise on the windward side of a mountain, adiabatically cooling often leads to precipitation and cloud formation; air on the leeward side of the mountain (in the rain shadow) has lost moisture rising up the windward side, it will warm adiabatically, reducing its RH even more.
What happens to warm air when it cools?
As the molecules heat and move faster, they are moving apart. So air, like most other substances, expands when heated and contracts when cooled. Because there is more space between the molecules, the air is less dense than the surrounding matter and the hot air floats upward.
What happens with the temperature of air as it starts to rise?
As air warms up, the molecules start to vibrate and bump into each other, increasing the space around each molecule. … The opposite effect happens when air cools. As the temperature drops, molecules move more slowly, taking up less room. The amount of space the air takes up shrinks, or reduces the air pressure.
Why does the leeward side of a mountain not get much rainfall?
As winds rise up the windward side of a mountain range, the air cools and precipitation falls. On the other side of the range, the leeward side, the air is dry, and it sinks. So there is very little precipitation on the leeward side of a mountain range.