2.1a  General Circulation of the Atmosphere

Winds circulate around the globe because of the rotation of the earth and the energy from the sun.


2.1b  Ocean Circulations

Much like the earth’s atmosphere, which circulates warm and cold air across the earth, the ocean also circulates warm and cold water across the world.


2.1c  Temperature Gradient

A temperature gradient is the change in temperature across a specified boundary or front.


2.1d  Sea and Land Breezes

Sea and Land Breezes describe the wind that blows onshore from sea to land during the day and blows offshore in the evening.


2.1e  Monsoon Systems

Monsoons are massive, seasonally changing sea breeze circulations that form due to temperature differences between land and ocean.


2.2  Semi-Permanent Highs and Lows

Semi-permanent highs and lows are persistent pressure systems that appear over an area during the year and affect how storms and weather systems enter the United States.


2.3  Mid-Latitude Cyclones

Mid-latitude cyclones are huge weather systems that form from a low pressure system and cover a wide area with precipitation.


2.4  Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclones are powerful storms that develop over the ocean, mostly during the summer months.  The Southeast is affected by tropical storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.


2.5  North Atlantic Oscillation

The North Atlantic Oscillation is a weather phenomenon that affects the jet stream and can alter weather patterns in some parts of the world.


2.6  Pacific/North American Pattern

The Pacific/North American Pattern describes a change from normal in surface temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States.


2.7  El Niño

El Niño is a climate pattern representing an unusual warming of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean which is linked to impacts on weather and climate patterns around the world.


2.8  La Niña

La Niña is a climate pattern representing the cooling of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean which impacts weather and climate conditions all over the world.