EAS-E 144 Extreme Weather & Its Impacts
February 24, 2020
Due: Thursday, 5 March, at the start of class
What is the Purpose of this Assignment?
In this homework, let’s improve our understanding of atmospheric water vapor. In Q1,
we review some basic knowledge about processes in the atmosphere. Then, you get to
practice with relative humidity (Q2, Q3, Q4) in ways relevant to us as scientists and in
ways that affect our daily lives.
What is Expected of my Submitted Work?
This assignment is worth a total of 12 points. You’ll earn one point for submitting work
that meets all these criteria:
– Name is on it
– All of it is typed – even the math – except for the surface stations in Q1, which you
may do neatly and cleanly by hand if you choose
– It is stapled, if necessary
– It is not crumpled, wadded, frayed, stained with coffee, etc.
– It is submitted on time
Question 1 – Water Vapor and Its Changes
We skipped an important section of the “Moisture and Cloud Formation” PDF reading
(the one that had our relative humidity text in it) – Section 2. Please read this section and
answer these short questions, which are based on it.
a. Of the six phase changes of water substance, which ones would work to increase
the dewpoint of a parcel of air?
b. Consider a pot of water on a hot stove. The water has been heated to 212°F. Why
will a thermometer inserted into the water never read higher than 212°F? If you
leave the pot of water on the stove, where is all that extra heat going? Do not
write more than a couple sentences.
c. Draw a surface station model for a morning in Bloomington where you would see
DEW on the grass.
d. Draw a surface station model for a morning in Bloomington where you would see
FROST on the grass.
Question 2 – Relative Humidity Calculations
Calculate the relative humidity (in percent) in each of the following scenarios. Round
your answers to the nearest integer. If you do not show your work – including the
mixing ratios, proper units, and so on – you will get no credit if there is a mistake.
a. T = 90°F; Td = 70°F
b. T = 10°F; Td = 3°F
c. T = 10°C; Td = 3°C
Question 3 – Wildfire Risk
On a recent morning in southern California with a high risk of wildfires, the temperature
was 75°F. Normally, we consider wildfire risk to be “high” if the relative humidity goes
below about 25%. What would the dewpoint be in such a scenario? Show each step of
your work, and give a final answer in °F.
Question 4 – Relative Humidity Range
If the temperature is 80°F, what is the complete range of possible values of relative
humidity if you know the dewpoint is at least 60°F? (Your answer will be a range: for
example, “RH could be anywhere from 17% to 36%.”)
Grading Plan for this Homework
Question 1 – 4 pts; 1 pt each
Question 2 – 3 pts; 1 pt each
Question 3 – 2 pts
Question 4 – 2 pts
Professionalism – 1 pt
Want more practice? Check out the “Water Vapor Additional Practice Questions” linked on our
Slides & Readings Page on Canvas.
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