Learning Objective 050.03.01.01.02: Describe the significance for meteorology of water vapour in the atmosphere.
Water vapor is the gaseous component of air that is of greatest importance to Earth's weather. Water vapor plays a very important role in the Earth's atmospheric processes and is an important factor in the formation of clouds, precipitation and various weather phenomena. Some atmospheric events where water vapor has significant effects:
Condensation and Cloud Formation: Water vapor can condense into liquid water or freeze into ice crystals, forming clouds.
Precipitation: Water vapor is the source of all precipitation, including rain, snow, sleet, and hail.
Latent Heat Release: When water vapor turns into liquid water or freezes into ice, it releases latent heat into the atmosphere.
Humidity and Temperature Regulation: Water vapor contributes to the humidity of the air that affect how temperatures feel and can affect weather conditions.
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