n more intense insolation than alocation at
n climate, I selectedtwo cities, both on the same continent, both at approximately the samelatitude, and both on major bodies of water. I compared the monthlytemperature and precipitation averages of New York City with the monthlytemperature and precipitation averages of San Francisco. I also recorded thedaily temperatures of the two cities over the course of three months. What Ifound is reflected in this report. New York City and San Francisco are very similar.
New York is at38 north latitude and San Francisco is located at 41 north Latitude. Eachborders an ocean. New York is on the east coast of the United States, on theAtlantic Ocean; San Francisco is on the west coast, on the Pacific Ocean.New Yorks climate varies widely during the year. The temperaturerises to the middle 90s Fahrenheit in the summer and drops to single digitsin the winter. New York averages about 45 inches of precipitation per year.
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In San Francisco, the temperature rises to over 100 Fahrenheit. Bycomparison, the temperature usually does not drop below 20 Fahrenheit. San Francisco receives little rain compared to New York, only about 15inches of precipitation per year, about one-third of New Yorks average.
Heat is a result of insolation. Insolation is radiation from the sun. Intensity of insolation goes down as the latitude of an area increases.
Thus, alocation at 10 north latitude will receive more intense insolation than alocation at 75 north latitude. As intensity of insolation goes up, the temperature will increase.Air pressure measures the amount of force exerted on the air. Airpressure goes up as the temperature goes up. New Yorks average monthly temperature varies very much.
Thehighest average temperature is 76 Fahrenheit, in July; the lowest averagetemperature is 31 Fahrenheit, in January. San Franciscos averagetemperature does not vary as much. The highest average temperature is 61Fahrenheit, in September; the lowest average temperature per month is 47Fahrenheit, in December. New Yorks average temperature per month variesvery much more than San Franciscos. Water moderates temperature. A city close to an ocean will havecooler summers and warmer winters.
Both New York and San Franciscoborder water. Most of New York City is an island in the Atlantic Ocean. San Francisco is on the Pacific Ocean. The temperatures in New York andSan Francisco will, therefore, be moderated. Graph #1 shows the results of these affects on the temperature of NewYork and San Francisco.The dewpoint temperature is the temperature at which clouds form.
Ifthere is moisture in the air from evaporation and the air temperature meetsdewpoint temperature, the moisture will condense to form clouds. When thereare clouds, and the air pressure goes up, there is a chance of precipitation. Precipitation is likely because the air can not hold as much water. New York has more precipitation than San Francisco. New Yorkstemperature drops very far in the winter, and the cold air cannot hold as muchwater. San Franciscos temperature does not drop as far, and so it can holdmore water. In July and August, San Francisco averages no precipitation.
There is not very much moisture in the air and the temperature does not godown very far, so it does not precipitate at all.Graph #2 shows the average amount of precipitation per month forNew York and San Francisco.Graph #3 shows the high and low temperatures for each day ofDecember, 1996, in New York and San Francisco. Graph #4 shows the highand low temperatures for each day of January, 1997, in New York and SanFrancisco. Graph #5 shows the high and low temperatures for each day ofFebruary, 1997, in New York and San Francisco.The graphs reflect erratic highs and lows because of different changesin the weather, which could be attributed to any atmospheric changes. Forexample, an approaching storm could make the temperature fall severaldegrees.
New York and San Francisco are similar because they are both close towater and because both are at approximately the same latitude. The climatesin the two cities, however, are very different. The temperature in SanFrancisco does not change very much compared to the temperature of NewYork, where the temperature differs very much, from month to month.New York receives much more precipitation than San Francisco. Thisis because the temperature does not dip down very far in San Francisco, sothe air can hold more moisture.In summary, New York and San Francisco are similar because of theirlocations, but they have very different climates, as this paper shows.