Climate and weather

Revision notes on climate and weather for GCSE Geography.

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What is an air mass?
An air mass is a large body of air. They are defined by their source and
the course they travel. We know what type of weather it will bring from its
If an air mass comes over land it will be dry, and if it comes over water it
will be wet.
What is a source?
A source is where an air mass originates. It is usually a large flat area of
water or land.
Air mass Source Region Description Type of weather
Tropical North Africa Sand from the Dry and Hot
maritime Sahara leaves
orange dust
Tropical Atlantic Moisture Warm and wet
Artic Maritime Arctic ocean Heats up as Very cold,
moves south brings snow
Polar maritime Canada and Most common Plenty of rain
Greenland to UK
Polar continental Scandinavia and Very dry Cold and dry
A front is
Where 2 air masses meet each other
It is an imaginary line between 2 air masses
It is where rain will occur
Warm air masses will always get pushed up
The type of front is specified by the advancing air. E.g. cold air
advancing is a clod front.
Cold Front
When the cold air mass pushes the warm air mass upwards. This is
called a cold front
The cold air is advancing
Thick clouds, short sharp showers and colder temperatures

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Warm fronts
When a warm air mass advances towards a cold air mass.
It rises above the cold air mass (this is more gradual than the cold
Occluded front
An occluded front is when a cold front is when a cold front catches up a
warm front and forces it up, or vice versa. If a cold front undercuts a
warm front it is known as a cold occlusion, if the cold front rises over the
warm front it is called a warm occlusion.…read more

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Wind is the movement of air from high pressure to low pressure,
rebalancing the pressure.
The greater the difference between the high and the low
pressure, the greater the wind speed will be.…read more


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