Air MassA body of air covering a relatively wide area and exhibiting horizontally uniform properties.Air Mass ThunderstormGenerally, a thunderstorm not associated with a front or other type of synoptic-scale forcing mechanism. Air mass thunderstorms typically are associated with warm, humid air in the summer months; they develop during the afternoon in response to insolation, and dissipate rather quickly after sunset. They generally are less likely to be severe than other types of thunderstorms, but they still are capable of producing downbursts, brief heavy rain, and (in extreme cases) hail over 3/4 inch in diameter.
Since all thunderstorms are associated with some type of forcing mechanism, synoptic-scale or otherwise, the existence of true air-mass thunderstorms is debatable.Continental Air MassA dry air mass originating over a large land area. Contrast with tropical air mass.Maritime Air MassAn air mass influenced by the sea. It is a secondary characteristic of an air mass classification, signified by the small "m" before the primary characteristic, which is based on source region. For example, mP is an air mass that is maritime polar in nature. Also known as a marine air mass. Maritime Polar Air MassAn air mass characterized by cold, moist air. Abbreviated mP.Maritime Tropical Air MassAn air mass characterized by warm, moist air. Abbreviated mT.
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