Climatology

Condensation and factors causing it

Denver Kunaka Last edited:August 22, 2020

Table of Contents

Condensation is a change of state from gas to liquid. When the process happens latent heat trapped in that parcel of air is released. For condensation to take place 3 things are needed:
Air must be cooled below dew point temperature
Uplift mechanism
Condensation nuclei

Dew point temperature

Is the temperature needed for air to be saturated. For condensation to take place air must be cooled below its dew point temperature. This can be achieved by Radiation coolingwhen excess longwave radiation occurs on a cloudless, high pressure night leaving the ground very cold.Advection cooling, which occurs when warm parcels of air hovers along cold surfaces, this usually occur on coastal areas where temperatures of sea and land are different.

Uplift mechanism

For condensation to take place there must be something to uplift the air. This is achieved through:
Orographic (relief) uplift
Convective uplift
Convergence
Frontal uplift

Condensation nuclei

For condensation to take place, there must be a presence of hygroscopic nuclei such as dust, aerosols and salt particles in the atmosphere. These particles act like magnet, attracting water vapour which accumulates to form water droplets(clouds).

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About Author

Denver is a Geographer, Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Blogger & Digital Marketer. He has come to know that everyday there's something new to learn :-)