09 July 2012

Meteorological and Climatological Scales

Scales of distance and area in meteorology and climatology—One dictionary definition of scale is “A progressive classification, as of size or amount.”  In meteorology and climatology, the usual scale classification terms ranging from small to large are micro-, local-, meso-, and macro-scale.  On the very first page of his 1987 book, “Boundary Layer Climates,” T.R. Oke, lists the dimensions of these scales as:
          Micro-scale   10-2 to 103 m
          Local-scale    102 to 5 × 104 m
          Meso-scale    104 to 2 × 105 m
          Macro-scale  105 to 108 m

In our everyday thinking, the micro-scale might be as small as a leaf and as large as a city block, but typically the size of a suburban house lot.  Local-scale could range from three or four house lots to half of Baltimore, but more commonly, an area the size of downtown Baltimore where the tall buildings are.  Meso-scale encompasses an area at least the size of the whole Baltimore region up to an area that would extend from New York City to Washington, DC.  Macro-scale is similar to the area on a weather map of the whole Northeastern United States or larger.  In weather forecasting; macro-scale is often referred to as the synoptic scale. 

Along with the horizontal distance scales there are associated vertical scales.  For example, in considering micro-scale conditions of a leaf, the vertical scale would be a shallow layer of air over the leaf, its boundary layer, perhaps only a millimeter or two thick.  The boundary layer thickness is the depth of air that is significantly influenced by the surface.  If a leaf were very rough and hairy with large veins, the boundary layer would usually be deeper than the boundary layer of a very smooth leaf.  A city with tall buildings or scattered tall trees has a deeper boundary layer than a field with a short smooth crop.  During the day, the surface of the Earth is warmed by the sun and in turn warms the air just above it, which becomes buoyant and rises to increase the boundary layer depth.  At night surface cooling leads to a shrinking of the boundary layer, but in cities, the meso-scale boundary layer may remain warmer and deeper than rural boundary layers.

Meteorology is the study of processes in the atmosphere over short time periods.  At the meso- or macro-scale; meteorology is essentially the study of weather.  Weather is described by the state of the atmosphere, primarily in the lowest level of the atmosphere called the troposphere.  Variables that describe weather include air temperature, humidity, air movement (wind), clouds, and precipitation.  Measurement of fluxes at the surface of the Earth from tall towers, for example fluxes of water (evaporation), heat, and carbon dioxide are usually considered to be micro- or local-scale meteorological investigations. 

Climatology is the study of the averages, maximums and minimums of weather variables and the timing and spatial distribution of the variables.  The word “climatology” can be modified to indicate the size of the area being studied.  For example, microclimate is the study of climate in small spaces.  At the micro-scale, some researchers have studied the climate of rabbit warrens.  For a large city, the generally warmer temperatures than rural areas are a reflection of the meso-scale climate.

Contributed by BES Co-PI Gordon M. Heisler


  1. Testimony on how i got my LOAN from fundingloanplc@yahoo.com

    I'm Isabella Tyson from 1910 N Halsted St Unit 3, Chicago IL60614 USA,, i have been searching for a genuine loan company for the past few months and all i got was bunch of scams who made me to trust them and at the end of the day took my money without giving anything in return, all hope was lost i got confused and frustrated, i find it very difficult to feed my family and vowed never to have anything to do with loan companies on net and went to seek of assistance from a very good friend which i explained all my experience regarding online companies with and said he can help me that he knows of a Godsent and well known company called FUNDING CIRCLE PLC, he stated he just got a loan from them although i was still very unsure about this company due to my past experience but i decided to give it a try and did as i was directed by my friend and applied, i never believed but i tried and to my greatest surprise i received my loan in my bank account within 24 hours, i could not believe that i would stand on my feet financially again. I’m glad I took the risk and applied for the loan and today i'm thanking God that such loan companies still exist and promise to share the good news to people who are in need of financial assistance because the rate of scams on net is getting very serious and i don't want people to fall victim when we still have genuine and Godsent lenders.. You can contact this Godsent company using the information as stated and be a partaker of this great testimony.. Email: fundingloanplc@yahoo.com OR Call/Text +14067326622 thanks

  2. Bolavita Adalah Agen Taruhan Online yang sudah lama berdiri dan sangat terpercaya di indonesia !

    Untuk data anda Di Jamin Aman, Dan untuk Transaksi di Jamin Cepat ! Anda pasti akan Nyaman Bermain Di BOLAVITA !
    Karena Dengan Pelayanannya yang sangat ramah,Cepat dan Aman membuat Agen Bolavita bisa berdiri sampai saat ini dan sangat populer di kalangan masyarakat Indonesia !

    Bandar Judi Sabung Ayam Online !!! Bonus Cashback 10% <<< KLIK

    Bandar Bola Online !!! Bonus New Member 10% <<< KLIK

    Bandar Casino Online !!! Bonus Rollingan 0.7% <<< KLIK

    Bandar Togel !!! Bonus Discon Taruhan 66% <<< KLIK

    Bandar Bola Tangkas Online !!! Bonus Rollingan 0.7% <<< KLIK

    BBM : D1A1E6DF / D8DB1C57 / BOLAVITA
    wechat : bolavita
    line : cs_bolavita
    whatup : 6281377055002
    Live Chat : www.bolavita.org