S-290 Unit 6: Atmospheric Stability introduces the processes related to stable and unstable atmospheric conditions and explains their impact on fire behavior. This Unit provides detailed information about how fire behavior is affected by stable and unstable atmospheric phenomena such as inversions and thunderstorms. The Unit also explains cloud formation and describes the usage of clouds and other visual indicators to recognize stable and unstable atmospheric conditions. The module is part of the Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior Course "http://www.meted.ucar.edu/dl_courses/S290".
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- Explain the relationship between atmospheric pressure, temperature, density, and volume using air parcels.
- Describe environmental lapse rate and stability, and the different lapse rates used to determine the stability of the atmosphere.
- Differentiate between dry and moist adiabatic rates
- Describe the effects of atmospheric stability on wildland fire behavior.
- Identify four types of temperature inversions and describe their influence on wildland fire behavior, including the role of the thermal belt.
- Name and describe the four lifting processes that can produce thunderstorms.
- Describe the elements of a thunderstorm and its three stages of development.
- Use visual indicators to determine the stability of the atmosphere.
- Describe the four principal cloud groups, and identify the six clouds most often associated with critical wildland fire behavior.
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