Picture Banner for SECC K12 Site

Lifting Mechanisms relation to agriculture/K-12

How does this relate to agriculture? 

Precipitation in the Southeast is influenced by a variety of lifting mechanisms. In parts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, orographic lift provides rain for the windward slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. Lake Toxaway, one of the rainiest regions in North Carolina, has an annual average of 80+ inches of rain for a given year due to orographic lift. The prevailing winds in that region are mostly from the south and west, and Lake Toxaway is on the windward side of the Appalachian mountains, making orographic lift an effective precipitation mechanism.

Sea Breezes Across Florida

Figure E: Air Converging Inland Over Florida
Image from the American Meteorological Society

A classic example of air converging and forming rain showers and thunderstorms is the sea breeze in Florida. During the summer, sea breezes will often form on the west and east sides of Florida. due to differences in temperature between the land (which heats quickly) and the ocean (which heats up more slowly) as seen in Figure E. As the two sea breezes move landward on the Florida peninsula, they collide with each other, and the air is forced to move upward. Wherever the two sea breezes collide, there is often intense rainfall and thunderstorms, and this provides much of the summer rain for many parts of Florida.

Convective lift is the most common form of lift in the Southeast during the summer since fronts do not pass through as often as they do during the rest of the year. If the air is moist enough (as it usually is during the summer), thunderstorms can form and provide rainfall to crops and plants. Florida often sees most of its precipitation during the summer months as convective lift (along with the sea breeze) cause thunderstorms to form practically every day.

Last modified date: Friday, November 5, 2010 - 1:28pm