How do you determine atmospheric stability by observing the environmental lapse rate & air parcel temperature?

(this is stability in terms of : stable, unstable, conditionally unstable, or neutral)

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The average lapse rate is 0.65 degrees Celsius per 100 meter of altitude. The dry adiabatic lapse rate is roughtly 1 C / 100 m and the wet one is roughly 0.5 C / 100 m. Note that those are average value, the difference being lesser in polar cold regions.

    When the measure lapse rate with altitude is greater than the dry one; i.e. the temperature sinks faster than one degree per 100 meters, then the air is said to be unstable.

    When it is lesser than the wet lapse rate, the air is said to be stable.

    When it is between the two, the air is said to be conditionally unstable because it then all depends on the content of humidity in the atmosphere to say if a parcel of air will continue rising or come stable with even surrounding air masses.

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