Confused about chinook effect

started by trents, July 6, 2020
0 replies to this discussion
    • Member

      I’ve been researching orthographic lifting and chinook (foehn) winds. I understand what happens on the windward side of a mountain range, how that the air is lifted, cools and produces precipitation be cause the relative humidity is increased to the saturation point. I understand there is cooling of the air mass when this phase change happens and that heat is released into the air strata as it continues over the mountain range and that the air strata is now drier and gets even warmer from compression as it descends the other side of the mountain. What I don’t understand is why this now warmer, dryer air descends on the other side instead of rising. Wouldn’t it be less dense than the surface air on the leeward side of the mountain? Thank you for helping.

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