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Workshop Details

Skew-T log (p) tip number 11 - Understanding the saturation mixing ratio

Added on: July 18, 2011         Duration: 8 minutes

If you’ve dabbled in the Skew-T log (p) diagram you may have noticed the saturation mixing ratio reference lines at one point or another, but really never quite understood what they were or how to use them. So what is this mysterious line on a thermodynamic diagram? Well, the saturation mixing ratio can be used to determine the relative humidity at any altitude given the temperature and dewpoint at that altitude. But it also can also be used to determine the altitude where air will saturate when it is displaced upward. This is useful to help estimate the bases of those white puffy cumulus clouds you often see during the warm season. This altitude is referred to as the lifted condensation level or more simply the LCL. In this workshop, you will learn how to use the saturation mixing ratio found on the base Skew-T log (p) diagram to calculate the LCL.


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