1. The NWS forecasters prefer to look at 1000-850mb thickness values instead of the 1000-500mb layer. Why do you think that might be the case? What is the mean virtual temperature for the 1000-850 mb layer for a thickness of 1300m? Would this be good indicator for the potential for lowland snow in western Washington?
2.In the Seattle area, we often use the 5220m 1000-500mb thickness contour as a proxy for rain/snow line in the Puget Sound lowlands. What is the mean virtual temperature for the 1000-500mb layer for this value? Is this reasonable?
3.Calculate the thickness of the layer between the 1000- and 500mb pressure surfaces (a) at a point in the tropics where the mean virtual temp of the layer is 9C and (b) at a point in the polar regions where the corresponding mean virtual temperature is -40C
4.The 5400m 1000-500mb thickness contour is often used as a proxy for the rain/snow line throughout much of the country. Calculate the mean virtual temperature of the layer for this thickness value. Do you think its reasonable to use this 5400 line to delineate between rain/snow? Under what circumstances do you think this might not work well?