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What is Adiabatic Cooling?

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“What is adiabatic cooling and how does it impact the weather in our region?”
Gary Jones
Medford

There are two types of adiabatic cooling: dry and wet. Dry adiabatic cooling is when a rising air parcel is not saturated and it cools as it rises at 10C/1km or as it sinks it warms at the same rate, this is called the dry adiabatic lapse rate. The wet adiabatic lapse rate happens once the parcel becomes saturated, or the level you start to see clouds form. At this point the air parcel cools around 5-6C/1km or warmer at the same rate when sinking.