Maritime tropical air masses form over the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where they are blown northward into the US. They’re usually warmer and humid. Continental polar masses, on the other hand, form over areas of ice around the magnetic poles of the earth and are chilly and drier. Hope this helps!
Continental polar air masses cold temperature and little to no moisture, from colder land areas that move downward to lower latitudes. These air masses stay on land the entire time and is very stable, causing consistent cold and dry weather. In respects to the US, they originate from the northern parts of Canada and work its way down especially to the northern and central parts of the US.
However, maritime tropical air masses are moist, because it is dirived from the warmer water of the south parts of the ocean. These moist warm air masses are less stable and increase the chances for precipitation, wind and warmer temperatures. Again, in respects to the US, maritime tropical air masses stay in the southern states, especially during winter.
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