Weather Definitions Ipsum

Word Lists: Weather Definitions

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Absolute humidity: a type of humidity that considers the mass of water vapor present per unit volume of space. also considered as the density of the water vapor. it is usually expressed in grams per cubic meter. aviation weather center: as one of the national centers for environmental prediction, it is the national center for weather information that is used daily by the federal aviation administration, commercial airlines, and private pilots. it is entering a new phase of service, growing to accept global forecasting responsibilities. : for further information, contact the awc, located in kansas city, missouri. blizzard: a severe weather condition characterized by low temperatures, winds 35 mph or greater, and sufficient falling and/or blowing snow in the air to frequently reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less for a duration of at least 3 hours. a severe blizzard is characterized by temperatures near or below 10°f, winds exceeding 45 mph, and visibility reduced by snow to near zero. cheyenne fog: an upslope fog formed by the westward flow of air from the missouri river valley, producing fog on the eastern slopes of the rockies. cumulus fractus: cumulus clouds that appear in irregular fragments, as if they had been shred or torn. also appears in stratus clouds (called stratus fractus), but not in cirrus clouds. drainage wind: a katabatic wind, it is caused by the cooling of air along the slopes of a mountain. dust: small particles of earth or other matter suspended in the air. it is reported as "du" in an observation and for wide spread dust on the metar. eddy: a small disturbance of wind in a large wind flow, which can produce turbulent conditions. they can also be areas of warmer air north of the main westerlies or colder air south of the westerlies. in oceanic circulation, it is a circular movement of water usually formed where currents pass obstructions, between two adjacent currents flowing counter to each other, or along the edge of a permanent current. forecast: a statement of expected future occurrences. weather forecasting includes the use of objective models based on certain atmospheric parameters, along with the skill and experience of a meteorologist. glacier winds: air flow that descends from glaciers, occasionally at a high rate of speed. caused by the temperature difference between the air in contact with the glacier and the air at the same altitude, it reaches maximum intensity in the early afternoon. heat balance: the equilibrium which exists on the average between the radiation received by the earth and atmosphere from the sun and that emitted by the earth and atmosphere. the balance between heat loss (long wave radiation from the earth back into the atmosphere) and heat gain (incoming solar radiation). hygrograph: an instrument that records the hygrometer's measure of water vapor. isotherm: the line of equal or constant air temperature. if something is isothermal, it is of equal or constant temperature with respect to either time or space. : : multicell storm: a thunderstorm made up of two or more single-cell storms. nor'easter: a cyclonic storm occurring off the east coast of north america. these winter weather events are notorious for producing heavy snow, rain, and tremendous waves that crash onto atlantic beaches, often causing beach erosion and structural damage. wind gusts associated with these storms can exceed hurricane force in intensity. a nor'easter gets its name from the continuously strong northeasterly winds blowing in from the ocean ahead of the storm and over the coastal areas. obscuration: any phenomena in the atmosphere, excluding precipitation, that reduces horizontal visibility. according to the national weather service, some of the obstructions to visibility include blowing and widespread dust, fog (including freezing fog and patchy fog), haze, mist, sand and blowing sand, smoke, blowing spray, and volcanic ash. it is reported as "x" in an observation and on the metar. oxygen (o2): a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is the second most abundant constituent of dry air, comprising 20.946%. pressure gradient: the amount of pressure change that occurs over a fixed distance at a fixed altitude. runway visual range (rvr): it is the maximum distance at which the runway, or the specified lights or markers delineating it, can be seen from a position above a specified point on its center line. this value is normally determined by visibility sensors located alongside and higher than the center line of the runway. rvr is calculated from visibility, ambient light level, and runway light intensity. : : sea surface temperature (sst): the temperature of the water's surface. it is measured using buoy and ship data, infrared satellite imagery, and coastal observations. shear: it is the rate of change over a short duration. in wind shear, it can refer to the frequent change in wind speed within a short distance. it can occur vertically or horizontally. directional shear is a frequent change in direction within a short distance, which can also occur vertically or horizontally. when used in reference to doppler radar, it describes the change in radial velocity over short distances horizontally. solar day: the complete rotation of the earth in relation to the sun. although it varies, an average has determined a mean solar day of 24 hours. it is universally used for civil purposes. stationary front: a front which is nearly stationary or moves very little since the last synoptic position. may be known as a quasi-stationary front. storm winds: on the beaufort wind scale, a wind with speeds from 56 to 63 knots (64 to 72 miles per hour). stratus: one of the three basic cloud forms (the others are cirrus and cumulus. it is also one of the two low cloud types. it is a sheetlike cloud that does not exhibit individual elements, and is, perhaps, the most common of all low clouds. thick and gray, it is seen in low, uniform layers and rarely extends higher than 5,000 feet above the earth's surface. a veil of stratus may give the sky a hazy appearance. fog may form from a stratus cloud that touches the ground. although it can produce drizzle or snow, it rarely produces heavy precipitation. clouds producing heavy precipitation may exist above a layer of stratus. supercell: a severe thunderstorm characterized by a rotating, long-lived, intense updraft. although not very common, they produce a relatively large amount of severe weather, in particular, extremely large hail, damaging straight-line winds, and practically all violent tornadoes. twilight: often called dusk, it is the evening period of waning light from the time of sunset to dark. the time of increasing light in the morning is called dawn. twilight ends in the evening or begins in the morning at a specific time and can be categorized into three areas of decreasing light. civil twilight is the time in the evening when car headlights need to be turned on to be seen by other drivers. nautical twilight is when the bright stars used by navigators have appeared and the horizon may still be seen. astronomical twilight is when the sunlight is still shining on the higher levels of the atmosphere, yet it is dark enough for astronomical work to begin. during dawn, the reverse order occurs until full daylight. visibility: a measure of the opacity of the atmosphere, and therefore, the greatest distance one can see prominent objects with normal eyesight. the national weather service has various terms for visibility. surface visibility is the prevailing visibility determined from the usual point of observation. prevailing visibility is considered representative of visibility conditions at the station. sector visibility is the visibility in a specified direction that represents at least a 45 degree arc of the horizon circle. tower visibility is the prevailing visibility determined from the airport traffic control tower (atct) at stations that also report surface visibility. winter storm: any one of several storm systems that develop during the late fall to early spring and deposit wintry precipitation, such as snow, freezing rain, or ice..

Baroclinity: the state of stratification in a fluid in which surfaces of constant pressure intersect surfaces of constant density. also known as baroclinicity. an example is the tight temperature gradient along the east coast of the united states during the winter that gives rise to intense cyclogenesis. black ice: thin, new ice on fresh or salt water that appears dark in color because of its transparency. also refers to thin, transparent ice on road surfaces. cold advection: the horizontal movement of colder air into a location. contrast with warm advection. cold wave: a rapid fall in temperature within twenty-four hours to temperatures requiring substantially increased protection to agriculture, industry, commerce, and social activities. national weather service criteria includes the rate of temperature fall and the minimum to which it falls, depending on the region of the country and time of the in year. the weather channel uses the following criteria for a cold wave: a cold spell of two days or more with below normal temperatures in at least fifteen states, with at least five of them more than fifteen degrees below normal. condensation funnel: a funnel-shaped cloud consisting of condensed water drops that has possible rotation. drought: abnormal dry weather for a specific area that is sufficiently prolonged for the lack of water to cause serious hydrological imbalance. geosphere: considered the solid portions of the earth, including the hydrosphere and the lithosphere, as opposed to the atmosphere, which lies above it. at their conjunction is the biosphere. microscale: the smallest scale of meteorological phenomena that range in size from a few centimeters to a few kilometers. larger phenomena are classified as mesoscale. it also refers to small scale meteorological phenomena with life spans of less than a few minutes that affect very small areas and are strongly influenced by local conditions of temperature and terrain. rawinsonde: an upper air observation that evaluates the winds, temperature, relative humidity, and pressure aloft by means of a balloon-attached radiosonde that is tracked by a radar or radio direction-finder. it is a radiosonde observation combined with a winds-aloft observation, called a rawin. reconnaissance (recco) code: an aircraft weather reconnaissance code that has come to refer primarily to in-flight tropical weather observations, but actually signifies any detailed weather observation or investigation from an aircraft in flight. sea breeze front: a coastal phenomena, it is restricted to large bodies of water and their immediate coast lines. this is usually the landward extent of the sea breeze. due to the imbalance of heating between land and water, a region of maximum upward motion or convergence occurs by mid-afternoon in the summer some 10 to 15 miles inland. air mass thunderstorms or a line of towering cumulus clouds with showers can form along the front. at the beach, there are blue skies and a light breeze. this often occurs along the coast of the gulf of mexico and florida's east coast. snowflakes: an ice crystal or an aggregate of ice crystals which fall from clouds. snow grains: frozen precipitation in the form of very small, white, opaque grains of ice. the solid equivalent of drizzle. it is reported as "sg" in an observation and on the metar. steam fog: a type of advection fog that is produced by evaporation when cool air passes over a warm wet surface and the fog rises, giving the appearance of steam. also called sea smoke when it occurs over the ocean. tropical air mass: an air mass that forms in the tropics or subtropics over the low latitudes. maritime tropical air is produced over oceans and is warm and humid, while continental tropical air is formed over arid regions and is very hot and dry. wet bulb depression: dependent on the temperature and the humidity of the air, it is the difference between the dry bulb and the wet bulb readings..

Anvil: the upper portion of a cumulonimbus cloud that becomes flat and spread-out, sometimes for hundreds of miles downstream from the parent cloud. it may look smooth or fibrous, but in shape, it resembles a blacksmith's anvil. it indicates the mature or decaying stage of a thunderstorm. blowing snow: snow that is raised by the wind to heights of six feet or greater. it is reported as "blsn" in an observation and on the metar. diurnal: pertaining to actions or events that occur during a twenty-four hour cycle or recurs every twenty-four hours. meteorological elements that are measured diurnally include clouds, precipitation, pressure, relative humidity, temperature, and wind. downdraft: a sudden descent of cool or cold air to the ground, usually with precipitation, and associated with a thunderstorm or shower. flood plain: level land that may be submerged by flood waters. fujita-pearson scale: a scale that classifies the severity of wind damage intensity based on the degree of destruction as it relates to the wind speed as well as path length and path width of the event. it is normally used to identify the most intense damage exhibited by a tornado. developed by t. theodore fujita and allen pearson. ground clutter: a pattern of radar echoes reflecting off fixed ground targets such as buildings or hills near the radar. this may hide or confuse the proper return echo signifying actual precipitation. latent heat: the energy released or absorbed during a change of state. mean temperature: the average of temperature readings taken over a specified amount of time. often the average of the maximum and minimum temperatures. middle latitudes: the latitude belt roughly between 35 and 65 degrees north and south. may be referred to as the temperate region. neap tide: a tide of decreased range, which occurs about every two weeks when the moon is at one quarter or three-quarters full. satellite: any object that orbits a celestial body, such as a moon. however, the term is often used in reference to the manufactured objects that orbit the earth, either in a geostationary or a polar manner. some of the information that is gathered by weather satellites, such as goes9, includes upper air temperatures and humidity, recording the temperatures of cloud tops, land, and ocean, monitoring the movement of clouds to determine upper level wind speeds, tracing the movement of water vapor, monitoring the sun and solar activity, and relaying data from weather instruments around the world. sea fog: a type of advection fog which forms in warm moist air cooled to saturation as the air moves across cold water. trade winds: two belts of prevailing winds that blow easterly from the subtropical high pressure centers towards the equatorial trough. primarily lower level winds, they are characterized by their great consistency of direction. in the northern hemisphere, the trades blow from the northeast, and in the southern hemisphere, the trades blow from the southeast. tule fog: ground fog in the central valley of california and the leading cause of weather-related casualties in that state. it forms at night and in the early morning when the ground cools, lowering the air temperature near the ground to or below its initial dew point. zonal index: the measure of the strength of the westerly winds of the middle latitudes. it is expressed as the horizontal pressure difference between 35 degrees and 55 degrees latitude, or as the corresponding geostrophic wind..
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