Weather Definitions Ipsum

Word Lists: Weather Definitions

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Cape: acronym for convective available potential energy. the amount of energy available to create convection, with higher values increasing the possibility for severe weather. geophysics: the study of the physics or nature of the earth and its environment. it deals with the composition and physical phenomena of the earth and its liquid and gaseous envelopes. areas of studies include the atmospheric sciences and meteorology, geology, seismology, and volcanology, and oceanography and related marine sciences, such as hydrology. by extension, it often includes astronomy and the related astro-sciences. heat: a form of energy transferred between two systems by virtue of a difference in temperature. the first law of thermodynamics demonstrated that the heat absorbed by a system may be used by the system to do work or to raise its internal energy. 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). icicle: ice that forms in the shape of a narrow cone hanging point down. it usually forms when liquid water from a sheltered or heated source comes in contact with below-freezing air and freezes more or less rapidly as it flows. mixed precipitation: any of the following combinations of freezing and frozen precipitation: snow and sleet, snow and freezing rain, or sleet alone. rain may also be present. monsoon: the seasonal shift of winds created by the great annual temperature variation that occurs over large land areas in contrast with associated ocean surfaces. the monsoon is associated primarily with the moisture and copious rains that arrive with the southwest flow across southern india. the name is derived from the word mausim, arabic for season. this pattern is most evident on the southern and eastern sides of asia, although it does occur elsewhere, such as in the southwestern united states. national hurricane center (nhc): a branch of the tropical prediction center, it is the office of the national weather service that is responsible for tracking and forecasting tropical cyclones over the north atlantic, caribbean, gulf of mexico, and the eastern pacific. : for further information, contact the nhc, located in miami, florida. rime: the rapid freezing of supercooled water droplets as they touch an exposed object, forming a white opaque granular deposit of ice. it is one of the results of an ice storm, and when formed on aircraft it is called rime icing. salt water: the water of the ocean, distinguished from fresh water by its appreciable salinity. severe thunderstorm: a thunderstorm with winds measuring 50 knots (58 mph) or greater, 3/4 inch hail or larger, or tornadoes. severe thunderstorms may also produce torrential rain and frequent lightning. snow: frozen precipitation in the form of white or translucent ice crystals in complex branched hexagonal form. it most often falls from stratiform clouds, but can fall as snow showers from cumuliform ones. it usually appears clustered into snowflakes. it is reported as "sn" in an observation and on the metar. syzygy: the points in the moon's orbit about the earth at which the moon is new or full. : : tropic of cancer: the most northern point on the earth where the sun is directly overhead, located at approximately 23.5 degrees north latitude..

Density altitude: the altitude at which a given density is found in the standard atmosphere. used in aviation, it is computed from the station pressure at takeoff and the virtual temperature at the particular altitude under consideration. dry slot: an area of dry, and usually cloud-free, air that wraps into the southern and eastern sections of a synoptic scale or mesoscale low pressure system. best seen on a satellite picture, such as a water vapor image. exosphere: this region is considered the very outer limits of the earth's atmosphere. its lower boundary is often called the critical level of escape, where gas atoms are so widely spaced that they rarely collide with one another and have individual orbits. it is estimated to be some 400 plus miles (640 kilometers) above the surface. hydrometeor: any any form of atmospheric water vapor, including those blown by the wind off the earth's surface. liquid or solid water formation that is suspended in the air includes clouds, fog, ice fog, and mist.: drizzle and rain are example of liquid precipitation, while freezing drizzle and freezing rain are examples of freezing precipitation.: solid or frozen precipitation includes ice pellets, hail, snow, snow pellets, snow grains, and ice crystals.: water vapor that evaporates before reaching the ground is virga.: examples of liquid or solid water particles that are lifted off the earth's surface by the wind includes drifting and blowing snow and blowing spray.: dew, frost, rime, and glaze are examples of liquid or solid water deposits on exposed objects. 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. : : latent heat: the energy released or absorbed during a change of state. scattered: the amount of sky cover for a cloud layer between 3/8ths and 4/8ths, based on the summation layer amount for that layer. shear line: a line of maximum horizontal wind shear. a narrow zone across which there is an abrupt change in the horizontal wind component parallel to it. supercooling: the reduction of the temperature of any liquid below the melting point of that substance's solid phase. cooling a substance beyond its nominal freezing point. supercooled water is water that remains in a liquid state when it is at a temperature that is well below freezing. the smaller and purer the water droplets, the more likely they can become supercooled. synoptic chart: any map or chart that depicts meteorological or atmospheric conditions over a large area at any given time. trough: an elongated area of low atmospheric pressure that is associated with an area of minimum cyclonic circulation. the opposite of a ridge..

Chemosphere: a vaguely defined region of the upper atmosphere in which photochemical reactions take place. it includes the top of the stratosphere, all of the mesosphere, and sometimes the lower part of the thermosphere. closed low: a region of low pressure distinguished by a center of counterclockwise circulation (in the northern hemisphere), and is surrounded by one or more isobars or height contours. closed lows aloft (i.e., above the surface) may become disconnected from the primary westerly flow and thus progress eastward more slowly. it is important to note that a cutoff low is a closed low, but not all closed lows are cutoff lows. cold: a condition marked by low or decidedly subnormal temperature. the lack of heat. continental shelf: the zone around the continents extending from the low-water mark seaward, typically ending in steep slope to the depths of the ocean floor. dew: condensation in the form of small water drops that forms on grass and other small objects near the ground when the temperature has fallen to the dew point, generally during the nighttime hours. downpour: a heavy rain. downslope effect: the warming of an air flow as it descends a hill or mountain slope. ionosphere: a complex atmospheric zone of ionized gases that extends between 50 and 400 miles (80 to 640 kilometers) above the earth's surface. it is located between the mesosphere and the exosphere and is included as part of the thermosphere. long wave trough: a wave in the prevailing westerly flow aloft which is characterized by a large length and amplitude. a long wave moves slowly and is persistent. its position and intensity govern weather patterns over a period of days or weeks. mud slide: fast moving soil, rocks and water that flow down mountain slopes and canyons during a heavy a downpour of rain. multicell storm: a thunderstorm made up of two or more single-cell storms. oceanography: the study of the ocean, embracing and integrating all knowledge pertaining to the ocean's physical boundaries, the chemistry and physics of sea water, and marine biology. prevailing visibility: it is considered representative of visibility conditions at the observation station. it is the greatest distance that can be seen throughout at least half the horizon circle, but not necessarily continuous. sea spray: sometimes called salt spray, it is the drops of sea water (salt water) blown from the top of a wave. sky cover: the amount of the celestial dome that is hidden by clouds and/or obscurations. smoke: small particles produced by combustion that are suspended in the air. a transition to haze may occur when the smoke particles have traveled great distance (25 to 100 miles or more), and when the larger particles have settled out. the remaining particles become widely scattered through the atmosphere. it is reported as "fu" in an observation and on the metar. snow creep: a continuous, extremely slow, downhill movement of a layer of snow. station elevation: the vertical distance above mean sea level that is the reference level for all current measurements of atmospheric pressure at that station. tide: the periodic rising and falling of the earth's oceans and atmosphere. it is the result of the tide-producing forces of the moon and the sun acting on the rotating earth. this propagates a wave through the atmosphere and along the surface of the earth's waters. transmissometer: an electronic instrument system which provides a continuous record of the atmospheric transmission between two fixed points. by showing the transmissivity of light through the atmosphere, the horizontal visibility may be determined. weather surveillance radar (wsr-88d): the newest generation of doppler radars, the 1988 doppler weather radar. the radar units, with help from a set of computers, show very detailed images of precipitation and other phenomena, including air motions within a storm. zonal flow: the flow of air along a latitudinal component of existing flow, normally from west to east..
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