Weather Definitions Ipsum

Word Lists: Weather Definitions

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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. crepuscular rays: contrasting, alternating bright and dark rays in the sky. sunlight is scattered by molecules and particles rendering these bright rays visible. contrast is enhanced by haze, dust, or mist. these rays are more likely to be seen in the late afternoon, as clouds come between the sun and the observer. a similar effect occurs when the sun shines though a break in a layer of clouds. debris cloud: considered a rotating cloud of debris or dust that is on the ground or near the ground. the debris cloud appearing beneath a thunderstorm will most likely confirm the presence of a tornado. ecliptic: the sun's apparent path across the sky that tracks a circle through the celestial sphere. helicity: a property of a moving fluid, such as air, representing the potential for helical flow (flow that follows a corkscrew pattern). computed from the vertical wind profile of the lower atmosphere and measured relative to the motion as a storm, it is used to forecast the formation of mesocyclones. ice storm: a severe weather condition characterized by falling freezing precipitation. such a storm forms a glaze on objects, creating hazardous travel conditions and utility problems. low clouds: a term used to signify clouds with bases below 6,000 feet and are of a stratiform or a cumuliform variety. stratiform clouds include stratus and stratocumulus. cumuliform clouds include cumulus and cumulonimbus. this altitude applies to the temperate zone. in the polar regions, these clouds may be found at lower altitudes. in the tropics, the defining altitudes for cloud types are generally higher. melting point: the temperature at which a solid substance undergoes fusion, changing from a solid to a liquid state. contrast with freezing point. mesosphere: the layer of the atmosphere located between the stratosphere and the ionosphere, where temperatures drop rapidly with increasing height. it extends between 31 and 50 miles (17 to 80 kilometers) above the earth's surface. nitrogen (n2): a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is the most abundant constituent of dry air. it comprises 78.09%. north pacific high: a semi-permanent, subtropical area of high pressure in the north pacific ocean. it is strongest in the northern hemispheric summer and is displaced towards the equator during the winter when the aleutian low becomes more dominate. prevailing wind: a wind that blows from one direction more frequently than any other during a given period, such as a day, month, season, or year. retrogression: in meteorology, it is the movement of a weather system in a direction opposite to the direction of the basic flow in which it is embedded. often used in reference to a long wave trough or other macroscale feature. for example, a long wave trough that may move slightly westward when the "normal" movement and flow is eastward. surface boundary layer: the lowest layer of the earth's atmosphere, usually up to 3,300 feet, or one kilometer, from the earth's surface, where the wind is influenced by the friction of the earth's surface and the objects on it..

Boundary layer: the lowest layer of the earth's atmosphere, usually up to 3,300 feet, or one kilometer, from the earth's surface, where the wind is influenced by the friction of the earth's surface and the objects on it. collada: a strong, steady wind blowing from the north or northwest in the upper part of the gulf of california and from the northeast in the lower part. colorado low: a low pressure disturbance that forms in the lee of the rocky mountains, usually in southeastern colorado. cumulus humilis: cumulus clouds with little or no vertical development characterized by a generally flat appearance. their growth is usually limited by a temperature inversion, which is marked by the unusually uniform height of the clouds. also called fair-weather cumulus. dog days: the name given to the very hot summer weather that may persists for four to six weeks between mid-july through early september in the united states. in western europe, this period may exist from the first week in july to mid-august and is often the period of the greatest frequency of thunder. named for sirius, the dog star, which lies in conjunction with the sun during this period, it was once believed to intensify the sun's heat during the summer months. el niño: the cyclical warming of east pacific ocean sea water temperatures off the western coast of south america that can result in significant changes in weather patterns in the united states and elsewhere. this occurs when warm equatorial waters move in and displace the colder waters of the humbolt current, cutting off the upwelling process. eye wall: an organized band of convection surrounding the eye, or center, of a tropical cyclone. it contains cumulonimbus clouds, intense rainfall and very strong winds. gravity: the force of attraction of the earth on an object. the direction is downward relative to the earth, and it decreases with elevation or altitude away from the earth's surface. growing season: considered the period of the year during which the temperature of cultivated vegetation remains sufficiently high enough to allow plant growth. usually considered the time period between the last killing frost in the spring and the first killing frost of the autumn. the frost-free growing season is between the first and last occurrence of 32°f temperatures in spring and autumn. low level jet (llj): strong winds that are concentrated in relatively narrow bands in the lower part of the atmosphere. it is often amplified at night. the southerly wind over the us plains states during spring and summer is a notable example. mean temperature: the average of temperature readings taken over a specified amount of time. often the average of the maximum and minimum temperatures. nimbostratus: this cloud exhibits a combination of rain or snow, and sometimes the base of the cloud cannot be seen because of the heaviness of precipitation. they are generally associated with fall and winter conditions, but can occur during any season. nitrogen (n2): a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is the most abundant constituent of dry air. it comprises 78.09%. refraction: the bending of light or radar beam as it passes through a zone of contrasting properties, such as atmospheric density, water vapor, or temperature. spring: the season of the year which occurs as the sun approaches the summer solstice, and characterized by increasing temperatures in the mid-latitudes. customarily, this refers to the months of march, april, and may in the north hemisphere, and the months of september, october, and november in the southern hemisphere. astronomically, this is the period between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. subsidence: a sinking or downward motion of air, often seen in anticyclones. it is most prevalent when there is colder, denser air aloft. it is often used to imply the opposite of atmospheric convection. synoptic scale: the size of migratory high and low pressure systems in the lower troposphere that cover a horizontal area of several hundred miles or more. undercast: in aviation, it is an opaque cloud layer viewed from an observation point above the layer. from the ground, it would be considered an overcast. zulu time: one of several names for the twenty-four hour time which is used throughout the scientific and military communities..

Atmospheric pressure: the pressure exerted by the atmosphere at a given point. its measurement can be expressed in several ways. one is in millibars. another is in inches or millimeters of mercury (hg). cloud: a visible collection of minute particle matter, such as water droplets and/or ice crystals, in the free air. a cloud forms in the atmosphere as a result of condensation of water vapor. condensation nuclei, such as in smoke or dust particles, form a surface upon which water vapor can condense. cold low: a low pressure system that has its coldest temperatures at or near the center of circulation, and is thermally barotropic with respect to a horizontal plane. also known as a cold core low. a cut off low is an example, where an isolated pool of colder air is located south of the main westerlies. equinox: the point at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator. days and nights are most nearly equal in duration. in the northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox falls on or about march 20 and the autumnal equinox on or about september 22. freezing precipitation: precipitation that is liquid, but freezes upon impact with a solid surface, such as the ground or other exposed surfaces. 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. isodrosotherm: the line drawn on a weather map connecting points of equal dew point. polar-orbiting satellite: a satellite whose orbit passes over both of the earth's between poles. prevailing wind: a wind that blows from one direction more frequently than any other during a given period, such as a day, month, season, or year. rotor cloud: an altocumulus cloud formation that can be found in the lee of a mountain or similar barrier. the air rotates around a horizontal axis, creating turbulence. altocumulus lenticularis is an example. snow devil: a small, rotating wind that picks up loose snow instead of dirt (like a dust devil) or water (like a waterspout). formed mechanically by the convergence of local air currents. may be called a snowspout. tropical storm: a tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface winds are from 39 miles per hour (34 knots) to 73 miles per hour (63 knots). at this point, the system is given a name to identify and track it. universal time coordinate: one of several names for the twenty-four hour time which is used throughout the scientific and military communities. virga: streaks or wisps of precipitation, such as water or ice particles, that fall from clouds but evaporate before reaching the ground. from a distance, the event sometimes may be mistaken for a funnel cloud or tornado. typically, it may fall from altocumulus, altostratus, or high based cumuonimbus. : the rising and sinking branches are climatologically anchored to specific geographical locations, but these locations are seasonally dependent. in winter the the rising branch is centered near the "maritime continent" of greater indonesia while in summer it is centered near southern india. the sinking branches are generally found in the eastern equatorial pacific in winter and summer. sub-branches of rising motion are generally tied to equatorial areas of south america and africa in summer. weather vane: originally used as a wind vane, it is an instrument that indicates the wind direction. the name developed based on observations on what kind of weather occurred with certain wind directions. creative designs often adorn the tops of barns and houses. windward: the direction from which the wind is blowing. also the upwind side of an object. the opposite of the downwind or leeward side. zonal flow: the flow of air along a latitudinal component of existing flow, normally from west to east..
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