Weather Definitions Ipsum

Word Lists: Weather Definitions

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Advection fog: fog that develops when warm moist air moves over a colder surface, cooling that air to below its dew point. anabatic wind: a wind that is created by air flowing uphill. valley breezes, produced by local daytime heating, are an example of these winds. the opposite of a katabatic wind. anemometer: an instrument that measures the speed or force of the wind. conduction: the transfer of heat through a substance by molecular action or from one substance by being in contact with another. cumuliform: clouds composed of water droplets that exhibit vertical development. the density of the droplets often blocks sunlight, casting shadows on the earth's surface. with increasing vertical height, they are often associated with convection. bases of these clouds are generally no more than 3,000 feet above the ground, but they can develop past the troposphere in both temperate and tropical latitudes. they are classified as low clouds and include all varieties of cumulus and cumulonimbus. the opposite in type are the horizontal development of stratiform clouds. easterlies: usually applied to the broad patterns of persistent winds with an easterly component, such as the easterly trade winds. 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. ice crystals: precipitation in the form of slowly falling, singular or unbranched ice needles, columns, or plates. they make up cirriform clouds, frost, and ice fog. also, they produce optical phenomena such as halos, coronas, and sun pillars. may be called "diamond dust." it is reported as "ic" in an observation and on the metar. instrument shelter: a boxlike structure designed to protect temperature measuring instruments from exposure to direct sunshine, precipitation, and condensation, while at the same time time providing adequate ventilation. isohel: a line drawn through geographic points having equal duration of sunshine or another form of solar radiation during a specified time period. lunar eclipse: an eclipse of the moon occurs when the earth is in a direct line between the sun and the moon. the moon does not have any light of its own, instead, it reflects the sun's light. during a lunar eclipse, the moon is in the earth's shadow. it will often look dim and sometimes copper or orange in color. : mean sea level: the average height of the sea surface water level. for the united states, it is computed by averaging the levels of all tide stages over a nineteen year period, determined from hourly height readings measured from a fix, predetermined reference level. it is used as a basis for determining elevations, as the reference for all altitudes in upper air measurements, and as the level above which altitude is measured by a pressure altimeter for aviation. often referred to as msl. national climatic data center (ncdc): the agency that archives climatic data from the national oceanic and atmospheric administration as well as other climatological organizations. : for further information, contact the ncdc, located in asheville, north carolina. negative vorticity advection: the advection of lower values of vorticity into an area. omega block: a warm high aloft which has become displaced and is on the polarward side of the jet stream. it frequently occurs in the late winter and early spring in the northern hemisphere. the name comes from its resemblance to the greek letter, omega, when analyzed on upper air charts. oxygen (o2): a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is the second most abundant constituent of dry air, comprising 20.946%. 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. radial velocity: a type of velocity that expresses motion toward or away from a given location. in doppler radar, it is the component of motion that is parallel to the radar beam. rossby waves: the movement of ridges and troughs in the upper wind patterns, primarily the jet stream, circling the earth. named for carl-gustaf rossby, a u.s. weather bureau (nws) employee, who first theorized about the existence of the jet stream in 1939. 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. semi-permanent pressure systems: a relatively stable, stationary pressure-and-wind system where the pressure is predominately high or low with the changing season. they are not of a transitory nature, like migratory lows that develop from temperature and density differences. 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..

Advection fog: fog that develops when warm moist air moves over a colder surface, cooling that air to below its dew point. 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. bow echo: a radar echo signature often associated with severe thunderstorms, especially those that produce wind damage. it is bent outward in a "bow" shape. cloud bank: a well-defined cloud mass that can be observed at a distance. it covers the horizon, but is not directly overhead. cold: a condition marked by low or decidedly subnormal temperature. the lack of heat. cumulonimbus: a vertically developed cumulus cloud, often capped by an anvil-shaped cirriform cloud. also called a thunderstorm cloud, it is frequently accompanied by heavy showers, lightning, thunder, and sometimes hail, tornadoes or strong, gusty winds. dropsonde: a radiosonde dropped with a parachute from an aircraft rather than lifted by a balloon to measure the atmosphere below. freezing drizzle: drizzle, falling as a liquid, but freezing on impact with the colder ground or other exposed surfaces. it is reported as "fzdz" in an observation and on the metar. geostrophic wind: a steady horizontal motion of air along straight, parallel isobars or contours in an unchanging pressure or contour field. it is assumed that there is no friction, that the flow is straight with no curvature and there is no divergence or convergence with no vertical acceleration. 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. jet stream: an area of strong winds that are concentrated in a relatively narrow band in the upper troposphere of the middle latitudes and subtropical regions of the northern and southern hemispheres. flowing in a semi-continuous band around the globe from west to east, it is caused by the changes in air temperature where the cold polar air moving towards the equator meets the warmer equatorial air moving polarward. it is marked by a concentration of isotherms and strong vertical shear. lapse rate: the change of an atmospheric variable, usually temperature, with height. a steep lapse rate implies a rapid decrease in temperature with height and is a sign of instability. lightning: a sudden and visible discharge of electricity produced in response to the build up of electrical potential between cloud and ground, between clouds, within a single cloud, or between a cloud and surrounding air. mixed layer: it is the upper portion of the boundary layer in which air is thoroughly mixed by convection. in oceanography, it is the layer of the water that is mixed through wave action or thermohaline convection. national severe storms laboratory (nssl): a branch of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, it provides accurate and timely forecasts and warnings of hazardous weather events, especially flash floods, hail, lightning, tornadoes, and other severe wind storms. : for further information, contact the nssl, headquartered in norman, oklahoma. poles/polar: the poles are the geographic point at 90 degrees latitude north and south on the earth's surface. they are equal distance from the equator. the polar region is considered to be that area between 60° and 90° latitude, both north and south. short wave: a progressive wave of smaller amplitude, wave length, and duration than a long wave. it moves in the same direction as the basic current in which it is embedded and may induce upward vertical motion ahead of it. they are more numerous than long waves and often disappear with height in the atmosphere. standing cloud: any type of isolated cloud, generally formed over peaks or ridges of mountainous areas, that appears stationary or standing over the terrain. stratosphere: the layer of the atmosphere located between the troposphere and the mesosphere, characterized by a slight temperature increase and absence of clouds. it extends between 11 and 31 miles (17 to 50 kilometers) above the earth's surface. it is the location of the earth's ozone layer. subrefraction: less than normal bending of light or a radar beam as it passes through a zone of contrasting properties, such as atmospheric density, water vapor, or temperature. teleconnections: information used by forecasters to determine what the weather might be elsewhere when compared with past weather conditions at the same degree of longitude. upslope effect: the cooling of an air flow as it ascends a hill or mountain slope. if there is enough moisture and the air is stable, stratiform clouds and precipitation may form. if the air is unstable, there might be an increased chance of thunderstorm development. warm advection: the horizontal movement of warmer air into a location. 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. wind shear: the rate of wind speed or direction change with distance. vertical wind shear is the rate of change of the wind with respect to altitude. horizontal wind shear is the rate of change on a horizontal plane..

Altimeter setting: the pressure value to which an aircraft altimeter scale is set so that it will indicate the altitude above mean sea level of an aircraft on the ground at the location for which the value was determined. bright band: a narrow, intense radar echo due to water-covered ice particles at the melting level where reflectivity is at its greatest. 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. cumuliform: clouds composed of water droplets that exhibit vertical development. the density of the droplets often blocks sunlight, casting shadows on the earth's surface. with increasing vertical height, they are often associated with convection. bases of these clouds are generally no more than 3,000 feet above the ground, but they can develop past the troposphere in both temperate and tropical latitudes. they are classified as low clouds and include all varieties of cumulus and cumulonimbus. the opposite in type are the horizontal development of stratiform clouds. flood: high water flow or an overflow of rivers or streams from their natural or artificial banks, inundating adjacent low lying areas. hydrologic cycle: often called the water cycle, it is the vertical and horizontal transport of water in all its states between the earth, the atmosphere, and the seas. katabatic wind: a wind that is created by air flowing downhill. when this air is warm, it may be called a foehn wind, and regionally it may be known as a chinook or santa ana. when this air is cold or cool, it is called a drainage wind, and regionally it may be known as a mountain breeze or glacier wind. the opposite of an anabatic wind. meteorology/meteorologist: the science and study of the atmosphere and atmospheric phenomena. various areas of meteorology include agricultural, applied, astrometerology, aviation, dynamic, hydrometeorology, operational, and synoptic, to name a few. a scientist who studies the atmosphere and atmospheric phenomena. radiation: the process by which energy is propagated through any medium by virtue of the wave motion of that medium. electromagnetic radiation, which emits heat and light, is one form. sound waves are another. 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. 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. 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. turbulence: the irregular and instantaneous motions of air which is made up of a number of small of eddies that travel in the general air current. atmospheric turbulence is caused by random fluctuations in the wind flow. it can be caused by thermal or convective currents, differences in terrain and wind speed, along a frontal zone, or variation in temperature and pressure. warm advection: the horizontal movement of warmer air into a location. wet bulb thermometer: a thermometer used to measure the lowest temperature in the ambient atmosphere in its natural state by evaporating water from a wet muslin-covered bulb of a thermometer. the wet bulb temperature is used to compute dew point and relative humidity. one of the two thermometers that make up a psychrometer..
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