Weather and Climate Vocabulary

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stratus cloud

a cloud that forms in a blanketlike layer

sea breeze

wind that blows from sea to land

run-off

when water flows down surfaces back into lakes, rivers, oceans, streams, or ground

evaporation

the slow changing of a liquid into a gas

warm front

A front where warm air moves in over a cold front

precipitation

Any form of water particles that falls from the atmosphere and reaches the ground

cumulus cloud

A puffy cloud that appears to rise up from a flat bottom

wind

Air that moves horizontally

relative humidity

A comparison between how much water vapor is in the air and how much the air could hold at a given temperature if it were full, or saturated

hydrosphere

Earth's water, whether found in continents and oceans, including the fresh water in ice, lakes, rivers, and underground water

climate

The average weather pattern of a region

weather (wind) vane

A device that indicates wind direction

barometer

A device for measuring air pressure

water table

The top of the water-filled spaces in the ground

aquifer

An underground layer of rock or soil filled with water

troposphere

The layer of the atmosphere closest to Earth's surface

insolation

The amount of the Sun's energy that reaches Earth at a given time and place

cold front

A front where cold air moves in under a warm front

front

A boundary between air masses with different temperatures

tornado

A violent whirling wind that moves across the ground in a narrow path

stationary front

An unmoving front where a cold air mass and a warm air mass meet

air pressure

The force put on a given area by the weight of the air above it

fog

A cloud that forms at ground level

land breeze

Wind that blows from land to sea

current

An ocean movement; a large stream of water that flows in the ocean

air mass

A large region of the atmosphere where the air has similar properties throughout

well

A hole dug below the water table that water seeps into

humidity

The amount of water vapor in the air

condensation

The changing of a gas into a liquid

hurricane

A very large, swirling storm with very low pressure at the center

atmosphere

The blanket of gases that surrounds Earth

reservoir

A storage area for fresh water supplies

occluded front

A front formed where a warm front and cold front meet

thunderstorm

The most common severe storm, formed in cumulonimbus clouds

water cycle

The continuous movement of water between Earth's surface and the air, changing from liquid to gas to liquid

anemometer

A device that measures wind speed

weather

What the lower atmosphere is like at any given place and time

desalination

Getting freshwater from seawater

cirrus cloud

A high-altitude cloud with a featherlike shape, made of ice crystals

spring

A place where groundwater seeps out of the ground

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