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air pressure

the pressure exerted by the weight of the air above

barometer

device used to for measuring air pressure

pressure gradient

the amount of pressure change occurring over a given distance

Coriolis effect

describes how Earth's rotation affects moving objects

jet streams

fast moving rivers of air that travel between 120 and 240 kilometers per hour in a west-to-east direction

cyclone

centers of low pressure

anitcyclones

centers of high pressure

trade winds

two belts of winds that blow almost constantly from easterly directions

westerlies

make up the dominant west-to-east motion of the atmosphere that characterizes the regions on the poleward side of the subtropical highs

polar easterlies

winds that blow from the polar high toward the subpolar low

polar front

the stormy belt produced by the interaction of warm and cool air masses

monsoons

seasonal changes in wind direction

prevailing wind

wind that consistently blows more often from one direction than any other

anemometer

instrument used to measure wind speed

El Nino

episodes of ocean warming that affect the eastern tropical Pacific

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