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22 terms

Clouds and Moisture

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Precipitation
the falling to earth of any form of water (rain or snow or hail or sleet or mist)
Dew point
the temperature at which the water vapor in the air becomes saturated and condensation begins
Front
(meteorology) the atmospheric phenomenon created at the boundary between two different air masses
Latent Heat
heat absorbed or radiated during a change of phase at a constant temperature and pressure
Psychrometer
a hygrometer consisting of a dry-bulb thermometer and a wet-bulb thermometer
Thermals
column of air rising in lower altitudes of Earth's atmosphere
Evaporation
the process of extracting moisture
Dry adiabatic rate
the rate of adiabatic cooling or warming in unsaturated air; the rate of temperature change is 1°C per 100 meters
Stable air
air that resists vertical displacement; if it is lifted, adiabatic cooling will cause its temperature to be lower than the surrounding environment; if it is allowed, it will sink to its original position
Condensation
the act of increasing the density of something
Wet adiabatic rate
the rate of adiabatic temperature change in saturated air; the rate of temperature change is variable, but it is always less than the dry adiabatic rate
Unstable air
air that does not resist verticle displacement; if it is lifted, its temperature will not cool as rapidly as the surrounding environment, and so it will continue to rise on its own
Deposition
the act of putting something somewhere
Orographic lifting
cloud formation that occurs when warm moist air is forced to rise up the side of a mountain
Temperature inversion
atmospheric condition in which warm air traps cooler air near the earth's surface
Humidity
wetness in the atmosphere
Frontal wedging
lifting of air resulting when cool air acts as a barrier over which warmer, lighter air will rise
Condensation nuclei
Microscopic particles on which water vapor condenses to form cloud droplets.
Saturated
being the most concentrated solution possible at a given temperature
Convergence
the occurrence of two or more things coming together
Relative humidity
the ratio of the amount of water in the air at a give temperature to the maximum amount it could hold at that temperature
Convective lifting
weather process where the sun heats the land surface, which heats the adjacent air, and then the heated air rises.