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Terms in this set (70)
A narrow ridge of sand which lies parallel to the shoreline of the mainland of a continent.
bits of disorganized rubble, trash, and other solid material.
to remove oneself from a location, usually with short notice.
A severe cyclonic storm that develops over tropical oceans. Hurricanes are characterized by strong winds (over 73 mph), heavy rainfall, and a low pressure storm center (the "eye").
An advisory by the National Hurricane Center that sustained hurricane force winds (74 mph or higher) are expected in a coastal area within 24 hours.
An advisory by the National Hurricane Center that hurricane conditions are likely to strike a coastal area in the next 36 hours.
Imaginary parallel lines running in an east-west direction along the Earth designed to indicate location in the north-south direction. Latitude lines are identified by the degree of curvature from the Equator. The Equator has a latitude of 0 º and the North and South Poles have latitudes of 90 º north and south respectively.
Imaginary lines running in a north-south direction along the Earth designed to indicate location in the east-west direction. Longitude lines all converge at the North and South Poles. They are identified by the degree of curvature from the Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian has a longitude of 0 º and the International Date Line has a longitude of 180 º.
A severe weather system consisting of sustained winds of 40 mph or more.
An abnormal rise in sea level that precedes a hurricane or severe storm.
A narrow funnel-shaped cloud with extremely high speed winds, capable of extensive damage. Tornadoes occur during thunderstorms and may be spawned by hurricanes.
The force per unit area with which air particles push on a surface.
distance above sea level, usually above the Earth's surface.
small puffy clouds forming between 2000-6000 m above sea level.
uniformly white or blue/gray clouds forming between 2000-6000 m above sea level. Although altostratus clouds often block the sun, they generally produce little or no precipitation.
instrument used to measure wind speed.
A measurable property that may affect weather: e.g. air temperature, air pressure, humidity, dew point.
An instrument used to measure air pressure.
Thin hairlike clouds forming at altitudes of 6000 m or higher. Cirrus clouds are composed of ice crystals and generally indicate fair weather.
A visible mass of water droplets or ice crystals in the atmosphere above the Earth's surface.
Parts or substances that make up a more complex substance.
Very large puffy clouds that often spread out toward the top ("anvil head"). Cumulonimbus clouds form during warm weather and can cause sudden and sometimes violent thunderstorms.
Puffy "popcorn shaped" clouds.
a type of condensation formed when air cools in contact with a surface and reaches saturation.
temperature to which air will cool to become saturated, forming dew or frost on surfaces.
A device used to predict the movement of air masses in weather prediction. Radio waves are sent from a transmitter. These waves are reflected by material in the air mass (e.g. water droplets, ice crystals). If the air mass is approaching the receiver, the waves are reflected at a higher frequency than they were transmitted. Likewise, if the air mass is moving away, the waves are reflected at a lower frequency.
Very fine rain.
Height above sea level of a point on the Earth's surface.
A visible mass of water droplets forming at or near the Earth's surface.
frontal system (front):
a boundary between air masses of different densities that occur in temperate zones on Earth.
An instrument for measuring. A rain gauge measures the amount of rainfall that occurs in a certain location over a given time period.
A measure of water vapor in the atmosphere.
The study of Earth's atmosphere and of weather.
Referring to the influence of land elevation on various phenomena. The orographic effect of rainfall is seen when air rises up the side of a mountain. As the elevation increases, the air temperature and air pressure decrease. Eventually, the dew point is reached, and precipitation occurs on the windward side of the mountain. As a result, certain mountains (e.g. the Cascades) are characterized by heavy rainfall on one side (the Pacific side) and desertlike conditions on the other side.
depositing of water or ice from clouds.
a device consisting of two thermometers designed to measure relative humidity.
A ratio of how much moisture the air (grams of water vapor/m3 air) currently holds to how much moisture the air could potentially hold at a given temperature. Relative humidity is expressed as a percentage.
A symbolic representation on a weather map of the current atmospheric conditions of a location at a given time. A station model includes temperature, air pressure, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, and dew point.
Heavy thick clouds that occur in long thick bands and usually cover the sun. Stratus clouds form at altitudes below 2000 m.
A description of land features in a given area.
A device used to measure temperature.
Surface features of the Earth.
A description of the general condition of the atmosphere in a given location over a short period of time (less than one month).
weather balloon: .
A balloon containing a variety of weather instruments sent into the upper atmosphere to collect meteorological data
Large devices sent into orbit above the Earth designed to collect meteorological data (e.g. photographs of cloud cover, infrared temperature images of ocean currents).
A movement of air caused by differences in air pressure.
Heat transfer through a solid. In conduction, heat is transferred through motion of particles. As one particle begins moving (usually through vibrations), it collides into another particle, which begins moving.
Heat transfer through a fluid. In convection, warm gas or liquid becomes less dense than cool gas or liquid. The warmer less dense fluid rises and the cooler denser fluid falls.
A system in a large volume of fluid that transfers heat through convection.
The curving of the path of a moving object due to Earth's rotation. The Coriolis effect affects the directions of global wind patterns, the rotation of storms (e.g. hurricanes, tornadoes), and the directions of ocean currents.
A location in the immediate vicinity of the Equator where there is little wind. In the Doldrums, heated air tends to rise straight up with little or no lateral movement of air.
Vary between two extremes.
A region of the Earth at around 30 º N and S latitude where falling air tends to cause little or no wind. The name comes from when sailing ships carrying horses to the Americas would be stalled because of weak undependable winds. To conserve water, sailors threw horses overboard.
A breeze blowing from the land to a body of water. A land breeze occurs when land cools more quickly than water, and dense cool air from the land blows toward the water.
A seasonal wind system caused by uneven heating of land and water. A winter monsoon creates a pattern of land breezes; since the land cools faster than the water, cool dense air blows from the land to the sea. A summer monsoon creates a pattern of sea breezes; the land heats faster than the water, so cool dense air blows from the sea to the land.
Winds blowing from the North or South Pole from east to west extending down to about 60 º N or S latitude (respectively).
Winds blowing from about 30 º N or S latitude to about 60 º N or S latitude from west to east. The continental United States is directly affected by the Prevailing Westerlies.
A form of heat transfer where heat is emitted from a source in every direction through electromagnetic waves. Unlike conduction and convection, radiation requires no medium.
A breeze blowing from the sea to the land. A sea breeze occurs when land heats more quickly than water, and dense cool from the sea blows toward the land.
The geographic study of the terrain (including elevation and water distribution) of a given area.
Winds blowing from about 30 º N or S latitude to the Equator from east to west. These winds allowed European merchants to participate in trade with the Caribbean Islands.
A large body of air (covering large portions of oceans or continents) which determine weather patterns in a particular region. Air masses are characterized by average temperature and moisture content.
The leading edge of a moving mass of cold air. Cold fronts are often accompanied by heavy rain.
An area of the atmosphere that has lower pressure than surrounding areas. Winds of a cyclone spiral toward the center because of the Coriolis effect.
(also called El Niño Southern Oscillation—ENSO) A global phenomenon caused by interaction of global air masses and global currents. Every 3-10 years, weakening of the Trade Winds causes a warm ocean current to push into the equatorial Pacific Ocean, thus altering the ocean temperatures and weather patterns around most of the world. This phenomenon is countered by a strengthening of the Trade Winds a few years later. This "counter-phenomenon" is called La Niña.
A weather prediction for an upcoming period of no less than six days, up to two weeks.
A boundary between air masses of different densities.
A front that occurs when a fast moving cold front overtakes a warm front. The warm air mass is lifted away from the ground.
A string of thunderstorms that sometimes precedes a cold front.
A front that develops when a cold front meets a warm front moving in the opposite direction. Since neither air mass is displaced, the air masses move parallel to the front.
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