Chapter 16-Understanding Weather

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Terms in this set (...)

Weather
The short-term state of the atmosphere, including temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, and visibility
Humidity
The amount of water vapor in the air
Condensation
The change of state from a gas to a liquid
Cloud
A collection of small water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air, which forms when the air is cooled and condensation occurs
Precipitation
Any form of water that falls to the Earth's surface from the clouds
Air Mass
A large body of air where temperature and moisture content are constant throughout
Front
The boundary between air masses of different densities and usually different temperatures
Thunderstorms
A usually brief, heavy storm that consists of rain, strong winds, lightning and thunder
Lightning
An electric discharge that takes place between two oppositely charged surfaces, such as between a cloud and the ground, between two clouds, or between two parts of the same cloud
Thunder
The sound caused by the rapid expansion of air along an electrical strike
Tornado
A destructive, rotating column of air that has very high wind speeds, is visible as a funnel-shaped cloud, and touches the ground
Hurricane
A severe storm that develops over tropical oceans, and whose strong winds of more than 120 km/h spiral in toward the intensely low-pressure storm center
Thermometer
An instrument that measures and indicates temperature
Barometer
An instrument that measures atmospheric pressure
Anemometer
An instrument used to measure wind speed
climate
The average weather conditions in an area over a long period of time
Latitude
distance north or south of the Equator, measured in degrees
prevailing winds
winds that blow in the same direction over large areas of Earth
Elevation
The height of land above sea level
surface currents
A horizontal movement of ocean water that is caused by wind and that occurs at or near the ocean's surface
Biome
A group of ecosystems that share similar climates and typical organisms