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Science vocab from chapter 2 for the weather test.


the state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place


the amount of water vapor in the air

Relative Humidity

a measure of the amount of water vapor present in the air compared to the amount needed for saturation at a specific temperature

Dew Point

the temperature at which air is saturated and condensation forms


when air is cooled to its dew point near the ground, it forms a stratus cloud


water falling from clouds

Air Mass

a large body of air that has properties similar to the part of Earth's surface over which it develops


a boundary between two air masses of different density, moisture, or temperature


a violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground, winds up to 300 miles per hour


a large, swirling, low-pressure system that forms over water, winds up to 150 miles per hour


a winter storm that only occurs if the winds are 56 km/h, the temperature is low, visibility is less than 400m in falling or blowing snow, and if these conditions persist for 3 hours or more


studies weather and uses information from Doppler radar, weather satellites, computers, and other instruments to make weather maps and provide forecasts

Station Model

indicates weather conditions at a specific location using a combination of symbols on a map


line drawn on a weather map that connects points having equal temperature


lines drawn on a weather map that connect points having equal atmospheric pressure; also indicate the location of high and low pressure areas and can show wind speed


drops of water that fall from a cloud through air that is above freezing


precipitation that forms directly as a solid because the air below freezing


precipitation that passes through a layer of freezing temperatures and forms small ice pellets


pellets of ice that form in cumulonimbus clouds during a thunderstorm when water freezes in layers around a small nucleus of ice


an instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure


when millions of tiny drops of water around dust particles form from condensed humid air


high elevation clouds, above 6000 meters


middle elevation clouds, 2000-6000 meters


low elevation clouds, below 2000 meters


wispy, feathery, high, thin clouds made of ice crystals


thick, fluffy, cottonball, white clouds often with flat bases


layered, thin and smooth sheets of clouds often at low altitudes


clouds that are dark, full of water, and usually lead to rain

North Pacific

cold, moist, top left of U.S. map


cold, dry, top of U.S. map

North Atlantic

cold, moist, top right of U.S. map

South Pacific

warm, moist, bottom left of U.S. map


warm, dry, bottom of U.S. map

Gulf of Mexico

warm, moist, bottom right of U.S. map

Warm Front

warm air mass overtakes cold air mass

Cold Front

cold air mass overtakes warm air mass

Stationary Front

boundary between two air masses not moving in relation to each other

Occluded Front

involves three air masses of different temperatures - colder air, cool air, and warm air - cold air mass moves toward cool air with warm air between the two

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