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See also:
Cloud Types and Terms, Clouds, Atmospheric Phenomena and Snow and Ice

118 facts:

Acid Rain
   is   
Cloud or Rain Droplets Containing Pollutants
Such as oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, to make them acidic.
Adiabatic Lapse Rate
   is   
Change in Air Temperature As It Moves Altitudes
Advection
   is   
The Horizontal Transfer of Atmospheric Properties by Moving Air (wind)
Such as heat or moisture
Air Mass
   is   
A Large Body of Air Having Similar Horizontal Temperature and Moisture Characteristics
Air
   is   
The Mixture of Gases Composing the Atmosphere
Oxygen accounts for 20.946% of the total
Albedo
   is   
The Ratio of Radiation Reflected Compared With the Amount Striking an Object
High albedos are highly reflective substances, such as snow
Anabatic Wind
   is   
Wind Created by Air Flowing Uphill
As an example, valley breezes
Anticyclone
   is   
An Area of High Pressure
Area of pressure with a rotation opposite that of earth
Anvil Zits
   is   
Frequent Localized Lightning Discharges Occurring from Within a Thunderstorm Anvil
Arid
   is   
Descriptive of Extremely Dry Climates
Opposite of humid
Atmosphere
   is   
The Gaseous Envelope Surrounding the Earth
Composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen.
Back Door Cold Front
   is   
A Front That Moves East to West in Direction
Rather than the normal west to east movement. For instance, one that enters Southern New England from the Gulf of Maine.
Black Ice
   is   
Thin, New Ice That Forms on Fresh Water or Dew Covered Surfaces
It is common on roadways during the fall and early winter and appears "black" because of its transparency.
Blowing Dust
   is   
Reduction of Visibility by Winds Blowing Across Dry Ground
Usually with little or no foliage.
Bow Echo
   is   
A Radar Signature Associated With Severe Thunderstorms
Broken Clouds
   is   
Clouds Which Cover Between 6/10 and 9/10 of the Sky
Calm
   is   
The Absence of Wind
Ceiling
   is   
The Height of the Lowest Layer of Clouds
When the sky is broken or overcast.
Clear
   is   
The Absence of Clouds
Climate
   is   
A Region's Long Term Weather Conditions
Cloudburst
   is   
A Sudden, Intense Rainfall That is Normally of Short Duration
Cloud
   is   
A Visible Collection of Water Droplets or Ice Crystals
Coalescence
   is   
The Merging of Two Water Drops Into One Larger Drop
Cold Front
   is   
Leading Edge of Advancing Cold Mass
Cold
   is   
The State of Low Thermal Energy
Condensation
   is   
The Process in Which Water Vapor Turns from Gas to Liquid
Opposite of evaporation
Coriolis Force
   is   
An Apparent Force Caused by the Rotation of the Earth
In the Northern Hemisphere winds are deflected to the right, and in the Southern Hemisphere to the left.
Current
   is   
Horizontal Movement of Water or Air
Gulf stream, jet stream
Cut off Low
   is   
An Area of Low Pressure Aloft Cut off from Its Associated Jet Stream
Cyclone
   is   
An Area of Low Pressure
Dew
   is   
Moisture That Has Condensed on Objects Near the Ground
Whose temperatures have fallen to the dew point temperature.
Dew Point
   is   
The Temperature to Which the Air Must Be Cooled for Water Vapor to Condense
Doldrums
   is   
The Regions on Either Side of the Equator Where Air Pressure is Low and Winds Are Light
Downburst
   is   
A Severe Localized Downdraft from a Thunderstorm
Drizzle
   is   
Water Droplets of .5 Mm or Less
Falls from stratus clouds
Dry Line
   is   
A Boundary Separating Moist and Dry Air Masses
Dust Devil
   is   
A Small, Rapidly Rotating Wind Made Visible by the Dust It Picks up
Also called a whirlwind, it develops best on clear, dry, hot afternoons.
El Nino
   is   
A Major Warming of the Equatorial Waters in the Pacific Ocean
El Nino events usually occur every 3 to 7 years, and are characterized by shifts in "normal" weather patterns.
Evapotranspiration
   is   
The Total Amount of Water Transferred from the Surface to the Atmosphere
Eye Wall
   is   
The Ring of Thunderstorms That Surrounds a Storm's Eye
The heaviest rain, strongest winds and worst turbulence are normally in the eye wall.
Flood Crest
   is   
The Highest Stage or Flow Occurring in a Flood
Fog
   is   
A Cloud at the Earth's Surface
Occurs during calm conditions
Freezing Level
   is   
The Altitude in the Atmosphere Where the Temperature Equals 32F
Freezing Rain
   is   
Rain Which Falls As Liquid then Freezes Upon Impact
Resulting in a coating of ice on exposed objects.
Front
   is   
A Boundary Between Two Air Masses
Frost
   is   
Water Vapor Forming As a Solid on Objects Colder the Surrounding Air at or Below Freezing
Fujiwhara Effect
   is   
The Rotation of Two Storms Around Each Other
Gale
   is   
Winds of 63 to 87 Kilometers Per Hour over Water
Greenhouse Effect
   is   
The Warming of the Atmosphere by the Trapping of Earth's Longwave Radiation
The gases most responsible for this effect are water vapor and carbon dioxide.
Ground Fog
   is   
Fog Produced by the Cooling of the Lower Atmosphere in Contact With the Ground
When it comes in contact with the ground. Also known as radiation fog.
Gust Front
   is   
The Leading Edge of the Downdraft from a Thunderstorm
Gust
   is   
A Sudden, Short Increase in Wind Speed
Usually lasting 20 seconds or less
Hail
   is   
Precipitation in the Form of Circular or Irregular-shaped Lumps of Ice
Halos
   is   
Rings or Arcs That Seem to Encircle the Sun or Moon
They are caused by the refraction of light through the ice crystals in cirrus clouds.
Hard Freeze
   is   
Freeze Where Vegetation is Killed and the Ground Surface is Frozen Solid
Haze
   is   
Fine Dry or Wet Dust or Salt Particles in the Air That Reduce Visibility
Heat Index
   is   
The Combination of Temperature and Humidity
Used to reflect how the temperature feels rather than the actual temperature
Heat Lightning
   is   
Lightning That Can Be Seen, but is Too Far Away for the Thunder to Be Heard
High
   is   
The Center of an Area of High Pressure
Accompanied by anticyclonic and outward wind flow in the northern hemisphere. Also known as an anticyclone.
Humidity
   is   
The Amount of Water Vapor in the Air Relative to Temperature
Hurricane
   is   
A Severe Tropical Cyclone With Sustained Wind Speeds in Excess of 74 Mph
Indian Summer
   is   
An Unseasonably Warm Period Near the Middle of Autumn
Usually following a substantial period of cool weather.
Insolation
   is   
Solar Radiation Received at Earth's Surface
Derived from, 'incoming solar radiation
Inversion
   is   
An Increase in Temperature With Height
The reverse of the normal cooling with height in the atmosphere.
Jet Stream
   is   
Fast Moving Air at a Height of About 11km
Influential on directing weather systems
Lapse Rate
   is   
The Change in Temperature With Altitude in the Atmosphere
Lightning
   is   
An Electrical Discharge from a Thunderstorm
La Nina
   is   
A Cooling of the Equatorial Waters in the Pacific Ocean
Low
   is   
The Center of an Area of Low Pressure
Accompanied by cyclonic and inward wind flow in the northern hemisphere. Also known as a cyclone.
Macroburst
   is   
A Strong, Damaging Wind Flowing Downward from a Thunderstorm Affecting a Diameter of 4 Km or More
Measurable Precipitation
   is   
Precipitation of 0.01" or More
Mesocyclone
   is   
The Rotating Updraft in a Supercell Thunderstorm
Microburst
   is   
A Strong, Damaging Wind Flowing Downward from a Thunderstorm Affecting a Diameter of 4 Km or Less
Mist
   is   
A Cloud at the Earth's Surface
Visibility between one and two km
Occluded Front
   is   
A Complex Frontal System That Occurs when a Cold Front Overtakes a Warm Front
Also known as an occlusion.
Orographic Uplift
   is   
The Vertical Forcing of Air by Terrain Features Such As Hills or Mountains
This can create orographic clouds and/or precipitation.
Outflow
   is   
Air That Flows Outward from a Thunderstorm
Overcast
   is   
Sky Condition when 9/10 or 10/10 of the Sky is Covered
Ozone
   is   
A Form of Oxygen Containing 3 Molecules, Usually Found in the Stratosphere
Responsible for filtering out much of the sun's ultraviolet radiation.
Permafrost
   is   
A Soil Layer Below the Surface of Tundra Regions That Remains Frozen Permanently
Polar Air
   is   
A Mass of Very Cold, Very Dry Air That Forms in Polar Regions
Precipitation
   is   
Liquid or Solid Water Molecules That Fall from the Atmosphere and Reach the Ground
Pressure
   is   
The Force Exerted by the Interaction of the Atmosphere and Gravity
Also known as atmospheric pressure.
Rainbow
   is   
Optical Phenomenon when Light is Refracted and Reflected by Moisture in the Air
Rain
   is   
Liquid Water Droplets That Fall from the Atmosphere
Having diameters greater than drizzle.
Relative Humidity
   is   
The Amount of Water Vapor in the Air Relative to to the Amount the Air Could Hold if Totally Saturated
Compared to the amount the air could hold if it was totally saturated. Expressed as a percentage.
Ridge
   is   
An Elongated Area of High Pressure at the Surface or Aloft
Scattered Clouds
   is   
Sky Condition when Between 1/10 and 5/10 of the Sky is Covered
Severe Thunderstorm
   is   
A Strong Thunderstorm With Wind Gusts in Excess of 58 Mph
Shower
   is   
Precipitation That is Intermittent, in Space, Time, or Intensity
Sleet
   is   
A Type of Frozen Precipitation, Consisting of Small Transparent Ice Pellets
Snow
   is   
Frozen Precipitation Composed of Ice Particles in Complex Hexagonal Patterns
Squall Line
   is   
A Non-frontal Band or Line of Thunderstorms
Stationary Front
   is   
A Transition Zone Between Air Masses
With neither advancing upon the other.
Storm
   is   
A Low Pressure Disturbance Composed of Wind, Clouds and Precipitation
Straight-line Winds
   is   
Any Wind Not Involving Rotation
Subsidence
   is   
A Downward Movement of Air
Subtropical Jet
   is   
The Branch of the Jet Stream That is Found in the Lower Latitudes
Supercell
   is   
A Highly Organized Thunderstorm With a Rotating Updraft
Also known as a mesocyclone. It poses an inordinately high threat to life and property. Often produces large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes.
Sustained Winds
   is   
The Wind Speed Obtained by Averaging the Observed Values over a One Minute Period
Thermal
   is   
Small Rising Column of Air Due to Surface Heating
Thunder
   is   
The Sound Wave Produced As a Lightning Stroke Heats the Air Causing It to Rapidly Expand
There are roughly 18,000 thunderstorms occurring on Earth at any given moment.
Thunderstorm
   is   
A Storm With Lightning and Thunder, Produced by a Cumulonimbus Cloud
Usually associated with gusty winds, heavy rain, and sometimes hail and tornadoes.
Tornado
   is   
A Violently Rotating Column of Air Below the Base of a Thunderstorm
And in contact with the ground. A tornado does not require the visible presence of a condensation funnel cloud.
Trace Precipitation
   is   
Precipitation Amounts Less Than 0.01"
Trade Winds
   is   
Persistent Low-level Tropical Winds
They blow from the subtropical high pressure centers towards the equatorial low.
Tropical Depression
   is   
Tropical Mass of Thunderstorms With a Cyclonic Wind Circulation
Winds between 20 and 34 knots.
Tropical Disturbance
   is   
An Organized Mass of Tropical Thunderstorms With Slight Cyclonic Circulation
A slight cyclonic circulation and winds less than 20 knots.
Tropical Storm
   is   
An Organized Cyclone in the Tropics
Wind speed between 35 and 64 knots.
Trough
   is   
An Elongated Area of Low Pressure at the Surface or Aloft
Turbulence
   is   
Disrupted Flow in the Atmosphere That Produces Gusts
Typhoon
   is   
A Hurricane That Forms in the Western Pacific Ocean
Vertical Shear
   is   
The Vertical Rate of Change of Wind Speed or Direction
Virga
   is   
Precipitation Falling from the Base of a Cloud and Evaporating Before It Reaches the Ground
Warm Front
   is   
Trailing Edge of Retreating Cold Mass
Waterspout
   is   
A Column of Rotating Air over a Body of Water
I.e., a tornado over the water.
Wind Shear
   is   
The Change of Wind Speed or Direction With Distance or Height
Youg
   is   
A Hot Wind During Unsettled Summer Weather in the Mediterranean


Facts contributed by:


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