Meteorology or Weather Terms +

(topics about the study of the complex motions and interactions of the atmosphere, including the observation of phenomena; such as, temperature, density, winds, clouds, and precipitation)

A device used to measure atmospheric pressure.
A snow storm that is accompanied by high winds.

The wind and snow often cause snowdrifts that can measure several feet in height and "whiteouts", in which visibility is zero.

bora wind
1. A violent, cold, dry strong northeasterly winter wind that blows down the mountains of central Europe and along the shores of the Adriatic Sea.
2. A wind with a source so cold that, when the air reaches the lowlands or the coast, the dynamic warming is inadequate to raise the air temperature to the normal level for the region; therefore, it is experienced as a cold wind.

Special terms for this wind include, borino, "weak bora" and boraccia, "strong bora".

chemical weathering
  • Carbonation, the breakdown of calcite by reaction with carbonic acid in rainwater.
  • Hydrolysis, a breakdown of feldspar into china clay by reaction with carbonic aid in rainwater.
  • Oxidation, the breakdown of iron-rich minerals due to rusting.
  • Hydration, an expansion certain minerals due to the uptake of water.
cirrocumulus clouds
High level cumulus clouds combined with cirrus clouds, indicating unstable air.
cirrostratus clouds
High, thin clouds that blanket the sky in ill-defined sheets.
cirrus clouds
From Latin for "curl"; they are wispy curls, like locks of hair.

These clouds are found high up in the atmosphere where water vapor is less abundant. Cirrus clouds consist mainly of ice crystals and are shaped by high-level winds.

The long-term weather conditions prevalent in a region over time.

Weather conditions include temperature, rainfall, and other atmospheric factors.

A branch of meteorology that studies the atmosphere by comparing statistical variations in both space and time, as seen in weather behavior over the course of many years.
cloud formations
Clouds exist in three layers in the lower atmosphere; therefore, with four types of clouds and three layers, there are up to twelve major cloud types that have evolved from Luke Howard's pioneering work:

Heaps: Cumulus family clouds:
  • Fair weather cumulus
  • Swelling cumulus
  • Cumulus congestus

Layers: Stratus family clouds:
  • Altostratus
  • Cirrostratus

Layered Heaps clouds:
  • Stratocumulus
  • Altocumulus
  • Cirrocumulus

Precipitating clouds:
  • Cumulonimbus
  • Cirrus
  • Nimbostratus
cloud seeding
The use of substances to increase precipitation; silver iodide and dry ice are often used.

The process has never been very successful.

cloud terminology
Englishman, Luke Howard gave clouds their common names.

Before 1800, observers spoke of clouds only as essences floating in the sky. Clouds had no names and were not well understood.

Luke Howard noted that there are three basic shapes to clouds: heaps of separated cloud masses with flat bottoms and cauliflower tops, which he named cumulus, Latin for "heap"; layers of clouds which are much wider than they are thick, like a blanket or a mattress, which he named stratus, Latin for "layer"; wispy curls, like a child's hair, which he called cirrus, Latin for "curl". To clouds generating precipitation, he gave the name nimbus, Latin for "rain".

cloud, clouds
The collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air, which forms when the air is cooled to its dew point and condensation occurs.
cold front
The boundary of a cold-air system, usually from the polar regions, that surges into the warmer air masses of the temperate latitudes.
The process that turns water vapor into liquid water.

See this Index or Menu for a variety of other topics.