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)

contrail cloud
This type of cloud didn't exist in Luke Howard's time because contrails, or "condensation trails", are formed from the vapor expelled into the atmosphere from jet planes flying at high altitudes.

The cold temperatures in the upper atmosphere turn aircraft vapor into ice crystals that look like cirrus clouds.

The transfer of heat caused by the movement of heated material.

In clouds, convection is the up-and-down movement of air caused by heat gradients or areas of different temperatures.

Coriolis force, Coriolis effect
The force that causes winds, or any freely moving object or fluid, to deviate to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere, as a result of the earth's rotation.
cumulonimbus clouds
Tall clouds with anvil-shaped tops that can herald or indicate storms.
cumulus clouds
Latin for "heap", they are heaps of separated cloud masses with flat bottoms and cauliflower tops.

These lumpy towers of clouds are usually found at low levels, below 6,500 feet and they are formed by updrafts of air, or thermals.

Droplets that form when water vapor condenses.
dew point
The temperature at which air becomes saturated, or it can hold no more water vapor, creating dew.
diamond dust
Very small, airborne ice crystals that reflect sunlight, often creating pillars of light.
earth's atmosphere
A mixture of gases surrounding the earth and such atmosphere is prevented from escaping because of the pull of gravity.

On earth, atmospheric pressure decreases with altitude and in its lowest layer, earth's atmosphere consists of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%), both in molecular form (two atoms bonded together) and 1% argon.

Small quantities of other gases are important to the chemistry and physics of the earth's atmosphere, including water and carbon dioxide.

The earth's atmosphere is divided into four regions of atmosphere classified by temperature and the thermal structure of the earth's atmosphere is the result of the complex interaction of the following:

  • Electromagnetic radiation from the sun.
  • Radiation reflected from the earth's surface.
  • Molecules and atoms in the atmosphere.

The process in which a liquid; such as, water, that converts to a gas.
Considered to be the final layer where the atmosphere fringe begins at 435 miles (700 kilometers) above the earth's sea level.
flash flood
A sudden flood usually associated with a sudden heavy rainfall.
The basis of a cloud that reaches the ground.
The boundary between two air masses of varying temperature and humidity, usually warm and cold air masses.

Certain weather phenomena; such as, rain, are associated with fronts.

A layer of ice formed when the temperature of the earth's surface, and objects, falls below a temperature of freezing.

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