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science vocab ch. 11

Vocab words

Air mass A large body of air covering hundreds or thousands of sqyare kilometers that has a relatively uniform temp.pressure and humidity.
Source region In meteorology, a region with relatively uniform pressure and humidity over which air masses form.
Warm air mass An air mass that is warmer than the surface over which it moves.
Cold air mass An air mass that is colder than the surface over which it moves.
stationary front a zone of contact between two dis-similar air masses where neither is advancing. I usually results in no change in the weather for several days.
warm front the advancing surface of a warm air mass as it pushes against and over s cooler air mass.
cold front The advancing surface of a cold air mass as it moves under a warmer air mass.
squall line A line of violent thunderstorms that sometimes accompanies an advancing cold front
occluded front A front formed when a cool air mass and a rapidly moving cold air mass trap a warm air mass between them. The warm air mass is lifted,losing all contact with the ground.
monsoon A regional wind system that reverses periodically, alternating bringing wet and dry seasons.
pressure gradient force The horizontal force exerted on a mass of air that has a higher pressure on one side than the other.
geostrophic wind A high altitude wind that is controlled by the relative influence of the pressure gradient force and the Coriolis effect.
cyclone In general a weather system centered on a low pressure area surrinded by a wind circulation pattern spiraling counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.A hurricane in the southwestern pacific and indian ocean regions.Also an informal name for a tornado.
anticyclone An area of relatively higher atmospheric pressure. It typically contains a clockwise rotating wind system in the Northern Hemisphere.
jet stream A high speed meandering wind current usually flowing from west to east at altitudes of 15 to 25km. Its speed often exceeds 400km.
sea breeze A breeze that blows onshore from the ocean, usually during the day time
land breeze A breeze that blows from shore to sea, usually at night.
valley breeze A breeze that blows up the mountainside from the valley when air high on the mountain heats and rises. Usually occurs late in the day.
mountain breeze A breeze that flows down the mountain into the valley at night that is caused by cooling air at higher elevations.
trade winds Consistent winds extending from the subtropical hights towards the equator, turned by the Coriolis effect into easterlies. They were formily used by sailing ships to go from Europe to North and South America.
prevailing westerlies Winds blowing constantly from southwest to northeast between 30 and 60 degrees north and south latitudes.
polar easterlies Winds blowing constantly from northeast to southwest from the northern polar region, bringing cold dry air to the northern parts of America, Asia and Europe.
doldrums A permenate low-pressure belt of usually windless air near the equator caused by the vertical rising of warm air.
horse latitudes Bands of permanate high pressure at approximately 30 degrees N or S latitude caused by decendding cold air.They were so named because sailing ships that drifted for weeks in these areas were forced to eliminate their cargo of livestock when water ran out.
subpolar low The prevailing low pressure belt at approximately 60 degrees N or S latitude. In the Northern hemisphere the prevailing westerlies rise above the polar easterlies lifting air in this zone.
Polar high An area of high atmospheric pressure at either pole caused by subsiding cold air.
Thunderstorm A rain storm that includes lighting and thunder.
Thunderhead A towering cumulonimbus cloud that builds rapidly to high altitudes and usually brings heavy rain, lighting, thunder and sometimes hail.
Lightning An electrical discharge that occurs either between clouds or between a cloud and the ground.
Stepped leader
return stroke A lightning discharge from the ground up to a cloud along the ionized path taken by the original strike from the cloud to the ground.
forked lightning Lightning consisting of branches connected to the main stroke.
tornado A violent narrow rotating funnel shaped local windstorm containg the highest wind speeds measured, extending down from a cumulonimbus cloud.
waterspout A tornado that occurs at sea.
Hurricane In the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific oceans, a strong large area cyclonic storm with wind sprees exceeding 117 km. AKA typhoon or cyclone.
Typhoon What hurricanes are called in some parts of the world.
Cyclone In general a weather system centered on a low pressure area surrinded by a wind circulation pattern spiraling counterclockwise in the Northern Hemishpere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Some times a hurricane. An informal name for a torando.
Eye The circular center of low pressure in a hurricane thaat is characterized by few clouds relative calm and vertical air movement.
Storm swell The larger than normal surface waves that preceed outwardd from a slow moving hurricane.
Storm surge Big increase in sea level along the shore in front of&below a hurricane as high winds pile water up against the land often causing bad flooding&erosion.Its the diff btween measured sea level&the tide caused by just the sun&moon at the time of measurement
Lightning rod A metal rod attached to the highest point of a building that prevents damge to the building from a lightning strike by conducting the electrical discharge through cables to the ground.
Created by: ashley<3