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Chapter 20

Water In The Atmosphere.

TermDefinition
latent heat the heat energy that is absorbed or released by a substance during a phase change.
sublimation the process in which a solid changes directly into a gas (the term is sometimes also used for the reverse process).
dew point at constant pressure and water vapor content, the temperature at which the rate of condensation equals the rate of evaporation.
absolute humidity the mass of water vapor per unit volume of air that contains the water vapor, usually expressed as grams of water vapor per cubic meter of air.
relative humidity the ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air to the amount of water vapor needed to reach saturation at a given temperature.
cloud a collection of small water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air, which forms when the air is cooled and condensation occurs.
condensation nucleus a solid particle in the atmosphere that provides the surface on which water vapor condenses.
adiabatic cooling the process by which the temperature of an air mass decreases as the air mass rises and expands
advective cooling the process by which temperature of an air mass decreases as the air mass moves over a cold surface.
stratus cloud a gray cloud that has a flat, uniform base and that commonly forms at very low altitudes.
cumulus cloud a low-level billowy cloud that commonly has a top that resembles cotton balls and a dark bottom.
cirrus cloud a feathery cloud that is air composed of ice crystals and that has the highest altitude of any cloud in the sky.
fog water vapor that has condensed very near the surface of earth because air close to the ground has cooled.
precipitation any form of water that falls to Earth's surface from the clouds; includes rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
coalescence the formation of a large droplet by the combination of smaller droplets.
supercooling a condition in which a substance is cooled below its freezing point, or sublimation point, without going through a change of state.
cloud seeding the process of introducing freezing nuclei or condensation nuclei into a cloud in order to cause rain to fall.
Created by: nmather