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Mr. Vaughan Unit 5

Unit 5 - Weather and Climate

TermDefinition
weather the short-term state of the atmosphere, including temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, and visibility
humidity the amount of water vapor in the 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
dew point at constant pressure and water vapor content, the temperature at which the rate of condensation equals the rate of evaporation
precipitation any form of water that falls to Earth's surface from the clouds
air pressure the measure of the force with which air molecules push on a surface
wind the movement of air caused by differences in air pressure
visibility the distance at which a given standard object can be seen and identified with the unaided eye
cloud a collection of small water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air, which forms when the air is cooled and condensation occurs
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 and resembles cotton balls and a dark bottom
cirrus cloud a feathery cloud that is 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
air mass a large body of air throughout which temperature and moisture content are similar
front the boundary between air masses of different densities and usually different temperatures
jet stream a narrow band of strong winds that blow in the upper troposphere
thunderstorm a usually brief, heavy storm that consists of rain, strong winds, lightning, and thunder
lightning an electric discharge that takes place between oppositely charged surfaces, such as between cloud and the ground, between two clouds, or between two parts of the same cloud
thunder the sound caused by the rapid expansion of air along and electrical strike
hurricane a severe storm that develops over tropical oceans and whose strong winds of more than 120 km/hr spiral in toward the intensely low-pressure storm center
storm surge a local rise in sea level near the shore that is caused by strong winds from a storm, such as those from a hurricane
tornado a destructive, rotating column of air that has very high wind speeds and that may be visible as a funnel-shaped cloud
weather forecasting the process of predicting atmospheric conditions by collecting and analyzing atmospheric data
meteorology the scientific study of Earth's atmosphere, especially in relation to weather and climate
station model a pattern of meteorological symbols that represents the weather at a particular observing station and that is recorded on a weather map
climate the average weather conditions in an area over a long period of time
latitude the distance north or south from the equator expressed in degrees
topography the size and shape of the land surface features of a region, including its relief
elevation the height of an object above sea level
surface current a horizontal movement of ocean water that is caused by wind and that occurs at or near the ocean's surface
ice age a long period of climatic cooling during which the continents are glaciated repeatedly
greenhouse effect the warming of the surface and lower atmosphere of Earth that occurs when water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases absorb and reradiate thermal energy
global warming a gradual increase in average global temperature
Created by: dougteach65