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UNIT 06/07 METEOROLOGY: Properties of the Atmosphere and Weather Systems

Review of vocabulary for UNIT 06 Properties of the Atmosphere and UNIT 07 Weather Systems

AB
conductionheat transferred by direct contact
convectionheat transfer (circulation) of heated fluids caused by density differences
radiationtransfer of energy by electromagnetic waves through space
heatmeasure of the total energy of the molecules in an object
heat sourcean object at a higher temperature FROM which heat flows
heat sinkan object at a lower temperature INTO which heat flows
calorieunit of heat energy
absorptionthe taking IN of energy
radiative balancean equilibrium between absorbed radiant energy and radiant energy given off
temperaturemeasure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules in an object
specific heatamount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by one degree Celsius
latent heatenergy absorbed or released during a change of state
insolationINcoming SOLar radiaTION- energy coming in from the Sun
windthe horizontal movement of air at the surface of the Earth
state (phase) of matterthe physical state of matter; solid, liquid or gas
clouda large mass of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air
relative humidityratio between the amount of water vapor in the air to the maximum amount the air could hold
dew point temperaturetemperature at which the air would be saturated with moisture
greenhouse effectprocess by which heat is trapped in the Earth's atmosphere by gases like carbon dioxide
psychrometerinstrument used to determine dewpoint and relative humidity
condensation nucleisurfaces on which condensation occurs in the atmosphere
saturationcondition in which air is holding all the water vapor it can at a given temperature
adiabatic temperature changechange in temperature caused by expansion or compression
windwardside of a mountain facing the wind where air is forced to rise
leewardside of a mountain opposite the wind
pressure gradientthe rate of change in air pressure between two points on a map
cyclonea low pressure system- winds rotate counter clockwise and converge into the center
isobara line on a weather map connecting points of the same atmospheric pressure
airmassa large body of air having relatively uniform conditions of temperature and pressure
anticyclonea high pressure system- winds rotate clockwise and diverge away from the center
jet streamfast moving winds at high altitudes- they steer surface weather patterns
tornadoa relatively small violent cyclone capable of causing major damage
hurricanea large tropical cyclone with winds greater than 74 miles per hour
precipitationwater in any form falling from the sky and reaching the earth
isotherma line of equal temperature drawn on a weather map
storm trackthe path of a cyclone, generally from west to east in the US
warm fronta front in which warm air is advancing
cold fronta front in which cold air is advancing
occluded fronta front which is produced when a cold front overtakes a warm front
stationary fronta front that is not moving
weathershort term condition of the atmosphere
probabilitythe likelihood of an event, usually expressed as a percent

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