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5/11/13 Meteorology Chapter 7 flashcards | Quizlet

Meteorology Chapter 7

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Created by: on March 14, 2012

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Terms Definitions

scales of motion a heirarchy from tiny gusts to giant storms

(microscale, mesoscale, synoptic scale and

microscale a scale of atmospheric motion where winds can

be described as gusts around and between
buildings and dust gusting through the air.
Essentially very small scale winds.

mesoscale The scale of meteorological phenomena that

range in size from a few km to about 100 km.
Includes local winds thunderstorms and

synoptic scale The typical weather map scale that shows

features such as high- and low-pressure and
fronts over a distance spanning a continent.
Also called the cyclonic scale

planetary scale The largest scale of atmospheric motion.

Sometimes called the global scale

rotors turbulent eddies that form downwind of a

mountain chain creating hazardous eddies

wind shear A sudden change in wind direction and/or

speed over a short distance in the atmosphere.

clear air turbulence eddies that form in clear air

thermal circulations Circulations resulting from changes in the air

temp in which warm, less dense, air rises and
cold, more dense, air sinks.

sea breeze movement of air from sea to land during the

day when cooler air from above the water
moves over the land, forcing the heated, less
dense air above the land to rise 1/4
5/11/13 Meteorology Chapter 7 flashcards | Quizlet

land breeze movement of air from land to sea at night,

created when cooler, denser air from the land
forces up warmer air over the sea

monsoon wind system wind system that changes direction with


valley breeze The movement of air created by warm air rising

and flowing up the slope of a mountain.

mountain breeze the movement of air caused by cool air sinking

and moving down the slope of a mountain

katabatic wind downslope winds that are much stronger than

mountain breezes.

chinook wind a warm dry wind blowing down the eastern

slopes of the Rockies

Santa Ana wind warm, dry wind that blows from the east or
northeast into southern California

haboob a thick dust storm or sandstorm that blows in

the deserts of North Africa and Arabia or on the
plains of India

dust devils Spinning vortices commonly seen on hot days in

dry areas (deserts). They are also called

general circulation of the global scale wind (pressure) patterns averaged

atmosphere over a long period of time

Hadley Cell a system of vertical and horizontal air

circulation predominating in tropical and
subtropical regions and creating major weather

doldrums a frequently windless area near the Equator

sub-tropical highs belt of high pressure or anticyclones

trade winds Prevailing winds that blow northeast from 30

degrees north latitude to the equator and that
blow southeast from 30 degrees south latitude
to the equator

intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) boundary near equator where the

northeast trades converge with the southeast
trades, air rises here 2/4
5/11/13 Meteorology Chapter 7 flashcards | Quizlet

westerlies Prevailing winds that blow from west to east

between 30 degrees and 60 degrees latitude in
both hemispheres

polar front The boundary at which air flowing away from

the polar regions collides with the warmer air
from the lower latitudes

subpolar low a low pressure area formed sixty degrees N

when the prevailing westerlies rise above the
polar easterlies

polar easterlies Prevailing winds that blow from east to west

between 60degrees-90degrees latitude in both

Bermuda high a subtropical high-pressure cell that forms in

the eastern North Atlantic.

Pacific high the semi-permanent surface high-pressure

center located over the North Pacific Ocean;
positioned in subtropical latitudes during
winter and middle latitudes during summer

Icelandic low Low pressure over Iceland. Prominent during


Aleutian low a semi-permanent surface low pressure center

located over the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska

Siberian high Over Asia, there is a huge (but shallow)

anticyclone (or subtropical highs) which form
because of the intense cooling of the land.

jet streams narrow bands of high-speed winds that circle

the earth, blowing from west to east

subtropical jet stream between 20 and 30 degrees latitude, one of two

main jet streams.

polar front jet stream River of high-speed air in the upper

atmosphere that flows along the polar front

upwelling the movement of deep, cold, and nutrient-rich

water to the surface

El Nino a climate variation that takes place in the

tropical Pacific about every three to seven 3/4
5/11/13 Meteorology Chapter 7 flashcards | Quizlet

years, for a duration of about one year.

Southern Oscillation a reversal of airflow between normally low

atmospheric pressure over the western Pacific;
the cause of El Nino and La Nina

La Nina The water in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is cooler

than usual-opposite from El Nino

teleconnections widely spaced interactions between ocean

surface temperature and weather conditions.

North Atlantic Oscillation Seesaw variation in air pressure between

Iceland and Azores.

Arctic Oscillation a see-saw in pressure between the arctic and

northern mid-latitudes. Similar to the North
Atlantic oscillation, but confined to the middle
and higher latitudes. Time scale of decades but
its phases are irregular.

Pacific Decadel Oscillation warm phase and cool phase similar to El Nino
but different

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