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Weather: Glossary

A

air pressure
the pressure formed from the weight of the atmosphere pushing down on everything
anemometer
meteorologist tool that measures wind
atmosphere
the layers of air around the earth

B

barometer
meteorologist tool that measures air pressure
Beaufort Scale
a scale used to identify wind strength
blizzard
intense snow storm that includes strong winds

C

cirrus
wispy cloud formation
clouds
water vapor that condenses in the sky
cumulonimbus
a towering vertical cloud which usually results in a thunderstorm
cumulus
puffy cloud formation with defined edges

F

floods
the result of too much rain or other moisture - may cover large areas and grow in depth to cover over buildings, street signs, and other normally dry structures

H

hail
lumps or balls of frozen precipitation
humidity
moisture in the atmosphere
hurricane
severe and large storm that forms over the ocean

L

lightning
static electrical charge that moves between clouds and the ground

M

meteorologist
scientist that studies weather
meteorology
the science of weather
microburst
a small, very intense downdraft that descends to the ground
monsoon
seasonal period of heavy rain

R

radar
radio waves are used to determine size, direction and intensity of storms
rain gauge
meteorologist tool that measures the amount of rainfall

S

satellite
equipment which orbits the earth to make measurements of the weather
solar radiation
energy emitted from the sun
stratus
cloud formation that blanket the sky and are low to the ground

T

temperature
a measure of how hot or cold the air is
thermometer
meteorologist tool that measures temperature
thunderstorm
violent weather event that includes rain, thunder, lightning and wind
tornadoes
a strong spinning wind that can be very destructive
troposphere
lowest layer of the atmosphere where weather takes place

W

weather balloon
meteorologist tool that measures weather conditions by use of a balloon that floats up in the air
wind
strong movement of the earth's atmosphere brought on by temperature differences
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