Flash Cards

weather factors

Term Definition
electromagnetic waves A form of energy that can travel through space.
radiation The direct transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves.
infrared radiation A form of energy with wavelengths that are longer than visible light.
ultraviolent radiation A form of energy with wavelengths that are shorter than visible light.
scattering Reflection of light in all directions.
greenhouse effect The process by which heat is trapped in the atmosphere by water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and other that form a "blanket" around earth
thermal energy The energy of motion in the molecules of a substance.
temperature The average amount of energy of motion in the molecules of a substance.
Heat The energy transferred from a hotter object to a cooler one.
Conduction The direct transfer of heat from one substance to another.
Convection the transfer of heat by the movement of fluid.
Wind the horizontal movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of lower pressure.
Anemometer an instrument used to measure wind speed
Wind-chill factor increased cooling caused by the wind.
Sea breeze the flow of air from an ocean or lake to land.
Land breeze the flow of air from land to a body of water.
Monsoons sea and land breezes over a large region that change directions with the seasons.
Global winds winds that blow steadily from specific directions over long distances.
Local winds winds that blow over short distances.
Coriolis effect the way earth's rotation makes winds in the northern hemisphere curve to the right and winds in the south curve to the left.
Latitude the distance from the equator, measured in degrees.
Jet stream bands of high-speed winds about 10 kilometers above the earth's surface.
Evaporation the process by which water molecules in liquid water escape into the air as water vapor.
Humidity a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air
Relative humidity the percentage of water vapor in the air compared to the maximum amount the air could hold at that tempature
Psychrometer an instrument used to measure relative humidity, consisting of a wet bulb and a dry thermometer.
Condensation the process by which molecules of water vapor in the air becomes liquid water.
Dew point the temperature at which condensation begins
Cumulus clouds that form less than 2 kilometers above the ground and look like rounded piles of cotton
Stratus clouds that form in flat layers
Cirrus wispy, feathery clouds made mostly of ice crystals that form above at high levels, above about 6 kilometers
Precipitation any form of water that falls from clouds and reaches earth's surface
Rain gauge an instrument used to measure the amount of precipitation, consisting of an open-ended can topped by a funnel and having a collecting tube and a measuring scale inside.
Droughts long periods of low precipitation.


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