Chapter 18 Vocabulary
1. air pressure - the force exerted by the weight of a column of air above a given point.
2. aneroid barometer - an instrument for measuring air pressure that consists of evacuated metal chambers very sensitive to variations in air pressure.
3. anticyclone - a high pressure center characterized by a clockwise flow of air in the northern hemisphere
4. barograph - a recording barometer.
5. barometric tendency - the nature of the change in atmospheric pressure over the past several hours. It can be a useful aid in short range weather prediction.
6. chinook - a wind blowing down the leeward side of a mountain and warming by compression.
7. convergence - the condition that exists when the distribution of winds within a given area results in a net horizontal inflow of air into the area. Because this at lower levels is associated with an upward movement of air into the areas of these winds are regions favorable to cloud formation and precipitation.
8. Coriolis effect - the deflective force of earths rotation on all free moving objects, including the atmosphere and oceans. Deflection is to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.
9. Country breeze – A circulation pattern characterized by a light wind blowing into a city from the surrounding countryside. It is best developed on clear otherwise calm nights when the urban heat island is most pronounced.
10. cup anemometer - an instrument used to determine wind speed.
11. cyclone - a low pressure center characterized by a counter clockwise flow of air in the northern hemisphere.
12. divergence - the condition that exists when the distribution of winds within a given area results in a net horizontal outflow of air from the region. In these at lower levels the resulting deficit is compensated for by a downward movement of air from aloft; hence, areas of these winds are unfavorable to cloud formation and precipitation.
13. El Niño - the name given to the periodic warming of the ocean that occurs in the central and eastern Pacific. One of these major episodes can cause extreme weather in many parts of the world.
14. equatorial low - a belt of low pressure lying near the equator and between the subtropical layers.
15. geostrophic wind - a wind usually above a height of 600 meters that blows parallel to the isobars.
16. high - a center of high pressure characterized by anticyclonic winds
17. isobar - a line drawn on a map connecting points of equal atmospheric pressure, usually corrected to the sea level.
18. jet stream - swift (120-240) kilometers per hour) high altitude winds.
19. land breeze - a local wind blowing from land toward the water during the night in coastal areas.
20. La Niña - an episode of strong trade winds unusually low sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern pacific. The opposite of El Niño.
21. low - a center of low pressure characterized by cyclonic winds.
22. mercury barometer - a mercury filled glass tube in which the height of the mercury column is a measure of air pressure.
23. monsoon - seasonal reversal of wind direction associated with large continents, especially Asia. In winter, the wind blows from land to sea; in summer, from sea to land.
24. mountain breeze - the nightly downslope winds commonly encountered in mountain valleys.
25. polar easterlies - In the global pattern of prevailing winds. winds that blow from the polar high toward the subpolar low. These winds, however should not be thought of as persistent winds such as the trade winds.
26. polar front - the stormy frontal zone separating air masses of polar origin from air masses of polar origin from air masses.
27. polar high - anticyclones that are assumed to occupy the inner polar regions and are believed to be thermally induced at least in part.
28. pressure gradient - the amount of pressure change occurring over a given distance.
29. pressure tendency - the nature of the change in atmospheric pressure over the past several hours. It can be a useful aid in short range weather prediction.
30. prevailing wind - a wind that consistently blows from one direction more than from another.
31. Santa Ana - the local name given a chinook wind in southern California.
32. sea breeze - a local wind blowing from the sea during the afternoon in coastal areas.
33. Southern Oscillation - the seesaw pattern of atmospheric pressure between the eastern and western pacific.
34. subpolar low - low pressure located at about the latitudes of the Arctic and Antarctic circles.
35. subtropical high - not a continuous belt of high pressure but rather several semipermanent, anticyclonic centers characterized by subsidence and divergence located roughly between latitudes 25 and 35 degrees.
36. trade winds - two belts of winds that blow almost constantly from easterly directions and are located on the equatorward sides of the subtropical highs.
37. valley breeze - the daily upslope winds commonly encountered in a mountain valley.
38. westerlies - the dominant west to east motion of the atmosphere that characterizes the regions on the pole ward side of the subtropical highs.
39. wind - air flowing horizontally with respect to earth's surface.
40. wind vane - an instrument used to determine wind direction.