Weather Word of the Day
March 30, 2020
Gust front -
The leading edge of gusty winds flowing out of a thunderstorm. Gust fronts form when rain-cooled air masses accelerate downward and out ahead of a thunderstorm. When a gust front passes through, temperatures fall as winds increase.
March 29, 2020
The process by which light slows down when passing through a medium, resulting in a bending or change of direction. Refraction explains many atmospheric phenomenon that occur in the sky. For example, sun dogs are seen due to the refraction of sunlight that occurs when there are numerous ice crystals suspended in the sky. Rainbows are also produced by the refraction of sunlight when it passes through raindrops.
March 28, 2020
In general, this term refers to a tornado occurring over water. Specifically, it refers to a small, relatively weak rotating column of air over water beneath a cumulonimbus or towering cumulus cloud. Waterspouts are most common over tropical and subtropical waters. Weak waterspouts are called fair weather waterspouts, while dangerous ones are called tornadic waterspouts.
March 27, 2020
An optical effect created by the refraction of light caused by extreme temperature differences between the surface to just above it. The most common mirages look like pools of water in the distance over hot sand or pavement.
March 26, 2020
Water that has condensed onto objects near the ground when the surface temperature of the object falls below the dew point. The most common surfaces that dew will form on are grasses and other vegetation. Dew can be an important source of moisture for plants during a drought.
March 25, 2020
Beaufort scale -
An older format that gives a general description of the wind speed using casual observations. It was developed in 1805 by Sir Francis Beaufort of the Royal Navy. The scale ranges from 0-12 with 0 being calm and 12 being hurricane-force. The scale can be used at sea or on land.
March 24, 2020
Clear Slot -
In respect to severe thunderstorms, a clear slot is a local region of clearing skies or reduced cloud cover. This oftentimes indicates that there is an intrusion of drier air, oftentimes noted by a bright area with higher cloud bases on the west or southwest side of a wall cloud. A clear slot is believed to be a visual indication of a rear flank downdraft