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Words begining with "W"
Degrees west longitude,
referenced to the Greenwich (prime)
Water Vapor (aka Moisture)
Water in a gaseous form.
- In electricity, a periodic variation of an electric current or
- In physics, any of the series of advancing impulses set up by
a vibration, pulsation, or disturbance in air or some other
medium, as in the transmission of heat, light, sound, etc.
Physical distance of one period (wave repeat).
Atmospheric condition at any given time or place. Compare with
Weather Facsimile (WEFAX)
A system for transmitting visual reproductions of weather forecast
maps, temperature summaries, cloud analyses, etc. via radio waves.
WEFAX transmissions are relayed by NOAA's
- Clear: Sky cloud-free to 30 percent covered
- Sunny: Sunshine 70-100 percent of the day
- Partly sunny and partly cloudy: Both terms refer to 40 to 70
percent cloud cover partly sunny is used in the day; partly cloudy
is used at night
- Fog: A cloud on the ground. Fog is composed of billions of
tiny water droplets floating in the air.
- Snow: Precipitation of ice crystals
- Snow flurries: Intermittent snowfall that may result in little
- Sleet: Pellets of ice that form when rain or melting
snowflakes freeze while falling. (Occurs in cold weather; hail
usually occurs in summer.)
- Freezing rain: Rain that turns to ice on impact with the
- Rain: Extended period of precipitation. Associated with large
storm systems rather than single clouds or thunderstorms
- Showers: Brief interval of rain that does not affect a large
- Squall: Fast-moving thunderstorm or line of thunderstorms that
often can produce damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes
- Hail: Pieces of ice that fall from thunderstorms. Hail often
is composed of concentric rings of ice that form as the particle
moves through wet and "dry" areas of the thunderstorm.
Statement about a particularly dangerous weather system that may
occur at some speclfied time in the future.
Statement that dangerous weather is likely or is occurring. Take
See weather facsimile.
Australian term for tropical cyclone,
A natural motion of the air, especially a noticeable current of
air moving in the atmosphere parallel to the Earth's surface. Winds
are caused by unequal heating and cooling of the Earth and atmosphere
due to absorbed, incoming solar
radiation and infrared radiation
lost to space - as modified by such effects as the Coriolis
force, the condensation of water
vapor, the formation of clouds,
the interaction of air masses and frontal systems, friction over land
and water. etc.
The chart below is an abbreviated version of the Beaufort Wind
Scale, named for the British admiral who invented it in 1805.
MPH * Description Effects
0-1 0 calm smoke rises straight up;
water like mirror.
1-3 1 light air ripples on the water
4-7 2 slight breeze leaves rustle; small wavelets
8-12 3 gentle breeze leaves & twigs in motion;
13-18 4 moderate breeze small branches move
small waves 2-4 feet.
19-24 5 fresh breeze small trees sway;
whitecaps 4-8 feet tall
25-31 6 strong large branches sway
breeze whitecaps 8-13 feet tall
32-38 7 near gale whole trees in motion
waves 13 feet tall
39-46 8 gale twigs break off trees
waves up to 16 feet tall
47-54 9 strong gale branches break;
waves up to 21 feet
55-63 10 whole gale trees blown over;
waves up to 26 feet.
64-73 11 storm wide spread damage;
waves up to 35 feet tall
74-up 12 hurricane wide spread damage
large ship sunk.
* Beaufort Number
The wind can reduce significantly the amount of heat your body
retains. The following wind chill chart does not take into account
such variables as type of clothing worn, amount of exposed flesh, and
physical condition, all of which would alter body heat.
(mph) 35 30 25 20 15 10
5 32 27 22 16 11 6
10 22 16 10 3 -3 -9
15 16 9 2 -5 -11 -18
20 12 4 -3 -10 -17 -24
25 8 1 -7 -15 -22 -29
30 6 -2 -10 -18 -25 -33
35 4 4 -12 -20 -27 -35
40 3 -5 -13 -21 -29 -37
45 2 -6 -14 -22 -30 -38
Simple Wind Chill Equation
Tw = TA - 1.5 x VA
Tw = wind chill
TA = air temperature
VA = wind speed
For example, if the temperature is 20 degrees and the wind 30
Tw = 20 - 1.5 x 30
Tw = 20 - 45
Tw = -25 degrees F
An instrument used to indicate wind direction.
Arrow representing wind velocity. The arrow points in the
direction of the wind. The length of the arrow is proportional to
Vector term that includes both wind speed and wind direction.
Term used to denote a region of the electromagnetic
spectrum where the atmosphere does not absorb radiation
See World Ocean Circulation Experiment.
A "smart" computer terminal that serves as a primary scientific
research tool, offering direct access to experimental apparatus,
information files, internal computers, and output devices, usually
connected to an external communications network.
World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE)
A study of the general global circulation of the oceans. It
emphasizes the measurements and understanding needed to describe and
understand the circulation, to simulate it, and to predict its
changes in response to climatic changes.
World Weather Watch
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