Weather and Climate - Introductory

If you've got your head in the clouds, this list of words related to weather and climate will be like a ray of sunshine. Review forms of precipitation, temperature, climate change, and more. You don't need to be a meteorologist to know that the forecast calls for vocabulary!

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definitions & notes only words
  1. air pressure
    the pressure exerted by the atmosphere
  2. altitude
    elevation above sea level or above the earth's surface
  3. atmosphere
    the mass of air surrounding the Earth
  4. axis
    the center around which something rotates
  5. barometer
    an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure
  6. biosphere
    the regions of the Earth where living organisms exist
  7. blizzard
    a storm with widespread snowfall accompanied by strong winds
  8. carbon dioxide
    a heavy odorless colorless gas formed during respiration and by the decomposition of organic substances; absorbed from the air by plants in photosynthesis
  9. Celsius scale
    a temperature scale that defines the freezing point of water as 0 degrees and the boiling point of water as 100 degrees
  10. circulation
    free movement or passage
  11. cirrus
    a wispy white cloud at a high altitude
  12. climate
    the weather in some location averaged over a period of time
  13. climate change
    a change in the world's climate
  14. cloud
    a visible mass of water or ice particles suspended at a considerable altitude
  15. cold front
    the front of an advancing mass of colder air
  16. condensation
    atmospheric moisture that has changed from a gas
  17. cumulus
    a globular cloud
  18. current
    a steady flow of a fluid or gas
  19. cycle
    a periodically repeated sequence of events
  20. cyclone
    an atmospheric system in which air circulates rapidly
  21. desertification
    a gradual transformation into arid, uninhabitable land
  22. dew point
    the temperature at which the water vapor in the air becomes saturated and condensation begins
  23. drought
    a shortage of rainfall
  24. elevation
    distance of something above a reference point
  25. equator
    an imaginary line around the Earth forming a great circle
  26. evaporation
    the process of becoming a suspension of particles in the air
  27. Fahrenheit
    of or relating to a temperature scale proposed by the inventor of the mercury thermometer
  28. Fahrenheit scale
    a temperature scale that defines the freezing point of water as 32 degrees and the boiling point of water a 212 degrees
  29. flash flood
    a sudden local flood of great volume and short duration
  30. forecast
    a prediction about how something will develop
  31. front
    phenomenon at the boundary between two different air masses
  32. glacier
    a slowly moving mass of ice
  33. global warming
    a rise in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere
  34. greenhouse effect
    warming when solar radiation is trapped by the atmosphere
  35. hailstone
    small pellet of ice that falls during a hailstorm
  36. heat
    a form of energy transferred by a difference in temperature
  37. heat wave
    a wave of unusually hot weather
  38. humidity
    wetness in the atmosphere
  39. hurricane
    a severe tropical cyclone usually with heavy rains and winds
  40. ice age
    any period of time during which glaciers covered a large part of the earth's surface
  41. latitude
    an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator
  42. lightning
    an electric discharge between clouds or from cloud to earth
  43. longitude
    the angular distance from the prime meridian at Greenwich
  44. meteorologist
    a specialist who studies weather conditions
  45. meteorology
    the earth science dealing with phenomena of the atmosphere
  46. monsoon
    rainy season in southern Asia
  47. ozone layer
    a layer in the stratosphere (at approximately 20 miles) that contains a concentration of ozone sufficient to block most ultraviolet radiation from the sun
  48. polar
    located at or coming from the earth's extremities
  49. precipitation
    the falling to earth of any form of water
  50. pressure
    the force exerted by the atmosphere
  51. rain gauge
    gauge consisting of an instrument to measure the quantity of precipitation
  52. rain shadow
    an area that has little precipitation because some barrier causes the winds to lose their moisture before reaching it
  53. satellite
    man-made equipment that orbits around the earth or the moon
  54. sea breeze
    a cooling breeze from the sea (during the daytime)
  55. sea level
    level of the ocean's surface
  56. season
    one of the natural periods into which the year is divided by the equinoxes and solstices or atmospheric conditions
  57. seasonal
    occurring at or dependent on a particular season
  58. sleet
    precipitation consisting of a mixture of rain and snow
  59. smog
    air pollution by a mixture of smoke and fog
  60. solar
    relating to the sun or utilizing the energies of the sun
  61. stratus
    a large dark low cloud
  62. temperate
    mild or free from extremes
  63. temperature
    the degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment
  64. thermometer
    measuring instrument for measuring temperature
  65. tilt
    property possessed by a line that departs from the vertical
  66. tornado
    a violently destructive windstorm occurring over land
  67. tropical
    relating to part of the Earth's surface with hot climate
  68. tropical rain forest
    a rain forest in a tropical area
  69. vegetation
    all the plant life in a particular region or period
  70. warm front
    the front of an advancing mass of warmer air
  71. water vapor
    water in a vaporous form diffused in the atmosphere but below boiling temperature
  72. weather
    atmospheric conditions such as temperature and precipitation
  73. weather map
    (meteorology) a map showing the principal meteorological elements at a given time and over an extended region
  74. wind
    air moving from high pressure to low pressure
  75. wind vane
    mechanical device attached to an elevated structure
Created on February 19, 2017 (updated September 10, 2018)

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