Weather Word of the Day
May 9, 2021
An intense sand or dust storm that is driven by strong winds. Sand and dust can be driven to heights as high as 5000 feet during a particularly strong haboob. They are most common in arid regions, but can occur elsewhere during severe droughts. During the dust bowl years of the 1930's, haboobs were common across the Great Plains.
May 8, 2021
Cold Air Funnel -
A funnel cloud or at times a small, relatively weak tornado that can develop from a shower or thunderstorm. These occur when the air aloft is unusually cold for the time of year. Any tornadoes associated with cold air funnels tend to be weak and short-lived.
May 7, 2021
A local storm that spawns from a cumulonimbus cloud and is accompanied by lightning and thunder. The atmospheric conditions needed to produce a thunderstorm are warm and moist conditions in the low levels. It is estimated that around 1,800 thunderstorms are occurring on Earth at any given moment.
May 6, 2021
NCEP stands for National Center for Environmental Prediction. This is a branch of the National Weather Service located in College Park, MD. NCEP is responsible for developing, running, and maintaining the main American computer models.
May 5, 2021
Precipitable Water -
This takes into account all the water vapor that is found in the atmosphere from the surface to a specified height. Precipitable water is the amount of liquid precipitation that would occur if all the water vapor were condensed. The measurement is given in inches of rain. Precipitable water values are watched closely by meteorologists when diagnosing the potential for heavy rains during weather events.
May 4, 2021
The acronym for Next Generation Radar. The is the 3rd version of radar used in the US and it was installed in the late 1980's. The first radar network was installed in the late 1950's as the technology grew post WWII. Nexrad was the first radar system to utilize the doppler effect and therefore was able resolve wind motions within storms. This is the current model of Doppler radars being used across the US today.
May 3, 2021
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.