Weather Word of the Day

August 26, 2019

Contrail - A contrail is the condensation trail that is left behind by a passing jet plane or rocket. Contrails form when hot humid air from jet exhaust mixes with ambient air that is colder and drier. Contrails are composed of water droplets, and can therefore be thought of as a man-made cloud streak.

August 25, 2019

Waterspout - In general, a tornado occurring over water. Specifically, it normally refers to a small, relatively weak rotating column of air over water beneath a Cb or towering cumulus cloud. Waterspouts are most common over tropical or subtropical waters.

August 24, 2019

Wxof - Pronounced wox-off, slang from when surface observations were coded differently, and WX0F meant dense fog causing literally 0 ft forward visibility

August 23, 2019

Ceiling - A term that is commonly used in aviation. Ceiling is the height of the lowest layer of broken or overcast skies. This lets pilots know how far above the surface they will be once they get below the cloud layer.

August 22, 2019

WX - Abbreviation for Weather

August 21, 2019

Scud clouds - Low, detached clouds caught in the outflow beneath the thunderstorm. These are often mistaken for funnel clouds or tornadoes.

August 20, 2019

Multi-Vortex Tornado - A tornado made up of several smaller funnels. Most, but not all, violent tornadoes are of this variety. The winds in subvortices can be over 100 mph stronger than the winds in the main tornado circulation. This is likely the reason that damage from tornadoes can vary greatly along its path.