Weather Word of the Day | weatherology°
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Weather Word of the Day

October 16, 2021

Cryosphere - This term refers collectively to the portions of the Earth where water is in solid form. This includes areas with snow cover, floating ice, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, along with areas of frozen ground. The area of the cryosphere shrinks during the summer season and then grows during the winter.

October 15, 2021

G.O.E.S. - An acronym that stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. A geostationary satellite remains fixed over a specific area of the globe at an altitude of around 22,400 miles above the Earth's surface. These satellites give meteorologists the ability to constantly track weather systems that impact the region below them.

October 14, 2021

Tropic of Cancer - The Tropic of Cancer is a line of latitude circling the Earth at approximately 23.5 degrees north of the equator. It is the northernmost point on Earth where the sun's rays can appear directly overhead. This occurs each year at noon on the day of the summer solstice.

October 13, 2021

Ground clutter - Radar returns that are received from stationary ground-based targets. Most ground clutter is located 30 miles or less from the radar site, unless a temperature inversion is present. When a temperature inversion is present, the radar beam bends downward towards the earth's surface, creating ground clutter much farther away from the radar site. Common sources of ground clutter are hills, buildings, wind mills, and even wave crests at sea.

October 12, 2021

Cirrostratus clouds - A widespread, thin high level cloud that is composed of ice crystals. These clouds form a thin veil-like layer over the entire sky. When sunlight or moonlight passes through these clouds, a ring or halo may form. Many times cirrostratus clouds arrive 12-24 hours before a rain or snow event.

October 11, 2021

Lenticular clouds - The scientific name is altocumulus standing lenticular clouds. These lens shaped clouds are the most common cloud type to be mistaken for UFO's. They are most common near mountain ranges, as they form when strong winds blow up and over the top of a mountain range. Even though the winds within these clouds are moving very quickly, the cloud formation itself remains stationary. The presence of a lenticular cloud signifies an area of severe turbulence in the atmosphere, as pilots avoid them when possible.

October 10, 2021

Albedo - The percentage of solar radiation that is reflected by a surface. An albedo of 100 means that 100% of the sun's energy is reflected back to space, while an albedo of 0 refers to a surface that absorbs all the sun's energy. The whiter the surface is, the higher the albedo will be. Snowpack has a high albedo.