Weather A - Z (J-M)

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Weather A - Z (J-M)


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Jet Stream - A strong high level wind found in the atmosphere that can reach speeds in excess of 200 mph, usually occurring 6 to 9 miles above the ground. These winds often steer the movement of surface air masses and weather systems.

La Niña - A widespread cooling of the surface waters of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. It’s the opposite of El Niño.

Lake Effect Snow - Localized snow that forms on the downwind side of large lakes. It’s common in the late fall and winter in the Great Lakes region when cold, dry air picks up moisture from the unfrozen lake surfaces.

Latitude - The position of the earth’s surface north or south of the equator.

Leeward Side - The side of an object that is facing away from the direction that the wind is blowing.

Lightning - An enormous and very hot spark of electricity produced by thunderstorms. The lightning bolt itself can heat the air through which it travels to 54,000° F.

Longitude - The position of the Earth’s surface east or west of the Greenwich meridian.

Low Pressure System - A whirling mass of warm, moist air that generally brings stormy weather with strong winds. When viewed from above, winds spiral into a low-pressure center in a counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere.

Macroburst - A large downdraft of air with an outflow diameter of 2.5 miles or greater and damaging winds lasting from 5 to 20 minutes. This may reach tornado intensity.

Microburst - A small downdraft of air with an outflow diameter of less than 2.5 miles with the peak winds lasting from 2 to 5 minutes. This can effect a plane’s performance.

Meridional Flow - It’s when the winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere blow from a North to South component which usually creates a buckling effect in the jet stream.

Meteor - It’s a shooting star. The brief streak of light as an object from space plunges into the Earth's atmosphere.

Meteor Shower - An event when hundreds of meteors or shooting stars appear in the sky at a specific time.

Meteorite - It's a meteor that reaches the Earth's surface.

Meteorologist - A scientist who studies and predicts the weather. Meteorologists use sophisticated equipment, like Doppler radar and supercomputers, but they also rely on old-fashioned sky watching.

Meteorology - The study of the atmosphere and all its phenomena, including weather and how to forecast it.

Mist - Water droplets so small that they are floating in the air. Because mist droplets do not fall, mist is a type of fog.

Monsoon - A seasonal wind, found especially in Asia that reverses direction between summer and winter and often brings heavy rains.

Muggy - The description of warm and humid air.
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