Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS)
A web-based suite of accurate and information-rich forecast products. They display the magnitude and uncertainty of occurrence of floods or droughts, from hours to days and months in advance. These graphical products are useful information and planning tools for many economic and emergency managers.
Area Wide Hydrologic Prediction System
(Abbrev. AWHPS) - A computer system which automatically ingests areal flash flood guidance values and WSR-88D products and displays this data and other hydrologic information on a map background.
Composite Hydrograph
A stream discharge hydrograph which includes base flow, or one which corresponds to a net rain storm of duration longer than one unit period.
Curtain Drain
In hydrologic terms, a drain constructed at the upper end of the area to be drained, to intercept surface or ground water flowing toward the protected area from higher ground, and carry it away from the area. Also called an Intercepting Drain.
In hydrologic terms, thin branch-like growth of ice on the water surface.
In hydrologic terms, the form of the drainage pattern of a stream and it's tributaries when it follows a treelike shape, with the main trunk, branches, and twigs corresponding to the main stream, tributaries, and subtributaries, respectively, of the stream.
Equipment that measures and records the size distribution of raindrops.
Distribution (Hydro)Graph
In hydrologic terms, a unit hydrograph of direct runoff modified to show the proportions of the volume of runoff that occur during successive equal units of time.
The regions on either side of the equator where air pressure is low and winds are light.
(Abbrev. DWNDFT) - A small-scale column of air that rapidly sinks toward the ground, usually accompanied by precipitation as in a shower or thunderstorm. A downburst is the result of a strong downdraft.
Drainage Area
In hydrologic terms, an area having a common outlet for its surface runoff (also see Watershed and Catchment Area).
Drainage Basin
In hydrologic terms, a part of the surface of the earth that is occupied by a drainage system, which consists of a surface stream or a body of impounded surface water together with all tributary surface streams and bodies of impounded surface water.
Drainage Density
In hydrologic terms, the relative density of natural drainage channels in a given area. It is usually expressed in terms of miles of natural drainage or stream channel per square mile of area, and obtained by dividing the total length of stream channels in the area in miles by the area in square miles.
Drainage Divide
In hydrologic terms, the boundary line, along a topographic ridge or along a subsurface formation, separating two adjacent drainage basins.
A valley or basin from which air drains continuously during nighttime rather than becoming trapped or pooled.
Drains (Relief Wells)
In hydrologic terms, a vertical well or borehole, usually downstream of impervious cores, grout curtains or cutoffs, designed to collect and direct seepage through or under a dam to reduce uplift pressure under or within a dam. A line of such wells forms a "drainage curtain".
In hydrologic terms, the lowering of the surface elevation of a body of water, the water surface of a well, the water table, or the piezometric surface adjacent to the well, resulting from the withdrawl of water therefrom.
In hydrologic terms, the scooping, or suction of underwater material from a harbor, or waterway. Dredging is one form of channel modification. It is often too expensive to be practical because the dredged material must be disposed of somewhere and the stream will usually fill back up with sediment in a few years. Dredging is usually undertaken only on large rivers to maintain a navigation channel.
Drifting Ice
In hydrologic terms, pieces of floating ice moving under the action of wind and/ or currents.
Drifting Snow
Drifting snow is an uneven distribution of snowfall/snow depth caused by strong surface winds. Drifting snow may occur during or after a snowfall. Drifting snow is usually associated with blowing snow.
Precipitation consisting of numerous minute droplets of water less than 0.5 mm (500 micrometers) in diameter.
Drop-size Distribution
The distribution of rain drops or cloud droplets of specified sizes.
Drought is a deficiency of moisture that results in adverse impacts on people, animals, or vegetation over a sizeable area. NOAA together with its partners provides short- and long-term Drought Assessments.
Drought Assessments
At the end of each month, CPC issues a long-term seasonal drought assessment. On Thursdays of each week, the CPC together with NOAA National Climatic Data Center, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, issues a weekly drought assessment called the United States Drought Monitor. These assessments review national drought conditions and indicate potential impacts for various economic sectors, such as agriculture and forestry.
Drought Index
In hydrologic terms, computed value which is related to some of the cumulative effects of a prolonged and abnormal moisture deficiency. (An index of hydrological drought corresponding to levels below the mean in streams, lakes, and reservoirs.)
Dry Adiabat
A line of constant potential temperature on a thermodynamic chart.
Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate
The rate at which the temperature of a parcel of dry air decreases as the parcel is lifted in the atmosphere. The dry adiabatic lapse rate (abbreviated DALR) is 5.5°F per 1000 ft or 9.8°C per km.
Dry Crack
In hydrologic terms, a crack visible at the surface but not going right through the ice cover, and therefore it is dry.
Dry Floodproofing
In hydrologic terms, a dry floodproofed building is sealed against floodwaters. All areas below the flood protection level are made watertight. Walls are coated with waterproofing compounds or plastic sheeting. Openings like doors windows, sewer lines and vents are closed, whether permanently, with removable shields, or with sandbags. The flood protection level should be no more than 2 or 3 feet above the top of the foundation because the buildings walls and floors cannot withstand the pressure of deeper water.
Dry Line
A boundary separating moist and dry air masses, and an important factor in severe weather frequency in the Great Plains. It typically lies north-south across the central and southern high Plains states during the spring and early summer, where it separates moist air from the Gulf of Mexico (to the east) and dry desert air from the southwestern states (to the west). The dry line typically advances eastward during the afternoon and retreats westward at night. However, a strong storm system can sweep the dry line eastward into the Mississippi Valley, or even further east, regardless of the time of day. A typical dry line passage results in a sharp drop in humidity (hence the name), clearing skies, and a wind shift from south or southeasterly to west or southwesterly. (Blowing dust and rising temperatures also may follow, especially if the dry line passes during the daytime. These changes occur in reverse order when the dry line retreats westward. Severe and sometimes tornadic thunderstorms often develop along a dry line or in the moist air just to the east of it, especially when it begins moving eastward.
Dry Line Bulge
A bulge in the dry line, representing the area where dry air is advancing most strongly at lower levels. Severe weather potential is increased near and ahead of a dry line bulge.
Dry Line Storm
Any thunderstorm that develops on or near a dry line.
Dry Microburst
A microburst with little or no precipitation reaching the ground; most common in semi-arid regions. They may or may not produce lightning. Dry microbursts may develop in an otherwise fair-weather pattern; visible signs may include a cumulus cloud or small Cb with a high base and high-level virga, or perhaps only an orphan anvil from a dying rain shower. At the ground, the only visible sign might be a dust plume or a ring of blowing dust beneath a local area of virga.
Dry Punch
[Slang], a surge of drier air; normally a synoptic-scale or mesoscale process. A dry punch at the surface results in a dry line bulge. A dry punch aloft above an area of moist air at low levels often increases the potential for severe weather.
Dry Slot
A zone of dry (and relatively cloud-free) air which wraps east- or northeastward into the southern and eastern parts of a synoptic scale or mesoscale low pressure system. A dry slot generally is seen best on satellite photographs.
Dry Thunderstorm
Generally a high-based thunderstorm when lightning is observed, but little if any precipitation reaches the ground. Most of the rain produced by the thunderstorm evaporates into relatively dry air beneath the storm cell. May also be referred to as "dry lightning".
Dry Weather Flow
In hydrologic terms, streamflow which results from precipitation that infiltrates into the soil and eventually moves through the soil to the stream channel. This is also referred to as baseflow, or ground water flow.
1. An adiabatic process in a hypothetical atmosphere in which no moisture is present. 2. An adiabatic process in which no condensation of its water vapor occurs and no liquid water is present.
Ensemble Hydrologic Forecasting
In hydrologic terms, a process whereby a continuous hydrologic model is successively executed several times for the same forecast period by use of varied data input scenarios, or a perturbation of a key variable state for each model run. A common method employed to obtain a varied data input scenario is to use the historical meteorological record, with the assumption that several years of observed data covering the time period beginning on the current date and extending through the forecast period comprises a reasonable estimate of the possible range of future conditions.
Equilibrium Drawdown
In hydrologic terms, the ultimate, constant drawdown for a steady rate of pumped discharge.
Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
An experimental drought monitoring and early warning guidance tool. It examines how anomalous the atmospheric evaporative demand is for a given location and across a time period of interest.
Forward Flank Downdraft
The main region of downdraft in the forward, or leading, part of a supercell, where most of the heavy precipitation is.
Freezing Drizzle
A drizzle that falls as a liquid but freezes into glaze or rime upon contact with the cold ground or surface structures.
Freezing Drizzle Advisory
Issued when freezing rain or freezing drizzle is forecast but a significant accumulation is not expected. However, even small amounts of freezing rain or freezing drizzle may cause significant travel problems.
French Drain
In hydrologic terms, an underground passageway for water through the interstices among stones placed loosely in a trench
On a buoy report, direction, in degrees clockwise from true North, of the GSP, reported at the last hourly 10-minute segment.
In hydrologic terms, the branch of hydrology relating to subsurface, or subterranean waters.
Ground Water Hydrology
The branch of hydrology that specializes in ground water; its occurrence and movements; its replenishment and depletion; the properties of rocks that control ground water movement and storage; and the methods of investigation and utilization of ground water
Ground Water Overdraft
Pumpage of ground water in excess of safe yield.
An Hourly Digital Rainfall Product of the WSR-88D.
Height Above the Nearest Drainage (HAND)
A relative elevation methodology used in inundation mapping, which determines the height of every point on a land surface above the nearest stream reach to which it drains.
HSA (Hydrologic Service Area)
A geographical area assigned to Weather Service Forecast Office's/Weather Forecast Office's that embraces one or more rivers.
Hydraulic Fill Dam
In hydrologic terms, a dam constructed of materials, often dredged, that are conveyed and placed by suspension in flowing water
Hydraulic Flow
Atmospheric flow that is similar in character to the flow of water over an obstacle.
Hydraulic Grade Line
In hydrologic terms, a line whose plotted ordinate position represents the sum of pressure head plus elevation head for the various positions along a given fluid flow path, such as along a pipeline or a ground water streamline.
Hydraulic Head
In hydrologic terms,
(1) The height of the free surface of a body of water above a given point beneath the surface.
(2) The height of the water level at the headworks, or an upstream point, of a waterway, and the water surface at a given point downstream.
(3) The height of a hydraulic grade line above the center line of a pressure pipe, at a given point.
Hydraulic Jump
A steady disturbance in the lee of a mountain, where the airflow passing over the mountain suddenly changes from a region of low depth and high velocity to a region of high depth and low velocity.
Hydraulic Permeability
In hydrologic terms, the flow of water through a unit cross-sectional area of soil normal to the direction of flow when the hydraulic gradient is unity.
An inter­disci­plinary science involving the study and analysis of the inter­relation­ships between the atmo­spheric and land phases of water as it moves through the hydro­logic cycle.
In hydrologic terms, a graph showing the water level (stage), discharge, or other property of a river volume with respect to time.
Hydrograph Separation
In hydrologic terms, the process where the storm hydrograph is separated into baseflow components and surface runoff components.
Hydrographic Survey
In hydrologic terms, an instrumental survey to measure and determine characteristics of streams and other bodies of water within an area, including such things as location, areal extent, and depth of water in lakes or the ocean; the width, depth, and course of streams; position and elevation of high water marks; location and depth of wells, etc.
Hydrologic Budget
In hydrologic terms, an accounting of the inflow to, outflow from, and storage in, a hydrologic unit, such as a drainage basin, aquifer, soil zone, lake, reservoir, or irrigation project.
Hydrologic Cycle
The description of the transport of water substance between the earth, the atmosphere, and the seas.
In hydrologic terms, the natural pathway water follows as it changes between liquid, solid, and gaseous states.
Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast System (HEFS)
A probabilistic forecast tool with the goals to provide hydrologic forecasts including an analysis of “probable outcomes” and to minimize biases in the atmospheric models and in the hydrologic models.
Hydrologic Equation
In hydrologic terms, the water inventory equation (Inflow = Outflow + Change in Storage) which expresses the basic principle that during a given time interval the total inflow to an area must equal the total outflow plus the net change in storage.
Hydrologic Model
In hydrologic terms, a conceptual or physically-based procedure for numerically simulating a process or processes which occur in a watershed.
Hydrologic Service Area
HSA. A geographical area assigned to Weather Service Forecast Office's/Weather Forecast Office's that embraces one or more rivers.
The scientific study of the waters of the earth, especially with relation to the effects of precipitation and evaporation upon the occurrence and character of water on or below the land surface.
A particle of condensed water (liquid, snow, ice, graupel, hail) in the atmosphere.
In hydrologic terms, individuals who have the combined knowledge in the fields of both meteorology and hydrology which enables them to study and solve hydrologic problems where meteorology is a factor.
An inter­disci­plinary science involving the study and analysis of the inter­relation­ships between the atmo­spheric and land phases of water as it moves through the hydro­logic cycle.
Hydrostatic Head
In hydrologic terms, a measure of pressure at a given point in a liquid in terms of the vertical height of a column of the same liquid which would produce the same pressure
A line connecting points of equal dew point temperature.
Keetch-Byrum Drought Index
An index used to gage the severity of drought in deep duff and organic soils.
Left Front Quadrant
Used interchangably with Left Exit Region; the area downstream from and to the left of an upper-level jet max (as would be viewed looking along the direction of flow). Upward motion and severe thunderstorm potential sometimes are increased in this area relative to the wind speed maximum. See also entrance region, right rear quadrant.
National Hydrologic Discussion (NHD)
A ten day national discussion which provides a holistic picture of current forecast guidance and analyses for hydrologic events in the United States.
Palmer Drought Severity Index
(Abbrev. PDSI) - an index used to gage the severity of drought conditions by using a water balance equation to track water supply and demand. This index is calculated weekly by the National Weather Service.
Pressure-driven Channeling
Channeling of wind in a valley by synoptic-scale pressure gradients superimposed along the valley's axis. Compare forced channeling.
The component of the complex signal that is 90 degrees out of phase with the inphase component. This component lies along the imaginary axis the complex plane.
Rear Flank Downdraft
A region of dry air subsiding on the back side of, and wrapping around, a mesocyclone. It often is visible as a clear slot wrapping around the wall cloud. Scattered large precipitation particles (rain and hail) at the interface between the clear slot and wall cloud may show up on radar as a hook or pendant; thus the presence of a hook or pendant may indicate the presence of an RFD.
Right Rear Quadrant
(Abbrev. RRQ) - Used interchangably with Right Entrance Region; the area upstream from and to the right of an upper-level jet max (as would be viewed looking along the direction of flow). Upward motion and severe thunderstorm potential sometimes are increased in this area relative to the wind speed maximum. See also exit region, left front quadrant.
Satellite Hydrology Program
A NOHRSC program that uses satellite data to generate areal extent of snow cover data over large areas of the western United States.
Service Hydrologist
The designated expert of the hydrology program at a WFO.
Sustained Overdraft
In hydrologic terms, long-term withdrawal from the aquifer of more water than is being recharged.
Terminal Aerodrome Forecast
This NWS aviation product is a concise statement of the expected meteorological conditions at an airport during a specified period (usually 24 hours). Each country is allowed to make modifications or exceptions to the code for use in each particular country. TAFs use the same weather code found in METAR weather reports.
Thermally Driven Circulation
A diurnally reversing closed cellular wind current resulting from horizontal temperature contrasts caused by different rates of heating or cooling over adjacent surfaces; includes along-slope, cross-valley, along-valley, mountain-plain and sea breeze circulations.
Tilted Updraft
A thunderstorm updraft which is not purely vertical but instead exhibits a slanted or tilted character. It is a sign of vertical wind shear, a favorable condition for severe storm development.
Unit Hydrograph
The discharge hydrograph from one inch of surface runoff distributed uniformly over the entire basin for a given time period
United States Drought Monitor (USDM)
A multi-agency product that defines and highlights the severity of drought across the ConUS and OConUS based on expert interpretation of a multitude of indices.
A small-scale current of rising air. If the air is sufficiently moist, then the moisture condenses to become a cumulus cloud or an individual tower of a towering cumulus or Cb.
An air pollution transport and diffusion model developed to determine pesticide drift from aerial spraying operations in valleys.

You can either type in the word you are looking for in the box below or browse by letter.


Browse by letter:

#  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z