Acid Precipitation
Precipitation, such as rain, snow or sleet, containing relatively high concentrations of acid-forming chemicals that have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapor; harmful to the environment.
Alberta Clipper
A fast moving low pressure system that moves southeast out of Canadian Province of Alberta (southwest Canada) through the Plains, Midwest, and Great Lakes region usually during the winter. This low pressure area is usually accompanied by light snow, strong winds, and colder temperatures. Another variation of the same system is called a "Saskatchewan Screamer".
Antedecent Precipitation Index
(Abbrev. API) - an index of moisture stored within a drainage basin before a storm.
A Principal User with dedicated communications to a WSR-88D unit.
Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System. This system replaced the Automation of Field Operations and Services (AFOS). This system allows the operator to overlay meteorological data from a variety of sources.
Effective Precipitation
1) That part of the precipitation that produces runoff.

2) A weighted average of current and antecedent precipitation that is "effective" in correlating with runoff.

3) That part of the precipitation falling on an irrigated area that is effective in meeting the consumptive use requirements.
Energy Dissipator
In hydrologic terms, a structure which slows fast-moving spillway flows in order to prevent erosion of the stream channel.
Flash Multiplicity
The number of return strokes in a lightning flash.
Float Recording Precipitation gage
In hydrologic terms, a rain gage where the rise of a float within the instrument with increasing rainfall is recorded. Some of these gages must be emptied manually, while others employ a self-starting siphon to empty old rainfall amounts.
Hourly Precipitation Data (HPD)
It contains data on nearly 3,000 hourly precipitation stations (National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration, and cooperative observer stations) in inches to tenths or inches to hundredths at local standard time. HPD includes maximum precipitation for nine (9) time periods from 15 minutes to 24 hours, for selected stations.
Ice pellets (sleet). See "PL"
Mean Areal Precipitation
(abbrev. MAP)- The average rainfall over a given area, generally expressed as an average depth over the area.
Mixed Precipitation
Any of the following combinations of freezing and frozen precipitation: snow and sleet, snow and freezing rain, or sleet alone. Rain may also be present.
Multiple Doppler Analysis
The use of more than one radar (and hence more than one look angle) to reconstruct spatial distributions of the 2D or 3D wind field, which cannot be measured from a single radar alone. Includes dual Doppler, triple Doppler, and overdetermined multiple Doppler analysis.
Multiple Vortex Tornado
A tornado in which two or more condensation funnels or debris clouds are present at the same time, often rotating about a common center or about each other. Multiple-vortex tornadoes can be especially damaging.
Multipurpose Reservoir
In hydrologic terms, a reservoir constructed and equipped to provide storage and release of water for two or more purposes such as flood control, power development, navigation, irrigation, recreation, pollution abatement, domestic water supply, etc.
Municipal Use of Water
In hydrologic terms, the various uses to which water is put to use developed urban areas, including domestic use, industrial use, street sprinkling, fire protection, etc.
Orographic Precipitation
Precipitation which is caused by hills or mountain ranges deflecting the moisture-laden air masses upward, causing them to cool and precipitate their moisture.
Point Precipitation
Precipitation at a particular site, in contrast to the mean precipitation over an area.
Precipitable Water
Measure of the depth of liquid water at the surface that would result after precipitating all of the water vapor in a vertical column over a given location, usually extending from the surface to 300 mb.
The process where water vapor condenses in the atmosphere to form water droplets that fall to the Earth as rain, sleet, snow, hail, etc.
Precipitation Attenuation
The loss of energy that radar beam experiences as it passes through an area of precipitation.
Precipitation Mode
The standard, or default, operational mode of the WSR-88D. The radar automatically switches into precipitation mode from clear-air mode if the measured reflectivity exceeds a specific threshold value. The precipitation mode of NEXRAD is more sensitive than previous weather radars. The minimum detectable reflectivity in NEXRAD's precipitation mode is 5 dBZ, compared to 28 dBZ with the old WSR-57.
Precipitation Processing System
The WSR-88D system that generates 1-hour running, 3-hourly, and running storm total precipitation accumulations. Five functional steps are performed to calculate the best estimate of precipitation: 1) development of a sectorized hybrid scan, 2) conversion to precipitation rate, 3) precipitation accumulation, 4) adjustment using rain gages, 5) product update.
Probability of Precipitation
(Abbrev. PoP)- The probability that precipitation will be reported at a certain location during a specified period of time.
Quantitative Precipitation Estimate (QPE)
A spatial and temporal analysis estimating the amount of precipitation that has occurred using a variety of techniques including observational and remote sensing data.
Quantitative Precipitation Forecast
A spatial and temporal precipitation forecast that will predict the potential amount of future precipitation for a specified region, or area.
Rip Current
A relatively small-scale surf-zone current moving away from the beach. Rip currents form as waves disperse along the beach causing water to become trapped between the beach and a sandbar or other underwater feature. The water converges into a narrow, river-like channel moving away from the shore at high speed.
Rip Tide
Riparian Zone
In hydrologic terms, a stream and all the vegetation on its banks.
Storm Total Precipitation
This radar image is an estimate of accumulated rainfall since the last time there was a one-hour, or more, break in precipitation. It is used to locate flood potential over urban or rural areas, estimate total basin runoff and provide rainfall accumulations for the duration of the event and is available only for the short range (out to 124 nm). To determine accumulated precipitation at greater distances you should link to an adjacent radar.
Summation Principle
This principle states that the sky cover at any level is equal to the summation of the sky cover of the lowest layer plus the additional sky cover provided at all successively higher layers up to and including the layer in question.
Tipping-Bucket Rain Gage
A precipitation gage where collected water is funneled into a two compartment bucket; 0.01, 0.1 mm, or some other designed quantity of rain will fill one compartment and overbalance the bucket so that it tips, emptying into a reservoir and moving the second compartment into place beneath the funnel. As the bucket is tipped, it actuates an electric circuit.
Triple Doppler
Since any wind has three components (say, in the x, y and z directions), and a single radar measures in only one direction (radial), a single radar cannot give the 3D winds everywhere it samples. However, if three different radars view a storm from three different locations, the 3 measured radial velocities can be transformed into the actual 3D wind field.
Triple Point
The intersection point between two boundaries (dry line, outflow boundary, cold front, etc.), often a focus for thunderstorm development. Triple point also may refer to a point on the gust front of a supercell, where the warm moist inflow, the rain-cooled outflow from the forward flank downdraft, and the rear flank downdraft all intersect; this point is a favored location for tornado development (or redevelopment).
Video Integrator and Processor, which contours radar reflectivity (in dBZ) into six VIP levels:

Voluntary Observing Ship Program
(VOS) - An international voluntary marine observation program under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Observations are coded in a special format known as the ships synoptic code, or "BBXX" format. They are then distributed for use by meteorologists in weather forecasting, by oceanographers, ship routing services, fishermen, and many others.
Weighing-Type Precipitation Gage
A rain gage that weighs the rain or snow which falls into a bucket set on a platform of a spring or lever balance. The increasing weight of its contents plus the bucket are recorded on a chart. The record thus shows the accumulation of precipitation.
Z\/R Relationship
An empirical relationship between radar reflectivity factor z (in mm^6 / m^3 ) and rain rate ( in mm / hr ), usually expressed as Z = A R^b; A and b are empirical constants.

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