Depletion of snow and ice by melting and evaporation.
Arctic Oscillation
(abbrev. AO)- The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases. The negative phase brings higher-than-normal pressure over the polar region and lower-than-normal pressure at about 45 degrees north latitude. The negative phase allows cold air to plunge into the Midwestern United States and western Europe, and storms bring rain to the Mediterranean. The positive phase brings the opposite conditions, steering ocean storms farther north and bringing wetter weather to Alaska, Scotland and Scandinavia and drier conditions to areas such as California, Spain and the Middle East. In recent years research has shown, the Arctic Oscillation has been mostly in its positive phase. Some researchers argue that the North Atlantic Oscillation is in fact part of the AO.
Atmospheric Circulation Model
A mathematical model for quantitatively describing, simulating, and analyzing the structure of the circulation in the atmosphere and the underlying causes. Sometimes referred to as Atmospheric General Circulation Models or AGCMs.
The flow, or movement, of a fluid (e.g., water or air) in or through a given area or volume.
Correlated Shear
An output of the mesocyclone detection algorithm indicating a 3-dimensional shear region (i.e. vertically correlated) that is not symmetrical.
A measure of similarity between variables of functions.
Cyclonic Circulation
Circulation (or rotation) which is in the same sense as the Earth's rotation, i.e., counterclockwise (in the Northern Hemisphere) as would be seen from above. Nearly all mesocyclones and strong or violent tornadoes exhibit cyclonic rotation, but some smaller vortices, such as gustnadoes, occasionally rotate anticyclonically (clockwise). Compare with anticyclonic rotation.
Deep Percolation Loss
In hydrologic terms, water that percolates downward through the soil beyond the reach of plant roots.
General Circulation
The totality of large-scale organized motion for the entire global atmosphere.
General Circulation Models
(GCMs) - These computer simulations reproduce the Earth's weather patterns and can be used to predict change in the weather and climate.
In solar-terrestrial terms, the cellular structure of the photosphere visible at high spatial resolution.
High Latitudes
With specific reference to zones of geomagnetic activity, "high latitudes" refers to 50º to 80º geomagnetic.
Incoming solar radiation. Solar heating; sunshine.
To estimate a value within an interval between two known values. This technique is sometimes used with computer models for locations in between the model's "gridpoints."
Intraseasonal Oscillation
Oscillation with variability on a timescale less than a season. One example is the Madden-Julian Oscillation.
A National Weather Service convective precipitation descriptor for a 10 percent chance of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch). Isolated is used interchangeably with few.
Latitude- The location north or south in reference to the equator, which is designated at zero (0) degrees. Lines of latitude are parallel to the equator and circle the globe. The North and South poles are at 90 degrees North and South latitude.
Latent Heat
Heat absorbed or released during a change of phase at constant temperature and pressure.
Latent Heat Flux
The flux of heat from the earth's surface to the atmosphere that is associated with evaporation or condensation of water vapor at the surface; a component of the surface energy budget.
(abbrev. LAT) The location north or south in reference to the equator, which is designated at zero (0) degrees. Lines of latitude are parallel to the equator and circle the globe. The North and South poles are at 90 degrees North and South latitude.
Madden-Julian Oscillation
(abbrev. MJO)- Tropical rainfall exhibits strong variability on time scales shorter than the seasonal El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). These fluctuations in tropical rainfall often go through an entire cycle in 30-60 days, and are referred to as the Madden-Julian Oscillation or intraseasonal oscillations. The intraseasonal oscillations are a naturally occurring component of our coupled ocean-atmosphere system. They significantly affect the atmospheric circulation throughout the global Tropics and subtropics, and also strongly affect the wintertime jet stream and atmospheric circulation features over the North Pacific and western North America. As a result, they have an important impact on storminess and temperatures over the United States. During the summer these oscillations have a modulating effect on hurricane activity in both the Pacific and Atlantic basins.
Mid-Latitude Areas
Areas between 30o and 60o north and south of the Equator.
Middle Latitudes
1) The latitude belt roughly between 35 and 65 degrees North and South. Also referred to as the temperate region.
2) With specific reference to zones of geomagnetic activity, "middle latitudes" refers to 20º to 50º geomagnetic
North Atlantic Oscillation
(Abbrev. NAO) - the NAO is a large-scale fluctuation in atmospheric pressure between the subtropical high pressure system located near the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean and the sub-polar low pressure system near Iceland and is quantified in the NAO Index. The surface pressure drives surface winds and wintertime storms from west to east across the North Atlantic affecting climate from New England to western Europe as far eastward as central Siberia and eastern Mediterranean and southward to West Africa.
A shift in position of various high and low pressure systems that in climate terms is usually defined as an index (i.e., a single numerically-derived number, that represents the distribution of temperature and pressure over a wide ocean area, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, and Pacific Decadal Oscillation).
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
(Abbrev. PDO) - a recently described pattern of climate variation similar to ENSO though on a timescale of decades and not seasons. It is characterized by SST anomalies of one sign in the north-central Pacific and SST anomalies of another sign to the north and east near the Aleutians and the Gulf of Alaska. It primarily affects weather patterns and sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and northern Pacific Islands.
In hydrologic terms, the movement of water, under hydrostatic pressure, through the interstices of a rock or soil, except the movement through large openings such as caves
Percolation Path
In hydrologic terms, the course followed by water moving or percolating through any other permeable material, or under a dam which rests upon a permeable foundation.
A generic radar term, often used to encompass the pedestal and antenna assembly; sometimes including the radar control, display and analysis hardware and software as well.
Relative Humidity
A dimensionless ratio, expressed in percent, of the amount of atmospheric moisture present relative to the amount that would be present if the air were saturated. Since the latter amount is dependent on temperature, relative humidity is a function of both moisture content and temperature. As such, relative humidity by itself does not directly indicate the actual amount of atmospheric moisture present. See dew point.
Relative Vorticity
The sum of the rotation of an air parcel about the axis of the pressure system and the rotation of the parcel about its own axis.
Relative Wind
The wind with reference to a moving point. Sometimes called APPARENT WIND. See also APPARENT WIND, TRUE WIND.
Snow Accumulation and Ablation Model
In hydrologic terms, a model which simulates snow pack accumulation, heat exchange at the air-snow interface, areal extent of snow cover, heat storage within the snow pack, liquid water retention, and transmission and heat exchange at the ground-snow interface.
Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS)
A physically based, mass conserving snow water equivalent (SWE) model.
Southern Oscillation
(SO) - a "see-saw" in surface pressure in the tropical Pacific characterized by simultaneously opposite sea level pressure anomalies at Tahiti, in the eastern tropical Pacific and Darwin, on the northwest coast of Australia. The SO was discovered by Sir Gilbert Walker in the early 1920's. Walker was among the first meteorologists to use the statistical techniques to analyze and predict meteorological phenomena. Later, the three-dimensional east-west circulation related to the SO was discovered and named the "Walker Circulation". The SO oscillates with a period of 2-5 years. During one phase, when the sea level pressure is low at Tahiti and High at Darwin, the El Nino occurs. The cold phase of the SO, called "La Nina" by some, is characterized by high pressure in the eastern equatorial Pacific, low in the west, and by anomalously cold sea surface temperature (SST) in the central and eastern Pacific. This is called El Nino Southern Oscillation or ENSO.
Southern Oscillation Index
A numerical index measuring the state of the Southern Oscillation. The SOI is based on the (atmospheric) pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia. It is highly correlated with tropical sea surface temperature anomaly indices recorded in Niño3.
Storm Relative
Measured relative to a moving thunderstorm, usually referring to winds, wind shear, or helicity.
Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity Map
(SRM): This WSR-88D radar product depicts a full 360º sweep of radial velocity data with the average motion of all identified storms subtracted out. It is available for every elevation angle sampled. It is used to aid in displaying shear and rotation in storms and storm top divergence that might otherwise be obscured by the storm's motion, investigate the 3-D velocity structure of a storm, and help with determining rotational features in fast and uniform moving storms.
Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity Regi
(SRR): This WSR-88D radar product depicts a 27 nm by 27 nm region of storm relative mean radial velocity centered on a point which the operator can specify anywhere within a 124 nm radius of the radar. The storm motion subtracted defaults to the motion of the storm closest to the product center, or can be input by the operator. It is used to examine the 3-dimensional storm relative flow of a specific thunderstorm (radar operator centers product on a specific thunderstorm; aid in displaying shear and rotation in thunderstorms and storm top divergence that might otherwise be obscured by storm motion; and gain higher resolution velocity product
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.
Ventilation Index
Product of the mixing depth and transport wind speed, a measure of the potential of the atmosphere to disperse airborne pollutants from a stationary source. Sometimes referred to as a Clearing Index.
Watch Cancellation
This product will be issued to let the public know when either a Tornado Watch or Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been canceled early. It is issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. In the text of the statement it will specify the severe weather watch number and the area which the watch covered.
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.

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