Glossary of Oceanography Chapter 8

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An unusual rise in sea level as a result of the low atmospheric pressure and strong winds associated with a tropical cyclone. Onrushing seawater precedes landfall of the tropical cyclone and causes most of the damage to life and property.
storm surge
The atmospheric circulation cell centered over each pole
polar cell
Surface winds within the Hadley cells, centered at about 15°̊ latitude, which approach from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere
Trade Winds
A single closed-flow circuit of rising warm material and falling cool material
convection current
A weather system of low atmospheric pressure around which winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Originates in the tropics within a single air mass but may move into temperate waters if water temp
Tropical cyclone
Boundary between the polar cell and the Ferrel cell in each hemisphere
polar front
Surface winds within the Ferrel cells, centered around 45°̊ latitude, which approach from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere and from the northwest in the Southern Hemisphere.
The zone of rising air near the equator known for sultry air and variable breezes. Also known as the intertropical convergence zone. See also intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)
Local or regional atmospheric disturbance characterized by strong winds often accompanied by precipitation.
Liquid or solid water that falls from the air as rain, hail, or snowfall.
The condition in which the total heat coming into a system (such as a planet) is balanced by the total heat leaving the system.
thermal equilibrium
Large circuit of air driven by uneven solar heating and the Coriolis effect. Three circulation cells form in each hemisphere. See also Hadley cell; Ferrel cell; polar cell
atmospheric circulation cell
Localized, narrow, violent funnel of fast-spinning wind, usually generated when two air masses collide. Not to be confused with a cyclone. (The tornado's oceanic equivalent is a waterspout.)
The apparent deflection of a moving object from its initial course when its speed and direction are measured in reference to the surface of the rotating Earth. The object is deflected to the right of its anticipated course in the Northern Hemisphere and
coriolis effect
The gaseous, invisible form of water.
Water Vapor
The equatorial area at which the trade winds converge. The ITCZ usually lies at or near the meteorological equator. Also called the doldrums
intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)
Onshore movement of air as inland air heats and rises
sea breeze
Any energetic extratropical cyclone that sweeps the eastern seaboard of North America in winter
nor'easter (northeaster)
A large mass of air with nearly uniform temperature, humidity, and density throughout.
air mass
A weather system with a low-pressure area in the center around which winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Not to be confused with a tornado, a much smaller weather phenomenon associated with sev
The French scientist who in 1835 worked out the mathematics of the motion of bodies on a rotating surface. See Coriolis effect.
Coriolis, Gaspard Gustave de (1792-1843)
Precipitation and wind caused by the meeting of two air masses, associated with an extratropical cyclone. Generally, one air mass will slide over or under the other, and the resulting expansion of air will cause cooling and, consequently, rain or snow
frontal storm
An statement of the total solar energy received on the Earth during some period of time and the total heat lost from the Earth by reflection and radiation into space through the same period
heat budget
0°̊ latitude, an imaginary line equidistant from the geographical poles
geographical equator
A large tropical cyclone in the North Atlantic or eastern Pacific, whose winds exceed 118 kilometers (74 miles) per hour
The atmospheric circulation cell nearest the equator in each hemisphere. Air in these cells rises near the equator because of strong solar heating there and falls because of cooling at about 30°̊ latitude. See also trade winds
Hadley cell
The middle atmospheric circulation cell in each hemisphere. Air in these cells rises at 60°̊ latitude and falls at 30°̊ latitude. See also westerlies.
Ferrel cell
The boundary between two air masses of different density. The density difference can be caused by differences in temperature and/or humidity
Zones of erratic horizontal surface air circulation near 30°̊N and 30°̊S latitudes. Over land, dry air falling from high altitudes produces deserts at these latitudes (for example, the Sahara)
horse latitudes
Movement of air offshore as marine air heats and rises
land breeze
A low-pressure mid-latitude weather system characterized by converging winds and ascending air rotating counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. An extratropical cyclone forms at the front between the polar an
extratropical cyclone
Pioneering Norwegian physicist and discoverer of the nature and formation of extratropical cyclones, which cause most mid-latitude weather.
Bjerknes, Vilhelm (1862-1951)
A pattern of wind circulation that changes with the season. Also, the rainy season in areas with monsoon wind patterns
Also called the thermal equator. The irregular imaginary line of thermal equilibrium between hemispheres. It is situated about 5°̊ north of the geographical equator, and its position changes with the seasons, moving slightly north in northern summer
meteorological equator:

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