climatology and meteorology

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the scientific study of climate; the aspect of meteorology which studies processes of climate formation, distribution of climates over the globe, analysis of the causes of differences of climate (physical climatology), and the application of climatic data to the solution of specific design or operational problems (applied climatology); climatology may be further subdivided according to purpose or point of view: agricultural climatology, air-mass climatology, aviation climatology, bioclimatology, dynamic climatology, medical climatology, macroclimatology, mesoclimatology, microclimatology, paleoclimatology, synoptic climatology, etc..


a hydrometeor consisting of a visible aggregate of minute particles of liquid water or ice, or both, suspended in the free air and usually not touching the earth's surface; it may also include larger particles of liquid water or ice (precipitation particles) and non-aqueous liquid or solid particles such as those present in fumes, smoke and dust (aerosols); cloudiness is the same as cloud cover; but usually it is used in a very general sense.

cloud amount

that portion of the sky cover which is attributed to clouds; the unit of measurement is the okta or tenths (meaning one-eighth or one-tenth) of the sky dome as seen by the observer.

cold front

any non-occluded front that moves in such a way so that colder air replaces warmer air; the leading edge of a relatively cold air mass.

cold low

at a given level in the atmosphere, any low that is generally characterized by colder air near its center than around its periphery; the opposite of a warm low.

cold pole

the location that has the lowest annual mean temperature in its hemisphere.


the physical process by which a vapor becomes a liquid or solid; the opposite of evaporation; in meteorological usage, this term is applied only to transformation from vapor to liquid; any process in which a solid forms directly from its vapor is termed sublimation, as is the reverse process.


the transport of energy entirely resulting from the random motions of individual molecules, and not from any concerted group movement; occurs in response to temperature gradients; contrasts with convection, in which energy is transported by molecules moving together in coherent groups.


the transport of energy resulting from the concerted movement of molecules in coherent groups; contrasts with conduction in which energy is transported by the random motions of molecules; atmospheric convection is nearly always turbulent and results in the vertical transport and mixing of atmospheric properties.

convection cloud

cumuliform cloud which forms in the atmosphere as a result of convection; such clouds are also called clouds of vertical development, a cloud that has its base in the low height range but extends upward into the middle or high altitudes.