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
- On the Beaufort Wind Scale, a wind with speeds from 28 to 55 knots (32 to 63 miles per hour). For marine interests, it can be categorized as a moderate gale (28 to 33 knots), a fresh gale (34 to 40 knots), a strong gale (41 to 47 knots), or a whole gale (48 to 55 knots). In 1964, the World Meteorological Organization defined the categories as near gale (28 to 33 knots), gale (34 to 40 knots), strong gale (41 to 47 knots), and storm (48 to 55 knots).
- GALE WARNING
- A warning for marine interests for impending winds from 28 to 47 knots (32 to 54 miles per hour).
- The study of the physics or nature of earth and its environment. It deals with the composition and physical phenomena of the earth and its liquid and gaseous envelopes. Areas of studies include the atmospheric sciences and meteorology, geology, seismology, and volcanology, and oceanography and related marine sciences, such as hydrology. By extension, it includes astronomy and the related astro-sciences.
- Considered the solid portions of the earth, including the hydrosphere and the lithosphere, as opposed to the atmosphere, which lies above it. At their conjunction is the biosphere.
- GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE
- An orbiting weather satellite that maintains the same position over the equator during the earth's rotation. Also known as GOES, an acronym for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. Compare with a polar-orbiting satellite.
- GEOSTROPHIC WIND
- A steady horizontal motion of air along straight, parallel isobars or contours in an unchanging pressure or contour field. It is assumed that there is no friction, that the flow is straight with no curvature and there is no divergence or convergence with no vertical acceleration.
- GLACIER WINDS
- Air flow that descends from glaciers, occasionally at a high rate of speed. Caused by the temperature difference between the air in contact with the glacier and the air at the same altitude, it reaches maximum instensity in the early afternoon. A form of katabatic wind.
- A smooth clear icy coating of supercooled water droplets that spread out and freeze onto objects on contact. A storm that produces the accretion of glaze is called an ice storm.
- GRADIENT WIND
- A steady horizontal air motion along curved parallel isobars or contours in an unchanging pressure or contour field, assuming there is no friction and no divergence or convergence.
- A form of frozen precipitation consisting of snowflakes or ice crystals and supercooled water droplets frozen together. Also known as snow pellets.
- The mutual attraction between two masses of matter. The rotation of the earth and the atmosphere modifes this attraction to produce the field of gravity.
- The force of attraction of the earth on an object. The direction is
downward relative to the earth, and it decreases with elevation or altitude away from the earth's surface.
- GREEN FLASH
- A brilliant green coloration of the upper edge of the sun, occasionally seen as the sun's apparent disk is about to set below a clear horizon.
- GREENHOUSE EFFECT
- The overall warming of the earth's lower atmosphere. It occurs when carbon dioxide and water vapor, which initially permit the sun's rays to heat the earth, then trap the heat near the earth's surface.
- GREENWICH MEAN TIME (GMT)
- The name of the twenty-four hour time scale which is used throughout the scientific and military communities. Standard Time begins at Greenwich, England, home of the Royal Observatory which first utilized this method of world time. This is also the Prime Meridian of Longitude. The globe is divided into twenty-four (24) time zones of 15 degrees of arc, or one hour in time apart. To the east of this meridian, time zones are number from 1 to 12 and prefixed with a minus (-), indicting the number of hours to be subtracted to obtain Greenwich Time (GMT). To the west, the time zones are also numbered 1 through 12, but are prefixed with a plus (+), indicating the number of hours to be added to obtain GMT. Other names for this time measurement are Universal Time Coordinate (UTC) and Zulu (Z).
- GROUND CLUTTER
- A pattern of radar echoes reflecting off fixed ground targets such as buildings or hills near the radar. This may hide or confuse the proper return echo signifying actual precipitation.
- GROUND FOG
- Fog created when radiational cooling at the earth's surface lowers the
temperature of the air near the ground to or below its initial dew point. Primarily takes place at
night or early morning. Also known as radiation fog.
- GROWING SEASON
- Considered the period of the year during which the
temperature of cultivated vegetation
remains sufficiently high enough to allow plant growth. Usually considered
the time period between the last killing frost
in the spring and the first killing
frost of the autumn. The frost-free
growing season is between the first and last occurrence of 32 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures in spring and autumn.
- GULF STREAM
- The warm, well-defined, swift, relatively narrow ocean current which exists off the east coast of the United States, beginning near Cape Hatteras. The term also applies to the oceanic system of currents that dominate the western and northern Atlantic Ocean: the Florida current, which flows through the Florida Straits between the Florida Keys and Cuba and northwards; the Gulf Stream, which begins around Cape Hatteras and flows northeasterly off the continental slope into the North Atlantic; and the North Atlantic current, which begins around the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and continues east-northeastwards towards the British Isles.
- GULLY WASHER
- A heavy rain shower that occurs suddenly, possibly dreating a flash flood.
- A sudden significant increase in or rapid fluctuations of wind speed. Peak wind must reach at least 16 knots (18 miles per hour) and the variation between peaks and lulls is at least 10 knots (11.5 miles per hour). The duration is usually less twenty seconds.
- GUST FRONT
- The leading edge of the cool, gusty surface winds produced by thunderstorm downdrafts. Sometimes confused with an outflow boundary. See first gust.
- A weak, and usually short-lived, tornado that forms along the gust front of a thunderstorm, appearing as a temporary dust whirl or debris cloud.
Top of Page
Branick, Michael. NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS SR-145, A Comprehensive
Glossary of Weather Terms for Storm Spotters. U.S. Department of Commerce, 1995.
Everything Weather - The Essential Guide to the Whys and Wonders of Weather.
Famighetti, Robert (ed.). The World Almanac and Book of Facts (1996). Mahwah, New
Jersey. Funk & Wagnalls Corporation, 1995.
Federal Meteorological Handbook No. 1, Surface Weather Observations and
Reports. National Weather Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1996.
Huschke, R.E. (ed.). The Glossary of Meteorology. Boston, Massachusetts. American
Meteorological Society Press, 1980.
National Weather Service Observing Handbook No. 7, Surface Weather Observations and
Reports. U.S. Department of Commerce, 1996.