Weather Terms/Acronyms

Sometimes I like using a lot of weather jargon to quickly describe a setting or event. Thought I would keep a running list of items that may be of question to save time for look-up. Will be a growing list as I think of them and say them in posts:

  • Clipper- sometimes; ‘Alberta Clipper.’ Originates from Canada and, depending on pressure systems, may drop down to the States to deliver some light snow or rain. Usually fast moving.
  • CPC- Climate Prediction Center: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/
  • ECMWF– European mid range model. Comparable to the GFS. Copyrighted, so you won’t see these model pictures here, only discussed.
  • FZ Rain- freezing rain
  • GFS– Global Forecast System, long range model that can go out 384 hours.
  • GOES– Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite.
  • Hadley Cell– One of three cells of rising and sinking air. Located nearest the Equator. Where two Hadley cells meet marks the ITCZ, a region of unstable air.
  • HPC– Hydrometeorological Prediction Center: http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/
  • ITCZ– Intertropical Convergence Zone, area near the Equator that follows the sun’s zenith angle. Usually very stormy as this is where the North and South Hemisphere Hadley Cells meet, creating lift and instability.
  • NAM– North American Mesoscale model, short to medium range computer model with output at 00z, 06z, 12z, and 18z.
  • NOAA– National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: www.noaa.gov
  • NWS– National Weather Service: www.weather.gov
  • Outflow Boundary– Cold air outflow from a thunderstorm. Sometimes can be seen on doppler radar as a thin band accelerating from the storm cell. Can signify the death of a cell, but produce further storms at the same time.
  • Precip– Shorthand for precipitation
  • Precipitation– Rain, sleet, snow, or freezing rain.
  • QPF– Quantitative Precipitation Forecast, mode on models and forecasts issued by the HPC showing probably precipitation amount.
  • Squall line– Line of convective storms. Usually a a few miles long to hundreds.
  • Waffle– One of my new favorite terms to describe a model’s tendency to go from one track to another. Think of it as another word for ‘shifting’ or ‘wobble’.

*Updated May 16, 2011: Added ‘Outflow Boundary’  ‘Squall line’

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4 Responses to Weather Terms/Acronyms

  1. Jeff says:

    What was your peak wind on 6/18? Mine was 46. I hear you got more wind up your way.

    http://NollarWind.com/wview/

    • gweatherc says:

      Yea it was quite the wind storm. My station clocked the highest at 64mph. It may have been higher, but as you know, the station only reports every 2.5 seconds. Still pretty impressive. Just realized my station date was wrong, so I can’t get an exact time of the gust. Also appears my humidity sensor is acting up again. Thanks for sharing! Checked out your site a while back via Wunderground.

  2. Pingback: Not too much happening this week « Greg's Weather Blog

  3. Pingback: Last post of my Autumn/Lake Effect Machine warming up! « Greg's Weather Blog

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