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Vocabulary Words for Quiz #20 Global Winds

1. solar energy – the driving energy source for heating of Earth and circulation in Earth’s atmosphere; comes from the sun.

2. greenhouse effect – solar energy that is absorbed by Earth’s land and water surfaces is changed to heat that moves/radiates back into the atmosphere where the heat can’t be transmitted through the atmosphere and is trapped.

3. convection current – warm air near Earth’s surface rises and then cools as it goes up; there are three of these areas in the northern hemisphere and three in the southern hemisphere.

4. land and sea breezes – local winds caused by convection currents near bodies of water.

5.  Coriolis effect – the way Earth’s rotation makes winds in the Northern Hemisphere curve to the right and winds in the Southern Hemisphere curve to the left.

6.  global winds- winds that blow steadily from specific directions over long distances.

7.  trade winds – winds that blow from east to west in the tropical region moving warm tropical air in that climate zone.

8.  westerly winds – winds that blow west to east in the temperate region; they play an important part in the weather of the U.S.

9.  polar winds – cold air near the poles sinks and flows back toward lower latitudes where it mixes with the westerly winds and has a major effect on weather changes in the U.S.

10.  jet stream – a fast-moving ribbon of air that moves from west to east in the Northern Hemisphere around Earth; it dips and bends and constantly changes positions;  helps move air masses in the U.S. from the west coast to the east coast.


Vocabulary Words for Quiz #19 Weather Instruments

  1. anemometer – a tool used to measure wind speed in miles per hour.
  2. wind vane – a tool used to measure the direction from which the wind is blowing; sometimes referred to as a wind sock.
  3. thermometer – a tool used to measure air temperature in degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius.
  4. sling psychrometer – a two-thermometer instrument also referred to as a wet-dry bulb used to measure relative humidity (the amount of water vapor in the air).
  5. barometer – a tool used to measure air pressure in inches of mercury or millibars.
  6. rain gauge – a tool used to measure the amount of precipitation in inches or centimeters.
  7. meteorologist – studies weather and uses information from radar, satellites, computers and other instruments to make weather maps and provide forecasts.
  8. isobars – lines drawn on a weather map that connect points having equal atmospheric pressure; also indicate the location of high and low pressure areas and can show wind speed.
  9. isotherms – lines drawn on a weather map that connect points having equal temperature.
  10. station models – indicates weather conditions at a specific location, using a combination of symbols on a map.



Vocabulary Words for Quiz #18  Air Masses, Fronts, Storms

1.     air mass -  huge bodies of air that form over water or land in tropical or polar regions.

2.     fronts – form at the boundaries between air masses; there are four different types.

3.     warm front – when a warm air mass collides and rides over a cold air mass; produces long periods of precipitation and warmer temperatures.

4.     cold front – when a cold air mass collides and slides under a warm air mass; may produce thunderstorms and sometimes tornadoes and cooler temperatures.

5.     stationary front – when neither a cold air mass nor a warm air mass moves at a frontal boundary; may produce long period of precipitation.

6.     occluded front – when a cold air mass pushes into a warm air mass that is behind a cool air mass, the warm air mass is pushed up above the cooler air masses; may produce long periods of precipitation.

7.     high pressure system – usually signal more fair weather with winds circulating around the system in a clockwise direction.

8.     low pressure system – often result in rainy and/or stormy weather conditions with winds circulating in a counterclockwise direction.

9.     tornado – a rapidly whirling, funnel-shaped cloud that extends down from a storm cloud.

10.  hurricane – a low pressure tropical storm that forms over warm ocean water.



Vocabulary Words for Quiz #17 Clouds

1.      cumulus – puffy clouds with flat bottoms; when they are white they signal fair weather; when darker they may signal rain or thunderstorms; found at medium or low elevation.

2.      cirrus – wispy, feathery clouds made mostly of ice crystals that form at high levels

3.      stratus – clouds that form in layers

4.      nimbus – means “rain” when added to a cloud name

5.      fog – clouds that form when condensation occurs at or near the ground

6.      cumulonimbus – clouds also called thunderhead, part of thunderstorm condition

7.      altocumulus – medium-level clouds, puffy clouds with flat bottom

8.      altostratus – medium-level clouds, clouds that form in layers

9.      weather - a condition of the Earth’s atmosphere at any time.



Vocabulary Words for Quiz #16 : Water Cycle

Water Cycle
  1. precipitation – any form of water that falls from clouds and reaches Earth’s surface.
  2. evaporation – the process by which water molecules in liquid water escape into the air as water vapor.
  3. transpiration – the process by which water is lost through a plant’s leaves.
  4. condensation – the process by which molecules of water vapor in the air become liquid water.  It is part of the water cycle.
  5. run-off – water that falls onto land surfaces always attempts to move back toward sea level; can be surface water flow or groundwater flow; part of the water cycle.
  6. surface-water flow-  water that stays on the surface instead of sinking into the ground.
  7. groundwater flow – water that sinks into the ground.
  8. ionosphere - a layer of electrically charged particles within the mesosphere and thermosphere.
  9. ultraviolet radiation -  a type of energy that comes from the sun; ozone absorbs most of this energy that enters the atmosphere.
  10. greenhouse effect - natural heating that occurs when certain gases in Earth’s atmosphere, such as methane, CO 2 and water vapor, trap heat.



Vocabulary Words for Quiz #15 : Layer of the Atmosphere

Layer of the Atmosphere

1.      atmosphere – the layer of gases that surrounds the planet and makes conditions on Earth suitable for living things.

2.      troposphere – layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that is closest to the ground; is where clouds and weather occur.

3.      stratosphere – layer of the Earth’s atmosphere above the troposphere; the ozone layer is contained here.

4.      mesosphere – middle layer of the Earth’s atmosphere; the coldest layer and the layer where meteors are found.

5.      thermosphere layer of the Earth’s atmosphere above the mesosphere; very hot temperatures in this layer.

6.      exosphere – outer layer of the thermosphere; extending outward into space; satellites orbit here.

7.      ozone – a form of oxygen found in the stratosphere, molecule made of three atoms of oxygen  

8.      air pressure – the force exerted by the gases pushing on an object; greatest near the surface of the Earth.

9.   ozone hole – a seasonal reduction in ozone over Antarctica caused by CFC’s in the atmosphere.

10. chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) – chemical compounds used in some refrigerators, air conditioners, and aerosol sprays, and in the production of some foam packaging that can enter the atmosphere and destroy ozone.