Summary: Physical Geography

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  • Physical Geography

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  • the rate at which 'dry' air cools by expansion as it rises or heats by compression as it falls

    dry adiabatic rate (DAR)
  • the rate at which an ascending air parcel that's moist, cools by expansion

    most adiabatic rate (MAR)
  • the mass of water vapor (g) per unit mass of air (kg) at any given temperature

    specific humidity
  • the process through which water vapor in the air becomes liquid water-requires condensation nuclei and saturated air

    condensation
  • area on the leeward slope of a mountain range where precipitation receipt is greatly reduced compared to the windward slope on the other side

    rain shadow
  • ice pellets larger than 0.5 cm that form within a cumulonimbus cloud, after they fall to the ground

    hail
  • a violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground surface, usually visible as a spinning vortex of clouds and debris

    tornado
  • a tropical cyclone that is fully organized and intensified in inward-spiraling rain bands

    hurricane
  • short-term condition of the atmosphere, as compared to climate which reflects long-term atmosphere conditions and extremes

    weather
  • a distinctive, homogeneous body of air that has taken on the moisture and temperature characteristics of its source region

    air mass
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