From Daryl Stout@57:57/10 to All on Mon Oct 19 00:07:09 2020
This weather glossary contains information on more than 2000 terms,
phrases and abbreviations used by the National Weather Service (NWS)...
the government agency who makes weather forecasts, and issues weather advisories, watches, and warnings, for the United States, and its
Many of these terms and abbreviations are used by NWS forecasters to communicate between each other and have been in use for many years and
before many NWS products were directly available to the public. It is the purpose of this glossary to aid you in better understanding NWS products.
In solar-terrestrial terms, a daytime layer of the earth's ionosphere
roughly between the altitudes of 85 and 140 km.
E-19, Report on River Gage Station
In hydrologic terms, a report to be completed every 5 years providing a complete history of a river station and all gages that have been used for public forecasts since the establishment of the station.
E-19a, Abridged Report on River Gage Sta
In hydrologic terms, an abridged version of an E-19, an E-19a updates the
E-19 as additional information, or changes occur at the station during the intervening five year period. An E-19a is to be completed anytime a
significant change occurs at a forecast point. An E-19a is also used to
take the place of an E-19 in documenting any gage history, or information
of any non-forecast point (i.e; data point).
E-3, Flood Stage Report
In hydrologic terms, a form that a Service Hydrologist/ Hydrology Focal
Point completes to document the dates in which forecast points are above
flood stage, as well as the crest dates and stages. Discussion of the
flood event must also be included in the E-5, Monthly Report of River and
Flood conditions. An E-3 report is sent to Regional Headquarters, the appropriate RFC, as well as the Office of Hydrology (OH).
E-5, Monthly Report of River and Flood c
In hydrologic terms, a monthly narrative report covering flooding which occurred over the past month. Flood stage, flood crest and dates in which flooding occurred is covered within this report for each data point which
was in flood. If the flooding involved a forecast point, an E-3 must be
filled out as well. If no flooding has occurred within the past month, a climatic summary of the past month can be included as well as other
interesting non-flood events, such as water supply, ice jams and the
occurrence of drought. An E-5 report is sent to Regional Headquarters,
the appropriate RFC, as well as the Office of Hydrology (OH).
E-7, Flood Damage Report
In hydrologic terms, a report to be completed anytime there is reported
flood damage or loss of life as a direct result of flooding. An E-7 report
is sent to Regional Headquarters, as well as the Office of Hydrology (OH).
Any winds with components from the east.
The movement of a tidal current away form the coast or down an estuary.
Emergency Broadcast System
A dimensionless quantity describing the elliptical shape of a planet's
Energy back scattered from a target (precipitation, clouds, etc.) and
received by and displayed on a radar screen.
The height above ground of the center of the radar beam using the tilt,
or scan, that contains the highest elevation where reflectivities greater
than 18 dBZ can be detected.
European Center for Meteorology Forecast model.
European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Operational
references in forecast discussions typically refer to the ECMWF's
medium-range numerical forecast model, which runs out to 10 days.
Swirling currents of air at variance with the main current.
Eastern Daylight Time
In hydrologic terms, the ratio, usually expressed as a percentage, of
the volume of water or other liquid which a given saturated volume of
rock or soil will yield under any specified hydraulic condition, to the
given volume of soil or rock.
1) That part of the precipitation that produces runoff.
2) A weighted average of current and antecedent precipitation that is "effective" in correlating with runoff.
3) That part of the precipitation falling on an irrigated area that is effective in meeting the consumptive use requirements.
Effective Terrestrial Radiation
The difference between upwelling infrared or terrestrial radiation
emitted from the earth and the downwelling infrared radiation from the atmosphere.
The topography as seen by an approaching flow, which may include not
only the actual terrain but also cold air masses trapped within or
adjacent to the actual topography.
In hydrologic terms, diffuse discharge of ground water to the ground
In hydrologic terms, any watercourse in which all, or a portion of the
water volume came from the Phreatic zone, or zone of saturation by way
of groundwater flow, or baseflow.
A warming of the ocean current along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador
that is generally associated with dramatic changes in the weather
patterns of the region; a major El Ni¥o event generally occurs every
3 to 7 years and is associated with changes in the weather patterns
One of the basic conditions of the atmosphere discussed in this FMH
(wind, visibility, runway visual range, weather, obscurations, sky
condition, temperature and dewpoint, and pressure). See parameter.
Convection occurring within an elevated layer, i.e., a layer in which
the lowest portion is based above the earth's surface. Elevated
convection often occurs when air near the ground is relatively cool
and stable, e.g., during periods of isentropic lift, when an unstable
layer of air is present aloft.
In cases of elevated convection, stability indices based on near-surface measurements (such as the lifted index) typically will underestimate the
amount of instability present. Severe weather is possible from elevated convection, but is less likely than it is with surface-based convection.
In hydrologic terms, fill material, usually earth or rock, placed with
sloping sides and usually with length greater than height. All dams are
types of embankments.
Environmental Modeling Center
Emergency Action Plan
In hydrologic terms, a predetermined plan of action to be taken to reduce
the potential for property damage and loss of life in an area affected by
a dam break or excessive spillway.
In hydrologic terms, services provided in order to minimize the impact of
a flood that is already happening. These measures are the responsibility
of city, or county emergency management staff and the owners or operators
of major, or critical facilities. Some examples of emergency services are
flood warning and evacuation, flood response, and post flood activities.
Emerging Flux Region (EFR)
In solar-terrestrial terms, an area on the sun where new magnetic flux is erupting.
The ability of a surface to emit radiant energy compared to that of a
black body at the same temperature and with the same area.
Elevated Mixed Layer
In hydrologic terms, a structure which slows fast-moving spillway flows in order to prevent erosion of the stream channel.
Energy Helicity Index
An index that incorporates vertical shear and instability, designed for
the purpose of forecasting supercell thunderstorms.
A telescope which is attached to a spirit-tube level, all revolving around
a vertical axis and is mounted on a tripod. An Engineer's Level is used
for determining the difference in elevation between two points. The
telescope on the level has a vertical cross hair and a horizontal cross
hair. Once the instrument is leveled, the sighting through the horizontal
cross hair represents a horizontal plane of equal elevation.
A pattern seen on satellite infrared photographs of thunderstorms, in
which a thunderstorm anvil exhibits a V-shaped region of colder cloud
tops extending downwind from the thunderstorm core. The enhanced V
indicates a very strong updraft, and therefore a higher potential for
severe weather. Enhanced V should not be confused with V notch, which is
a radar signature.
1. An option used by the SPC in tornado and severe thunderstorm watches
when the potential for strong/violent tornadoes, or unusually widespread damaging straight-line winds, is high. The text that accompanies a watch
of this type will include the line "THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION."
2. Strong wording or emphasis used in a zone forecast issued by a National Weather Service Forecast Office highlighting a potential condition
(e.g., "some thunderstorms may be severe").
A collection of numerical model results that show slightly different
Multiple predictions from an ensemble of slightly different initial
conditions and/or various versions of models. The objectives are to
improve the accuracy of the forecast through averaging the various
forecasts, which eliminates non-predictable components, and to provide
reliable information on forecast uncertainties from the diversity amongst ensemble members. Forecasters use this tool to measure the likelihood of
Ensemble Hydrologic Forecasting
In hydrologic terms, a process whereby a continuous hydrologic model is successively executed several times for the same forecast period by use
of varied data input scenarios, or a perturbation of a key variable state
for each model run. A common method employed to obtain a varied data input scenario is to use the historical meteorological record, with the
assumption that several years of observed data covering the time period beginning on the current date and extending through the forecast period comprises a reasonable estimate of the possible range of future
Reference to a set of computer models run under the concept of Ensemble Forecasting: multiple predictions from an ensemble of models with
slightly different initial conditions used as input and/or slightly
different versions of models. The objectives are to improve the accuracy
of the forecast through averaging the various forecasts, which eliminates non-predictable components, and to provide reliable information on
forecast uncertainties from the diversity amongst ensemble members.
Forecasters use this tool to measure the likelihood of a forecast.
Abbreviation for El Ni¥o-Southern Oscillation, a reference to the state
of the Southern Oscillation.
ENSO Diagnostic Discussion
The CPC issues the ENSO Diagnostic Discussion around the middle of the
month. The discussion addresses the current oceanic and atmospheric
conditions in the Pacific and the seasonal climate outlook for the
following one to three seasons.
A shallow region at the top of a convective boundary layer where fluid
is entrained into the growing boundary layer from the overlying fluid by
the collapse of rising convective plumes or bubbles.
The region upstream from a wind speed maximum in a jet stream (jet max),
in which air is approaching (entering) the region of maximum winds, and therefore is accelerating. This acceleration results in a vertical
circulation that creates divergence in the upper-level winds in the
right half of the entrance region (as would be viewed looking along the direction of flow).
This divergence results in upward motion of air in the right rear quadrant
(or right entrance region) of the jet max. Severe weather potential
sometimes increases in this area as a result. See also exit region, left
The amount of energy that is not available for work during a certain
The Canadian federal government department responsible for issuing
weather forecasts and weather warnings in Canada.
Environmental Lapse Rate
The rate of decrease of air temperature with height, usually measured
with a radiosonde.
Environmental Temperature Sounding
An instantaneous or near-instantaneous sounding of temperature as a
function of height. This sounding or vertical profile is usually
obtained by a balloon-borne instrument, but can also be measured using
remote sensing equipment.
Environmental Protection Agency
Equivalent Potential Vorticity
In hydrologic terms, a line, in a field of flow, such that the total head
is the same for all points on the line, and therefore the direction of
flow is perpendicular to the line at all points.
In hydrologic terms, the ultimate, constant drawdown for a steady rate of pumped discharge.
(EL) - On a sounding, the level above the level of free convection (LFC)
at which the temperature of a rising air parcel again equals the
temperature of the environment. The height of the EL is the height at
which thunderstorm updrafts no longer accelerate upward. Thus, to a
close approximation, it represents the height of expected (or ongoing) thunderstorm tops.
Equilibrium Surface Discharge
In hydrologic terms, the steady rate of surface discharge which results
from a long-continued, steady rate of net rainfall, with discharge rate
equal to net rainfall rate.
In hydrologic terms, the time when flow conditions become substantially
equal to those corresponding to equilibrium discharge or equilibrium
The time when the sun crosses the earth's equator, making night and day
of approximately equal length all over the earth and occurring about
March 21 (the spring or vernal equinox) and September 22 (autumnal
equinox). These are reversed in the southern hemisphere.
Equivalent Potential Temperature
The equivalent potential temperature is the temperature a parcel at a
specific pressure level and temperature would have if it were raised to
0 mb, condensing all moisture from the parcel, and then lowered to 1000
In hydrologic terms, wearing away of the lands by running water,
glaciers, winds, and waves, can be subdivided into three process:
Corrasion, Corrosion, and Transportation. Weathering, although sometimes included here, is a distant process which does not imply removal of any material.
In solar-terrestrial terms, solar activity levels with at least one
radio event (10 cm) and several chromospheric events per day (Class C
Eruptive Prominence on Limb (EPL)
In solar-terrestrial terms, a solar prominence that becomes activated
and is seen to ascend from the sun.
Extended Streamflow Prediction
Eastern Standard Time
In hydrologic terms, the thin zone along a coastline where freshwater
systems and rivers meet and mix with a salty ocean (such as a bay, mouth
of a river, salt marsh, lagoon).
In hydrologic terms, deepwater tidal habitats and tidal wetlands that are usually enclosed by land but have access to the ocean and are at least occasionally diluted by freshwater runoff from the land (such as bays,
mouths of rivers, salt marshes, lagoons).
In hydrologic terms, the area near the coastline that consists of
esturaries and coastal saltwater wetlands.
1. The Eta Model, now referred to as North Amercian Meso (NAM) an
84-hour numerical model of the atmosphere run four times daily by NCEP.
This is one of the main forecast models used for short-term weather
prediction in the United States.
2. Estimated Time of Arrival
Now referred to as North Amercian Meso (NAM) is one of the operational numerical forecast models run at NCEP. The Eta is run four times daily,
with forecast output out to 84 hours.
The process of a liquid changing into a vapor or gas, usually water in meteorology.
In hydrologic terms, a pan used to hold water during observations for
the determination of the quantity of evaporation at a given location.
Such pans are of varying sizes and shapes, the most commonly used being circular or square.
In hydrologic terms, the quantity of water, expressed in terms of depth
of liquid water, which is evaporated from a given surface per unit of
time. It is usually expressed in inches depth, per day, month, or year.
Fog that forms when the evaporation of water raises the dew point of the adjacent air.
In hydrologic terms, an instrument which measures the evaporation rate
of water into the atmosphere.
Combination of evaporation from free water surfaces and transpiration
of water from plant surfaces to the atmosphere.
Extreme Wind Warning (EWW) inform the public of the need to take
immediate shelter in an interior portion of a well-built structure due
to the onset of extreme tropical cyclone winds. An EWW for extreme
tropical cyclone winds should be issued when both of the following
criteria are met:
a. Tropical cyclone is a category 3 or greater on the Saffir Simpson
hurricane scale as designated by NHC, CPHC or JTWC.
b. Sustained tropical cyclone surface winds of 100 knots (115 mph) or
greater are occurring or are expected to occur in a WFO's county
warning area within one hour.
In hydrologic terms, effective rainfall in excess of infiltration
Excessive heat occurs from a combination of high temperatures
(significantly above normal) and high humidities. At certain levels,
the human body cannot maintain proper internal temperatures and may
experience heat stroke. The "Heat Index" is a measure of the effect of
the combined elements on the body.
Excessive Heat Outlook
This CPC product, a combination of temperature and humidity over a
certain number of days, is designed to provide an indication of areas
of the country where people and animals may need to take precautions
against the heat during May to November.
Excessive Heat Warning
Issued within 12 hours of the onset of the following criteria: heat
index of at least 105øF for more than 3 hours per day for 2
consecutive days, or heat index more than 115øF for any period of
Excessive Heat Watch
Issued by the National Weather Service when heat indices in excess of
105øF (41øC) during the day combined with nighttime low temperatures of
80øF (27øC) or higher are forecast to occur for two consecutive days.
Exclusive Flood Control Storage Capacity
In hydrologic terms, the space in a reservoir reserved for the sole
purpose of regulating flood inflows to abate flood damage.
The region downstream from a wind speed maximum in a jet stream
(jet max), in which air is moving away from the region of maximum winds,
and therefore is decelerating. This deceleration results in divergence
in the upper-level winds in the left half of the exit region (as would
be viewed looking along the direction of flow).
This divergence results in upward motion of air in the left front
quadrant (or left exit region) of the jet max. Severe weather potential sometimes increases in this area as a result. See also entrance region,
right entrance region.
The upper most layer of the earth's atmosphere; the only layer where atmospheric gases can escape into outer space.
An experimental product is in the final stages of testing and evaluation.
If the product proves accurate and valuable to users then the next step
is to make it an operational product.
A decrease in the minimum sea-level pressure of a tropical cyclone of
2.5 mb/hr for at least 12 hours or 5 mb/hr for at least six hours.
Extended Forecast Discussion
This discussion is issued once a day around 2 PM EST (3 PM EDT) and is primarily intended to provide insight into guidance forecasts for the
3 to 5 day forecast period. The geographic focus of this discussion is
on the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). Although portions
of this narrative will parallel the Hemispheric Map Discussion, a much
greater effort is made to routinely relate the model forecasts and
necessary modifications to weather forecasts, mainly in terms of
temperature and precipitation.
The theoretically-calculated radiation flux from the sun at the top of
the atmosphere, before losses by atmospheric absorption.
A term used in advisories and tropical summaries to indicate that a
cyclone has lost its "tropical" characteristics. The term implies both
poleward displacement of the cyclone and the conversion of the
cyclone's primary energy source from the release of latent heat of
condensation to baroclinic (the temperature contrast between warm and
cold air masses) processes. It is important to note that cyclones can
become extratropical and still retain winds of hurricane or tropical
A cyclone in the middle and high latitudes often being 2000 kilometers
in diameter and usually containing a cold front that extends toward the
equator for hundreds of kilometers.
A low pressure center which refers to a migratory frontal cyclone of
middle and higher latitudes. Tropical cyclones occasionally evolve into extratropical lows losing tropical characteristics and become associated
with frontal discontinuity.
Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV)
A portion of the electromagnetic spectrum from approximately 100 to 1000 angstroms.
Extreme Wind Warning
Extreme Wind Warning (EWW) inform the public of the need to take immediate shelter in an interior portion of a well-built structure due to the onset
of extreme tropical cyclone winds. An EWW for extreme tropical cyclone
winds should be issued when both of the following criteria are met:
a. Tropical cyclone is a category 3 or greater on the Saffir Simpson
hurricane scale as designated by NHC, CPHC or JTWC.
b. Sustained tropical cyclone surface winds of 100 knots (115 mph) or
greater are occurring or are expected to occur in a WFO's county warning
area within one hour.
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
That portion of the radio frequency spectrum from 30 to 3000 hertz.
The relatively calm center in a hurricane that is more than one half
surrounded by wall cloud. The winds are light, the skies are partly
cloudy or even clear (the skies are usually free of rain) and radar
depicts it as an echo-free area within the eye wall.
It is an organized band of cumuliform clouds that immediately surrounds
the center (eye) of a hurricane. The fiercest winds and most intense
rainfall typically occur near the eye wall. VIP levels 3 or greater are typical. Eye wall and wall cloud are used synonymously, but it should
not be confused with a wall cloud of thunderstorm.
--- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
* Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (57:57/10)