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congestus

Overview page. Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

From the Latin congestus meaning ‘piled up’, a species of cumulus cloud with deep bulging form and an upper part having a cauliflower-like appearance. See also cloud classification.

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debris cloud

Overview page. Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

The visible cloud of dust or debris that occurs at the point where a landspout or tornado touches the surface. It may sometimes indicate the presence of a tornado, even if the vortex itself...

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funnel cloud

Overview page. Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography — Ecology and Conservation.

A narrow, conical cloud that appears from the base of large cumulonimbus the central part of which is rotating (forming a mesocyclone). The funnel cloud is a vortex formed by air spiralling...

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gustnado

Overview page. Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

A North American term for a relatively weak, short-lived whirl that is initiated by strong downdraughts on a thunderstorm's gust front. It does not produce a condensation funnel. Such...

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Tornado

Overview page. Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

1 A form of thundery squall encountered in West Africa, particularly around the Gulf of Guinea. It often occurs as a line squall, and is especially frequent at the beginning...

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tuba

Overview page. Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

From the Latin tuba meaning ‘trumpet’, a supplementary cloud feature of cumulonimbus or sometimes cumulus, characterized by a column or cone of cloud projecting from the cloud base. See...

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updraught

Overview page. Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

An ascending current of air occurring in a relatively restricted region of a cumulonimbus cloud, multicell or supercell storm, tropical cyclone, or similar system. Updraughts originate when...

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waterspout

Overview page. Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

A tornado-like vortex that occurs over water and is visible because of the condensation of atmospheric water vapour in the low pressure around the core (not because water is drawn upward...

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whirl

Overview page. Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

1 A general term for various forms of rapidly rotating vortex, covering a wide range of strengths and wind speeds, including devils, gustnadoes, landspouts, tornadoes, and...

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whirlwind

Overview page. Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

A spiral wind storm around a low-pressure centre. In arid areas dust may be carried upward several hundred metres.

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