Overview

conditional instability


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Atmospheric condition in which otherwise stable air, on being forced to rise (e.g. over an orographic barrier), cools at a rate less than that at which the temperature drops with height in the surrounding air. The rising air therefore becomes warmer than the surrounding air, and so continues to rise. This lesser rate of fall of temperature in the rising air is due to the condensation that occurs, as this is accompanied by a release of the latent heat of condensation. In such cases the instability is thus conditional upon the relative humidity of the rising air. See also instability.

Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.


Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »


Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.