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föhn wind


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A generic term for warm, dry winds in the lee of a mountain range. It was originally used in the European Alps. After cooling on the windward ascent at the saturated adiabatic lapse rate of 0.5°C/100 m, with the resulting condensation and precipitation, the air descending on the leeward side of the mountain range is warmed through compression at the dry adiabatic lapse rate of 1°C/100 m. This produces a warming wind on the lee side, with higher temperatures than occurred in the same air on the upslope side of the mountains.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Earth Sciences and Geography.


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