wet-bulb potential temperature

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The temperature that a parcel of air at any level would have if, starting at the wet-bulb temperature, it were brought at the saturated adiabatic lapse rate to the standard pressure of 1 000 hPa. It may be determined simply from an aerological diagram. (See also potential temperature.) This property of an air parcel is of particular value, because it is effectively conserved (i.e. does not change) through condensation, evaporation, and both dry adiabatic and saturated adiabatic temperature changes. It may thus be used as a tracer of particular air masses.

Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

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