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A 1. Abbrevation for hail in weather observations.

2. Symbol used on long-term climate outlooks issued by CPC to indicate areas that are likely to be above normal for the specified parameter (temperature, precipitation, etc.).
A AMS Arctic Air Mass
A Index A daily index of geomagnetic activity derived as the average of the eight 3-hourly a indices.
AAAS American Association for the Advancement of Science
AAWU Alaskan Aviation Weather Unit
Ablation Depletion of snow and ice by melting and evaporation.
ABNDT Abundant
Absolutely Stable Air An atmospheric condition that exists when the environmental lapse rate is less than the moist adiabatic lapse rate.
Absolutely Unstable Air An atmospheric condition that exists when the environmental lapse rate is greater than the dry adiabatic lapse rate.
Absorption The process in which incident radiant energy is retained by a substance by conversion to some other form of energy.
ABT About
Abutment The part of a valley or canyon wall against which a dam is constructed. Right and left abutments are those on respective sides of an observer looking downstream.
Abutment Seeping Reservoir water that moves through seams or pores in the natural abutment material and exits as seepage.
ABV Above
AC 1. Abbreviation for Altocumulus - a cloud of a class characterized by globular masses or rolls in layers or patches, the individual elements being larger and darker than those of cirrocumulus and smaller than those of stratocumulus. These clouds are of medium altitude, about 8000-20,000 ft (2400-6100 m).

2. Convective outlook issued by the Storm Prediction Center. Abbreviation for Anticipated Convection; the term originates from the header coding [ACUS1] of the transmitted product.
ACCAS (usually pronounced ACK-kis) - AltoCumulus CAStellanus; mid-level clouds (bases generally 8 to 15 thousand feet), of which at least a fraction of their upper parts show cumulus-type development. These clouds often are taller than they are wide, giving them a turret-shaped appearance. ACCAS clouds are a sign of instability aloft, and may precede the rapid development of thunderstorms.
Accessory Cloud A cloud which is dependent on a larger cloud system for development and continuance. Roll clouds, shelf clouds, and wall clouds are examples of accessory clouds.
Accretion The growth of a precipitation particle by the collision of a frozen particle with a supercooled liquid water droplet which freezes upon impact.
ACCUMS accumulation
Accuracy Degree of conformity of a measure to a standard or true value; in other words, how close a predicted or measured value is to the true value.
Acid Precipitation Precipitation, such as rain, snow or sleet, containing relatively high concentrations of acid-forming chemicals that have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapor; harmful to the environment.
Acid Rain Rain containing relatively high concentrations of acid-forming chemicals that have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapor; harmful to the environment.
ACLD Above Cloud Level
ACPY Accompany
Acre-foot The amount of water required to cover one acre to a depth of one foot. An acre-foot equals 326,851 gallons, or 43,560 cubic feet.
ACRS Across
Active (abbrev. ACTV). In solar-terrestrial terms, solar activity levels with at least one geophysical event or several larger radio events (10cm) per day (Class M Flares)
Active Conservation Storage In hydrologic terms, the portion of water stored in a reservoir that can be released for all useful purposes such as municipal water supply, power, irrigation, recreation, fish, wildlife, etc. Conservation storage is the volume of water stored between the inactive pool elevation and flood control stage.
Active Dark Filament (ADF) In solar-terrestrial terms, an Active Prominence seen on the Disk.
Active Longitude In solar-terrestrial terms, the approximate center of a range of heliographic longitudes in which Active Regions are more numerous and more flare-active than the average.
Active Prominence In solar-terrestrial terms, a prominence displaying material motion and changes in appearance over a few minutes of time.
Active Prominence Region (APR) In solar-terrestrial terms, a portion of the solar limb displaying active prominences.
Active Region (AR) In solar-terrestrial terms, a localized, transient volume of the solar atmosphere in which plages, sunspots, faculae, flares, etc. may be observed.
Active Storage Capacity In hydrologic terms, the total amount of reservoir capacity normally available for release from a reservoir below the maximum storage level. It is total or reservoir capacity minus inactive storage capacity. More specifically, it is the volume of water between the outlet works and the spillway crest.
Active Surge Region (ASR) In solar-terrestrial terms, an Active Region that exhibits a group or series of spike-like surges that rise above the limb.
ACTV Active. In solar-terrestrial terms, solar activity levels with at least one geophysical event or several larger radio events (10cm) per day (Class M Flares)
ACYC Anticyclone - A large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
Additive Data A group of coded remarks that includes pressure tendency, amount of precipitation, and maximum/minimum temperature during specified periods of time
ADDS Aviation Digital Data Service
Adiabat A line on a thermodynamic chart relating the pressure and temperature of a substance (such as air) that is undergoing a transformation in which no heat is exchanged with its environment.
Adiabatic Changes in temperature caused by the expansion (cooling) or compression (warming) of a body of air as it rises or descends in the atmosphere, with no exchange of heat with the surrounding air.
Adiabatic Lapse Rate The rate of decrease of temperature experienced by a parcel of air when it is lifted in the atmosphere under the restriction that it cannot exchange heat with its environment. For parcels that remain unsaturated during lifting, the (dry adiabatic) lapse rate is 9.8°C per kilometer.
Adiabatic Process A process which occurs with no exchange of heat between a system and its environment.
Adirondack Type Snow Sampling Set In hydrologic terms, a snow sampler consisting of a 5-foot fiberglass tube, 3 inches in diameter, with a serrated-edge steel cutter at one end and a twisting handle at the other. This sampler has a 60-inch snow depth capacity.
ADJ Adjacent
ADPC Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
ADVCTN Advection- Transport of an atmospheric property by the wind.
Advection (Abbrev. ADVCTN)- Transport of an atmospheric property by the wind.
Advection Fog A fog that forms when warm air flows over a cold surface and cools from below until saturation is reached.
ADVIS In hydrologic terms, a program which combines the Antecedent Precipitation Index (API) method of estimating runoff with unit hydrograph theory to estimate streamflow for a headwater basin.
Advisory (Abbrev. ADVY)- Highlights special weather conditions that are less serious than a warning. They are for events that may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
ADVN Advance
ADVY Advisory - Highlights special weather conditions that are less serious than a warning. They are for events that may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Aeration Zone A portion of the lithosphere in which the functional interstices of permeable rock or earth are not filled with water under hydrostatic pressure. The interstices either are not filled with water or are filled with water that is no held by capillarity.
Aeroallergens Any of a variety of allergens such as pollens, grasses, or dust carried by winds.
Aerosol A system of colloidal particles dispersed in a gas, such as smoke or fog.
AFCT Affect
AFD Area Forecast Discussion - this National Weather Service product is almost identical to the State Forecast Discussion; however, it deals with a much smaller area (just the county warning area of the NWFO), and it may or may not have the non-convective watches listed at the end of the product. Eventually, this product will replace the State Forecast Discussion.
AFOS Automation of Field Operations and Services. Computer system linking NWS offices for the transmission of weather data. This system was installed in the early to mid 1980s and it is being replaced by Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS).
AFRED Abbreviation for the A Index for Fredericksburg.
AFSS Automated Flight Service Station
AFT After
Afterbay In hydrologic terms, the tail race of a hydroelectric power plant at the outlet of the turbines. The term may be applied to a short stretch of stream or conduit, or to a pond or reservoir.
AFTN Afternoon
AFTR after
AFWA Air Force Weather Agency
AGDISP A particular atmospheric disperison model used for treating the transport and diffusion of aerially sprayed pest control agents in agricultural applications.
AGFS Aviation Gridded Forecast System
Agglomerate An ice cover of floe formed by the freezing together of various forms of ice.
AGL Above Ground Level
AGN Again
AHD Ahead
AHOS Automatic Hydrologic Observing System
AHOS-S Automatic Hydrologic Observing System - Satellite
AHOS-T Automatic Hydrologic Observing System - Telephone
Air Mass A body of air covering a relatively wide area and exhibiting horizontally uniform properties.
Air Mass Thunderstorm Generally, a thunderstorm not associated with a front or other type of synoptic-scale forcing mechanism. Air mass thunderstorms typically are associated with warm, humid air in the summer months; they develop during the afternoon in response to insolation, and dissipate rather quickly after sunset. They generally are less likely to be severe than other types of thunderstorms, but they still are capable of producing downbursts, brief heavy rain, and (in extreme cases) hail over 3/4 inch in diameter.

Since all thunderstorms are associated with some type of forcing mechanism, synoptic-scale or otherwise, the existence of true air-mass thunderstorms is debatable.
Air Pollutant Harmful substance or product introduced into the atmosphere.
Air Pollution Potential The meteorological potential for air pollution problems, considered without regard to the presence or absence of actual pollution sources.
Air Quality Model Mathematical or conceptual model used to estimate present or future air quality.
Air Stagnation A meteorological situation in which there is a major buildup of air pollution in the atmosphere. This usually occurs when the same air mass is parked over the same area for several days. During this time, the light winds cannot "cleanse" the buildup of smoke, dust, gases, and other industrial air pollution.
Air Stagnation Advisory This National Weather Service product is issued when major buildups of air pollution, smoke, dust, or industrial gases are expected near the ground for a period of time. This usually results from a stagnant high pressure system with weak winds being unable to bring in fresh air.
Air Toxin Toxic air pollutant.
Air Transportable Mobile Unit A modularized transportable unit containing communications and observational equipment necessary to support a meteorologist preparing on-site forecasts at a wildfire or other incident.
Airborne Snow Survey Program In hydrologic terms, Center (NOHRSC) program that makes airborne snow water equivalent and soil moisture measurements over large areas of the country that are subject to severe and chronic snowmelt flooding.
AIRMET Airman's Meteorological advisory (WA)
AIV Aviation Impact Variables
Albedo Reflectivity; the fraction of radiation striking a surface that is reflected by that surface.
Alberta Clipper A fast moving low pressure system that moves southeast out of Canadian Province of Alberta (southwest Canada) through the Plains, Midwest, and Great Lakes region usually during the winter. This low pressure area is usually accompanied by light snow, strong winds, and colder temperatures. Another variation of the same system is called a "Saskatchewan Screamer".
ALERT Automated Local Event Reporting in Real Time. Network of automatic raingauges that transmit via VHF radio link when precipitation occurs. Some sites are also equipped with other sensors such as temperature, wind, pressure, river stage or tide level.
Aleutian Low A semi-permanent, subpolar area of low pressure located in the Gulf of Alaska near the Aleutian Islands. It is a generating area for storms and migratory lows often reach maximum instensity in this area. It is most active during the late fall to late spring. During the summer, it is weaker, retreating towards the North Pole and becoming almost nonexistent. During this time, the North Pacific High pressure system dominates.
ALF Aloft
ALG Along
Algorithm A computer program (or set of programs) which is designed to systematically solve a certain kind of problem. WSR-88D radars (NEXRAD) employ algorithms to analyze radar data and automatically determine storm motion, probability of hail, VIL, accumulated rainfall, and several other parameters.
Alluvium Sediments deposited by erosional processes, usually by streams.
Along-slope Wind System A closed, thermally driven diurnal mountain wind circulation whose lower branch blows up or down the sloping sidewalls of a valley or mountain. The upper branch blows in the opposite direction, thereby closing the circulation.
ALQDS All Quadrants
ALTHO although
Altimeter An instrument that indicates the altitude of an object above a fixed level. Pressure altimeters use an aneroid barometer with a scale graduated in altitude instead of pressure.
Altimeter Setting A correction of the station pressure to sea level used by aviation. This correction takes into account the standard variation of pressure with height and the influence of temperature variation with height on the pressure. The temperatures used correspond to the standard atmosphere temperatures between the surface and sea level.
Altocumulus A cloud of a class characterized by globular masses or rolls in layers or patches, the individual elements being larger and darker than those of cirrocumulus and smaller than those of stratocumulus. These clouds are of medium altitude, about 8000-20,000 ft (2400-6100 m).
Altostratus A cloud of a class characterized by a generally uniform gray sheet or layer, lighter in color than nimbostratus and darker than cirrostratus. These clouds are of medium altitude, about 8000 to 20,000 ft (2400-6100 m).
Ambient Of the surrounding area or environment.
AMD Amend
AMOS Automatic Meteorological Observing System
Amplifier A device used to increase the strength of an analog signal
Amplitude The maximum magnitude of a quantity. Often used to refer to the maximum height of a wave.
AMS 1. Air Mass - a body of air covering a relatively wide area and exhibiting horizontally uniform properties.

2. American Meteorological Society
AMT Amount
Anabranch A diverging branch of a river which re-enters the main stream.
Analog 1. Class of measuring devices in which the output varies continuously as a function of the input (non-digital).

2. A historical instance of a given meteorological scenario or feature that is used for comparison with another scenario or feature. For example, a long-range forecaster predicting conditions for the upcoming winter may make comparisons to analog seasons in which meteorological factors were similar to those of the upcoming season.
Analog Signal A signal, such as voice, that varies in a continuous manner.
ANBURS Alphanumeric Backup Replacement System
Anchor Ice In hydrologic terms, submerged frazil ice attached or anchored to the river bottom, irrespective of its formation.
Anchor Ice Dam An accumulation of anchor ice which acts as a dam and raises the water level.
Anemometer An instrument used for measuring the speed of the wind.
Aneroid Barometer An instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure in which a needle, attached to the top of an evacuated box, is deflected as changes in atmospheric pressure cause the top of the box to bend in or out.
Angels Radar echoes caused by birds, insects, and localized refractive index discontinuities.
Angle of Reflection The angle at which a reflected ray of energy leaves a reflecting surface. It is measured between the outgoing ray and a perpendicular to the surface at the point of incidence (i.e., where the ray strikes).
Angstrom A unit of length equal to 10-8 cm.
Annual Flood In hydrologic terms, the maximum discharge peak during a given water year (October 1 - September 30).
Anomaly The deviation of a measurable unit (e.g., temperature or precipitation) over a period in a given region from the long-term average, often the thirty-year mean, for that region.
Antedecent Precipitation Index (Abbrev. API) - an index of moisture stored within a drainage basin before a storm.
Anthropogenic Source A pollutant source caused or produced by humans.
Anti-wind The upper or return branch of an along-valley wind system, as confined within a valley, and blowing in a direction opposite to the winds in the lower altitudes of the valley.
Anticyclogenesis The formation or intensification of an anticyclone or high pressure center.
Anticyclone A large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere
Anticyclonic Rotation Rotation in the opposite sense as the Earth's rotation, i.e., clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere as would be seen from above. The opposite of cyclonic rotation.
Anvil The flat, spreading top of a cumulonimbus cloud, often shaped like an anvil. Thunderstorm anvils may spread hundreds of miles downwind from the thunderstorm itself, and sometimes may spread upwind.
Anvil Crawler [Slang], a lightning discharge occurring within the anvil of a thunderstorm, characterized by one or more channels that appear to crawl along the underside of the anvil. They typically appear during the weakening or dissipating stage of the parent thunderstorm, or during an active MCS.
Anvil Dome A large overshooting top or penetrating top.
Anvil Rollover Slang for a circular or semicircular lip of clouds along the underside of the upwind part of a back-sheared anvil, indicating rapid expansion of the anvil.
Anvil Zits Slang for frequent (often continuous or nearly continuous), localized lightning discharges occurring from within a thunderstorm anvil.
AO Arctic Oscillation - the Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases. The negative phase brings higher-than-normal pressure over the polar region and lower-than-normal pressure at about 45 degrees north latitude. The negative phase allows cold air to plunge into the Midwestern United States and western Europe, and storms bring rain to the Mediterranean. The positive phase brings the opposite conditions, steering ocean storms farther north and bringing wetter weather to Alaska, Scotland and Scandinavia and drier conditions to areas such as California, Spain and the Middle East. In recent years research has shown, the Arctic Oscillation has been mostly in its positive phase. Some researchers argue that the North Atlantic Oscillation is in fact part of the AO.
AOA At or above
AOB At or below
AOPA Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
AP Anomalous Propagation. Radar term for false (non-precipitation) echoes resulting from nonstandard propagation of the radar beam under certain atmospheric conditions.
AP Index In solar-terrestrial terms, an averaged planetary A Index based on data from a set of specific stations.
APD On a buoy report, the average wave period (seconds) of all waves during the 20-minute period.
Aphelion The point on the annual orbit of a body (about the sun) that is farthest from the sun; at present, the earth reaches this point (152 million kilometer from the sun) on about 5 July. Opposite of perihelion.
API Method In hydrologic terms, a statistical method to estimate the amount of surface runoff which will occur from a basin from a given rainstorm based on the antecedent precipitation index, physical characteristics of the basin, time of year, storm duration, rainfall amount, and rainfall intensity.
Apogee The farthest distance between the moon and earth or the earth and sun.
Apparent Temperature A measure of human discomfort due to combined heat and humidity (e.g., heat index).
APRCH Approach
APRCHG approaching
APRNT apparent
APST Aviation Products and Services Team
Aquiclude In hydrologic terms, a formation which contains water but cannot transmit it rapidly enough to furnish a significant supply to a well or spring.
Aquifer In hydrologic terms, permeable layers of underground rock, or sand that hold or transmit groundwater below the water table that will yield water to a well in sufficient quantities to produce water for beneficial use.
Aquifuge In hydrologic terms, a geologic formation which has no interconnected openings and cannot hold or transmit water.
ARAM Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology
Arch Dam A concrete arch dam is used in sites where the ratio of width between abutments to height is not great and where the foundation at the abutments is solid rock capable of resisting great forces. The arch provides resistance to movement. When combined with the weight of concrete (arch-gravity dam), both the weight and shape of the structure provide great resistance to the pressure of water.
Arch Filament System (AFS) In solar-terrestrial terms, a bright, compact plage crossed by a system of small, arched filaments, which is often a sign of rapid or continued growth in an Active Region.
Arctic front The boundary or front separating deep, cold arctic air from shallower, relatively less cold polar air.
Arctic Oscillation (abbrev. AO)- The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases. The negative phase brings higher-than-normal pressure over the polar region and lower-than-normal pressure at about 45 degrees north latitude. The negative phase allows cold air to plunge into the Midwestern United States and western Europe, and storms bring rain to the Mediterranean. The positive phase brings the opposite conditions, steering ocean storms farther north and bringing wetter weather to Alaska, Scotland and Scandinavia and drier conditions to areas such as California, Spain and the Middle East. In recent years research has shown, the Arctic Oscillation has been mostly in its positive phase. Some researchers argue that the North Atlantic Oscillation is in fact part of the AO.
Arcus A low, horizontal cloud formation associated with the leading edge of thunderstorm outflow (i.e., the gust front). Roll clouds and shelf clouds both are types of arcus clouds.
Area Forecast Discussion This National Weather Service product is almost identical to the State Forecast Discussion; however, it deals with a much smaller area (just the county warning area of the NWFO), and it may or may not have the non-convective watches listed at the end of the product. Eventually, this product will replace the State Forecast Discussion.
Area of Influence In hydrologic terms, the area covered by the drawdown curves of a given pumping well or combination of wells at a particular time.
Area Source An array of pollutant sources, so widely dispersed and uniform in strength that they can be treated in a dispersion model as an aggregate pollutant release from a defined area at a uniform rate. Compare line source and point source.
Area Wide Hydrologic Prediction System (Abbrev. AWHPS) - A computer system which automatically ingests areal flash flood guidance values and WSR-88D products and displays this data and other hydrologic information on a map background.
Area-Capacity Curve In hydrologic terms, a graph showing the relation between the surface area of the water in a reservoir, the corresponding volume, and elevation.
Arid An adjunctive applied to regions where precipitation is so deficient in quantity, or occurs at such times, that agriculture is impracticable without irrigation.
ARINC Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated
ARND Around
ARR Arrive/Arrival
Arroyo In hydrologic terms, a water-carved channel or gully in arid country, usually rather small with steep banks, dry most of the time, due to infrequent rainfall and the shallowness of the cut which does not penetrate below the level of permanent ground water.
ARSI Atmospheric Research System, Inc.
ART The Automatic Radiotheodolite. A ground-based radio direction finder that automatically tracks a ballon-borne radiosonde.
ARTCC Air Route Traffic Control Center
Artesian Well In hydrologic terms, a well drilled into a confined aquifer with enough hydraulic pressure for the water to flow to the surface without pumping. Also called a flowing well.
Artificial Control In hydrologic terms, a weir or other man-made structure which serves as the control for a stream-gaging station.
AS (NOTE: if this appears in an Area Forecast Discussion or other text product in context as the word "as," disregard the technical definition below).

Abbreviation for Altostratus, a cloud of a class characterized by a generally uniform gray sheet or layer, lighter in color than nimbostratus and darker than cirrostratus. These clouds are of medium altitude, about 8000 to 20,000 ft (2400-6100 m).
ASAP 1. AHOS SHEF Automatic Processing System

2. As soon as possible (may be used in Area Forecast Discussions)
ASAPTRAN The software component of ASAP.
ASB Aviation Support Branch
ASL Above Sea Level
ASOS Automated Surface Observing System
Astronomical Dawn The time at which the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon in the morning. Astronomical dawn is that point in time at which the sun starts lightening the sky. Prior to this time during the morning, the sky is completely dark.
Astronomical Dusk This is the time at which the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon in the evening. At this time the sun no longer illuminates the sky.
Astronomical Unit (abbrev. AU)- The mean earth-sun distance, equal to 1.496x1013 cm, or 214.94 solar radii.
ATC Air Traffic Control
ATDTDCS Automated Tone Dial Telephone Data Collection System - Data collection system where cooperative observers collect precipitation, stage, and temperature data then transmit the data to the NWS ATDTDCS computer through the telephone lines. The ATDTDCS computer transmits the data to AFOS.
Atmosphere The air surrounding and bound to the Earth.
Atmospheric Boundary Layer Same as Boundary Layer - in general, a layer of air adjacent to a bounding surface. Specifically, the term most often refers to the planetary boundary layer, which is the layer within which the effects of friction are significant. For the earth, this layer is considered to be roughly the lowest one or two kilometers of the atmosphere. It is within this layer that temperatures are most strongly affected by daytime insolation and nighttime radiational cooling, and winds are affected by friction with the earth's surface. The effects of friction die out gradually with height, so the "top" of this layer cannot be defined exactly.
Atmospheric Circulation Model A mathematical model for quantitatively describing, simulating, and analyzing the structure of the circulation in the atmosphere and the underlying causes. Sometimes referred to as Atmospheric General Circulation Models or AGCMs.
Atmospheric Pressure The pressure exerted by the earth's atmosphere at any given point, determined by taking the product of the gravitational acceleration at the point and the mass of the unit area column of air above the point.
Atmospheric Radiation Infrared radiation (energy in the wavelength interval of 3- 80 micrometer) emitted by or being propagated through the atmosphere. It consists of both upwelling and downwelling components. Compare with terrestrial radiation.
ATMP On a buoy report, the air temperature (Celsius).
Attenuation It refers to the reduction of the radar beam power due to the reflection or absorption of energy when it strikes a target. The greatest attenuation occurs when the radar beam goes through very heavy rain.
ATTM At this time
ATWC Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, located in Palmer, AK.
Augmented report A meteorological report prepared by an automated surface weather observing system for transmission with certified observers signed on to the system to add information to the report.
Aurora A faint visual phenomenon associated with geomagnetic activity, which occurs mainly in the high-latitude night sky; typical auroras are 100 to 250 km above the ground
Aurora Australis Same as Aurora Borealis, but in the Southern Hemisphere. Also known as the southern lights; the luminous, radiant emission from the upper atmosphere over middle and high latitudes, and centred around the earth's magnetic poles. These silent fireworks are often seen on clear winter nights in a variety of shapes and colors.
Aurora Borealis Also known as the northern lights; the luminous, radiant emission from the upper atmosphere over middle and high latitudes, and centred around the earth's magnetic poles. These silent fireworks are often seen on clear winter nights in a variety of shapes and colors.
Auroral Oval In solar-terrestrial terms, an oval band around each geomagnetic pole which is the locus of structured aurorae
Automated Event Reporting Gage (also see Tipping Bucket Rain Gage); for river stage gages, IFLOWS pressure transducer type gages can be programmed to report if water surface rises or falls by a predetermined amount.
Automated Report A meteorological report prepared by an automated surface weather observing system for transmission, and with no certified weather observers signed on to the system.
Automated Surface Observing System The ASOS program is a joint effort of the National Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Defense (DOD). Completed in the mid-1990s, the ASOS systems serve as the nation's primary surface weather observing network. ASOS is designed to support weather forecast activities and aviation operations and, at the same time, support the needs of the meteorological, hydrological, and climatological research communities.
Autumn The season of the year that is the transition period from summer to winter, occurring as the sun approaches the winter solstice. Meteorological autumn (different from standard/astronomical autumn) begins September 1 and ends November 30.
Autumnal Equinox The equinox at which the sun approaches the Southern Hemisphere, marking the start of astronomical autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The time of this occurrence is approximately September 22. On that day, daylight is everywhere 12 hours. Compare with vernal equinox, offset by six months.
Avalanche A mass of snow, rock, and/or ice falling down a mountain or incline. In practice, it usually refers to the snow avalanche. In the United States, the term snow slide is commonly used to mean a snow avalanche.
Avalanche Advisory A preliminary notification that conditions may be favorable for the development of avalanches in mountain regions.
AVBL Available
AVHRR Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. Main sensor on U.S. polar orbiting satellites.
AVN The Aviation model (120-hour numerical model of the atmosphere). The output from this model is now part of what is known as the GFS model.
AVP On a buoy report, Average Wave Period is the average period (seconds) of the highest one-third of the wave observed during a 20 minute sampling period.
AWC Aviation Weather Center
AWHPS Area Wide Hydrologic Prediction System
AWIPS Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System. This system replaced the Automation of Field Operations and Services (AFOS). This system allows the operator to overlay meteorological data from a variety of sources.
AWOS Automated Weather Observation System
Azimuth A direction in terms of a 360? compass. North is at 0?, east is at 90?, south is at 180?, and west is at 270?.
Azimuth Angle The direction or bearing toward which a sloping surface faces (e.g., a north-facing slope has an azimuth angle of 360?; a northeast-facing slope, an azimuth angle of 45?).
Azores High Alternate term for Bermuda High - a semi-permanent, subtropical area of high pressure in the North Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast of North America that migrates east and west with varying central pressure. Depending on the season, it has different names. When it is displaced westward, during the Northern Hemispheric summer and fall, the center is located in the western North Atlantic, near Bermuda. In the winter and early spring, it is primarily centered near the Azores in the eastern part of the North Atlantic. Also known as Azores High.