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Weather Glossary - K

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Katabatic wind

A local wind which develops due to cool, dense air flowing downhill. The cooler air is generally a result of night time radiational cooling in the lower layers of the atmosphere, but katabatic winds also occur over snow fields and glaciers. See also anabatic winds.

Katafront

A front where the warm air descends the frontal surface, except in the low layers.

Kelvin

Unit of thermodynamic temperature. Zero Kelvin is absolute zero (-273.15°C). Temperatures in Kelvin can be obtained from temperatures in Celsius by the formulae K=C+273.2.

Kelvin-Helmholtz billows

A phenomenon that occurs in a high-shear environment between two layers of fluid which are stably stratified (i.e. a denser fluid beneath a lighter fluid).

Kinetic energy

The energy a body possesses as a consequence of its motion. Defined as half the product of its mass and the square of its speed.

Knot

The unit of speed equal to 1 nautical mile/hour, or 1.85 km/h. The knot is commonly used to report wind speed and ocean current speed.

Knuckles

[Slang] Lumpy protrusions on the edges, and sometimes the underside, of a thunderstorm anvil. They usually appear on the upwind side of a back-sheared anvil, and indicate rapid expansion of the anvil due to the presence of a very strong updraft. They are not mammatus clouds. See also cumuliform anvil, anvil rollover.

Køppen's classification of climates

Classification of climate based on annual and monthly means of temperature and precipitation which also takes into account the vegetation limits. It is a tool for presenting the world pattern of climate and for identifying important deviations from this pattern.

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Weather News

Tropical Cyclone Owen heads for Cape Shield and Groote Eylandt, BOM issues warning

16:52 EDT

A Tropical Cyclone warning has been issued for parts of the north-east Top End, including Cape Shield and Groote Eylandt.

Health expert warns residents are at risk from high sodium in water in drought-stricken NSW town of Walgett

15:45 EDT

Walgett has always been a river town, perched near the junction of the Barwon and the Namoi rivers.

Stormy end to the week in southeastern Australia

11:12 EDT

Widespread showers and thunderstorms will affect Australia’s southeastern states and territories during the second half of this week.

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