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Weather Glossary - K


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.


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


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.


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.


[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.

K°ppen'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

Mid-week warmth on the east coast

21:10 EDT

It will be a warm Wednesday for those living along the eastern seaboard as the spring temperature see-saw takes a swing.

National cherry crop wipe out could benefit the small West Australian industry

16:49 EDT

West Australian cherry growers could benefit from the massive drop in cherries expected to be grown on the east coast of Australia.

Historic year for carbon dioxide concentration

14:56 EDT

The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has reached an unprecedented peak and is on track to set a new record in 2016.