NASA Logo - National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA Mid Header Graphic - NASA Langley Reseach Center
SCOOL Banner - Return To Landing Page
Message of The Month:

GLOSSARY


Our comprehensive glossary is available to assist in your understanding of the S'COOL lesson plan vocabulary words. Please select the first letter of the word you wish to check for a definition and further information.


A  |  B |  C  |  D |  E  |  F |  G  |  H |  I  |  J |  K  |  L |  M  |  N |  O  |  P |  Q  |  R |  S  |  T |  U  |  V |  W  |  X |  Y  |  Z



All definitions


Weather word translations
S
satellite:
Something that is in orbit around something else. For example, the Moon is a natural satellite in orbit around the Earth. Terra and Aqua are artificial satellites put into Earth orbit. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is an artificial satellite put into orbit around Mars. Satellites assist in weather forecasting.   Satellite Tracking site Diagram of TRMM satellite in Earth orbit
Image courtesy NASA
S
Satellite azimuth from North (sat azm fr. north):
The satellite azimuth angle from north. If: point A = the ground site (where you are); point N = the North Pole; point S = the point on the Earth directly under the satellite; then the satellite azimuth angle = angle NAS. Here's another way of thinking of this: Say the angle = 50 degrees. If you stand facing the North Pole and then turn clockwise by 50 degrees, then you will be looking in the direction of the satellite..  
S
saturation:
the atmospheric condition when water will begin to change phase from vapor to liquid or solid; occurs when relative humidity reaches 100 percent, usually by cooling.  
S
scale:
a system of measurement that uses marks shown at regular intervals. The marks represent numerical values.  
S
shadow:
the relative darkness on a surface that occurs when direct sunlight is blocked..   Spirit Shadow over Laguna Trench
Image courtesy NASA Spirit's front hazard-avoidance camera Feb. 21, 2004
S
Sky Color:
The classification of the color of the sky into one of the following 5 categories: Deep Blue, Blue, Light Blue, Pale Blue, and Milky. Near the horizon it is typically lighter due to the presence of aerosols. The darkest part of sky can often be seen about half way between the horizon and directly overhead, in the "anti- sun" direction - that is, when you look at the sky with your shadow in front of you. When observing Sky Color your should classify the darkest (bluest) color of the sky. S'COOL Sky Color Chart.  
S
Sky Visibility:
Viability is the the clarity with which objects can be viewed through the intervening atmosphere. Visibility classifications are Unusually Clear, Clear, Somewhat Hazy, Very Hazy, Extremely Hazy. To judge visibility or atmospheric clarity it is best to look at a distant object like hills of buildings. By repeatedly looking at these distant objects on different days you can gain a sense of the difference between clear days or hazy days..  
S
sleet:
frozen rain.  
S
slide show:
a style of showing pictures in a presentation in which one photograph is viewed right after the other.  
S
snow:
precipitation in the form of ice crystals.   Trees covered with snow
S
Solar Zenith:
The angle between the local zenith and the line of sight to the sun. If: point A = the ground site (where you are); point Z = any point directly above point A (The zenith); point B = the sun; then the solar zenith angle = the angle ZAB..   zentih gif
S
spark:
a quick bright discharge of electricity between two conductors.  
S
spreadsheet:
a computer application that allows the user to manipulate numerical data in user defined ways that can produce user defined outputs.  
S
static:
related to forces, weight, or pressures that act without causing movement.  
S
stationary front:
A boundary between a cold front and a warm front, in which neither is strong enough to overtake the other. There is little or no movement of the two air masses. Stationary fronts are usually accompanied by long periods of rain.   tutorial on stationary fronts
S
station model:
a symbolic way of representing weather station data. It provides a large amount of data that is displayed in a small space, so that multiple stations data can be compared in the same map.  
S
stratocumulus:
These low clouds are a mixture of layered (stratus) and puffy (cumulus) portions. Sometimes they consist of small cumulus bands lined up in neat rows..   S'COOL Cloud Chart - Stratocumulus Clouds Photo by the class of Margaret Holtschlag
S
stratus:
low, gray clouds that may have very little variation. Layered, featureless clouds.   S\'COOL Cloud Chart - Stratus Clouds Stratus Clouds
Image courtesy Pequot Lakes Elementary School, Pequot Lakes, MN
S
sustainable:
To utilize resources in a way to maintain and meet present needs without depleting the resource or compromising future needs.