/fayn/; Ger. /fuen/, n.
a warm, dry wind descending a mountain, as on the north side of the Alps.
Also, föhn.
[1860-65; < G Föhn (orig. in Alpine dialects), MHG foenne, OHG phonno < VL *faonius, for L Favonius FAVONIUS]

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German  Föhn,  

      warm and dry, gusty wind that periodically descends the leeward slopes of nearly all mountains and mountain ranges. The name was first applied to a wind of this kind that occurs in the Alps, where the phenomenon was first studied.

      A foehn results from the ascent of moist air up the windward slopes; as this air climbs, it expands and cools until it becomes saturated with water vapour, after which it cools more slowly because its moisture is condensing as rain or snow, releasing latent heat. By the time it reaches the peaks and stops climbing, the air is quite dry. The ridges of the mountains are usually obscured by a bank of clouds known as a foehn wall, which marks the upper limit of precipitation on the windward slopes. As the air makes its leeward descent, it is compressed and warms rapidly all the way downslope because there is little water left to evaporate and absorb heat; thus, the air is warmer and drier when it reaches the foot of the leeward slope than when it begins its windward ascent.

      Foehn winds in various parts of the world have local names: chinook in the North American Rockies, ghibli in Libya, and zonda in the Andes of Argentina.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • foehn — foehn …   Dictionnaire des rimes

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  • Foehn — Foehn, n. [G. dial. (Swiss), fr. L. Favonius west wind. Cf. {Favonian}.] (Meteor.) (a) A warm dry wind that often blows in the northern valleys of the Alps, due to the indraught of a storm center passing over Central Europe. The wind, heated by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • foehn — [fān; ] Ger [ fën] n. [Ger dial. föhn < MHG phönne < OHG fonno < LL * faunjo < L Favonius, west wind: see FAVONIAN] a warm, dry wind blowing down into the valleys of a mountain, esp. in the Alps …   English World dictionary

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  • foehn — var. of FOEHN. * * * noun a warm dry wind that blows down the northern slopes of the Alps • Syn: ↑fohn • Hypernyms: ↑wind, ↑air current, ↑current of air * * * noun or föhn …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Foehn wind — A foehn wind or föhn wind is a type of dry downslope wind which occurs in the lee of a mountain range. It is a rain shadow wind which results from the subsequent adiabatic warming of air which has dropped most of its moisture on windward slopes ( …   Wikipedia

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