katabatic wind

katabatic wind

also called  downslope wind , or  gravity wind 

      wind that blows down a slope because of gravity. It occurs at night, when the highlands radiate heat and are cooled. The air in contact with these highlands is thus also cooled, and it becomes denser than the air at the same elevation but away from the slope; it therefore begins to flow downhill. This process is most pronounced in calm air because winds mix the air and prevent cold pockets from forming.

      When a katabatic wind is warmed by compression during its descent into denser air, it is called a foehn. A large-scale katabatic wind that descends too rapidly to warm up is called a fall wind. In areas where fall winds occur, homes and orchards are situated on hillslopes above the lowlands where the cold air accumulates.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Katabatic wind — A katabatic wind, from the Greek word katabatikos meaning going downhill , is the technical name for a drainage wind, a wind that carries high density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity. Such winds are sometimes… …   Wikipedia

  • katabatic wind — noun Any wind blowing down an incline; the opposite of anabatic wind. If the wind is warm, it is called a foehn; if cold, it may be a fall wind (such as the bora), or a gravity wind (such as a mountain wind) …   Wiktionary

  • katabatic wind — noun a wind caused by the downward motion of cold air • Syn: ↑catabatic wind • Hypernyms: ↑wind, ↑air current, ↑current of air …   Useful english dictionary

  • katabatic wind — The cold wind that flows down the slopes of the mountains and spreads at the base of the mountains …   Aviation dictionary

  • Katabatic lift — is a term used by glider pilots to denote a special type of lift formed in valleys when Katabatic winds on both sides of the valley meet, and the air at the bottom is forced upward …   Wikipedia

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  • WInd — West Indian. Also, W.Ind. * * * I Movement of air relative to the surface of the Earth. Wind is an important factor in determining and controlling climate and weather. It is also the generating force of most ocean and freshwater waves. Wind… …   Universalium

  • katabatic — adjective Etymology: Greek katabatos descending, verbal of katabainein to go down, from kata cata + bainein to go more at come Date: 1918 relating to or being a wind produced by the flow of cold dense air down a slope (as of a mountain or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • katabatic — /kat euh bat ik/, adj. Meteorol. (of a wind or air current) moving downward or down a slope. Cf. anabatic (def. 1). [1915 20; < Gk katabatikós pertaining to going down, equiv. to kata KATA + ba (s. of baínein to go; see BASIS) + tikos TIC] * * * …   Universalium

  • katabatic —   a wind flowing down valley sides and floors, usually as air cools, condenses and sinks at night …   Geography glossary

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