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Glossary of Meteorological Terms (U)

U

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Ultraviolet radiation
Electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength than visible radiation but longer than x-rays, between 0.02 and 0.4 micron (200 and 4000 angstrom).
Uncertainty
The standard deviation of a sufficiently large number of measurements of the same quantity by the same instrument or method. The non-correctable part of the inaccuracy of an instrument, it represents the limit of measurement precision. The uncertainty of an instrument is caused by the unpredictable effects upon its performance of such factors as friction, backlash, and electronic noise.
Unprotected thermometer
A reversing thermometer (for sea-water temperature) which is not protected against hydrostatic pressure. The mercury bulb is therefore squeezed, and the amount of mercury broken off on reversal is a function of both temperature and of hydrostatic pressure.
Updraft
A relatively small-scale, upward moving current of air.
Upper air
That portion of the atmosphere which is above the lower troposphere. Generally applied to levels above 850 mb.
Upper air observation
A measurement of atmospheric conditions aloft, above the effective range of a surface weather observation. Elements evaluated include temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed, and wind direction.
Upward total radiation
Solar and terrestrial radiation directed upward (away from the earth’s surface); outgoing radiation.
Upwind
In the direction from which the wind is blowing.
USCRN
United States Climate Reference Network, a systematic and sustained network of climate monitoring stations with sites across the conterminous US, Alaska, and Hawaii.
UTC
Coordinated Universal Time.
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