Aeronautical Terms beginning with B

Backing

Shifting of the wind in a counterclockwise direction with respect to either space or time; opposite of veering. Commonly used by meteorologists to refer to a cyclonic shift (counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere).


Backscatter

Pertaining to radar, the energy reflected or scattered by a target; an echo.


Banner cloud (also called cloud banner)

A banner-like cloud streaming off from a mountain peak.


Barograph

A continuous-recording barometer.


Barometer

An instrument for measuring the pressure of the atmosphere; the two principle types are mercurial and aneroid.


Barometric altimeter

Also called a pressure altimeter. An aneroid barometer with a scale graduated in altitude instead of pressure using standard atmospheric pressure-height relationships; shows indicated altitude (not necessarily true altitude); may be set to measure altitude (indicated) from any arbitrarily chosen level.


Barometric pressure

Same as atmospheric pressure—the pressure exerted by the atmosphere as a consequence of gravitational attraction exerted upon the “column” of air lying directly above the point in question.


Barometric tendency

The change of barometric pressure within a specified period of time. In aviation weather observation, routinely determined periodically, usually for a 3-hour period.


Beaufort scale

A scale of wind speeds.


Black blizzard

Same as dust storm—an unusual, frequently severe weather condition characterized by strong winds and dust-filled air over an extensive area.


Blizzard

A severe weather condition characterized by low temperatures and strong winds bearing a great amount of snow, either falling or picked up from the ground.


Blowing dust

A type of lithometeor composed of dust particles picked up locally from the surface and blown about in clouds or sheets.


Blowing sand

A type of lithometeor composed of sand picked up locally from the surface and blown about in clouds or sheets.


Blowing snow

A type of hydrometeor composed of snow picked up from the surface by the wind and carried to a height of 6 feet or more.


Blowing spray

A type of hydrometeor composed of water particles picked up by the wind from the surface of a large body of water.


Bright band

In radar meteorology, a narrow, intense echo on the range-height indicator scope resulting from water-covered ice particles of high reflectivity at the melting level.


Buys Ballot’s law

If an observer in the Northern Hemisphere stands with his back to the wind, lower pressure is to his left.


Beam resolution

The ability of radar to distinguish between targets at approximately the same range but at different azimuths.


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