gradient wind

[wind]
noun
a wind with a velocity and direction that are mathematically defined by the balanced relationship of the pressure gradient force to the centrifugal force and the Coriolis force: conceived as blowing parallel to isobars.


Origin:
1905–10

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

gradient wind

wind that accounts for air flow along a curved trajectory. It is an extension of the concept of geostrophic wind-i.e., the wind assumed to move along straight and parallel isobars (lines of equal pressure). The gradient wind represents the actual wind better than does the geostrophic wind, especially when the wind speed and trajectory curvature are large, as they are in hurricanes and jet streams.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Hurricanes are among cyclonic vortices in which the gradient wind relationship holds during their evolution.
Gradient wind is the primary contributor to surge, generally acknowledged to be twice that of the pressure contribution.
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