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updraft

[uhp-draft, -drahft] /ˈʌpˌdræft, -ˌdrɑft/
noun
1.
the movement upward of air or other gas.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English; see up-, draft
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for updraft
  • The hawk drifted, riding an updraft, its screeching sound carrying over the thrum of the waves.
  • The air in the downdraft wrapped around the air in the updraft.
  • It was being sucked into the updraft of a storm cloud.
  • The fire's updraft, for example, sucks in air and generates winds that fan the flames.
  • He flipped his wrist, and the hat skimmed out the window and caught an updraft and soared.
  • But there was a great updraft in the scorching gulch.
  • As you might imagine, water vapor in a rising updraft will eventually freeze, or become supercooled.
  • In general, the stronger the updraft, the larger the hail.
  • The large hail that often precedes tornadoes forms as a result of the intense updraft feeding the thunderstorm.
  • Without the updraft of warm humid air, the tornado's spiraling winds unravel and weaken, and it falls apart.
Word Origin and History for updraft
n.

"rising air current," 1909, from up + draft (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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updraft in Science
updraft
  (ŭp'drāft')   
An upward current of warm, moist air. With enough moisture, the current may visibly condense into a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud. Compare downdraft.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for updraft

in meteorology, upward-moving and downward-moving air currents, respectively, that are due to several causes. Local daytime heating of the ground causes surface air to become much warmer than the air above, and, because warmer air is less dense, it rises and is replaced by descending cooler air. The vertical ascending current, called a thermal, may reach an altitude of 3 km (2 miles) or more. The greater the radius of the thermal, the higher it is likely to ascend. Updrafts and downdrafts also occur as part of the turbulence that is created when air passes over topographic barriers such as mountains.

Learn more about updraft with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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13
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