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A COMPREHENSIVE GLOSSARY OF WEATHER

Michael Branick
NOAA/NWSFO Norman

    -F-

    F scale - See Fujita Scale.

    Feeder Bands - Lines or bands of low-level clouds that move (feed) into the updraft region of a thunderstorm, usually from the east through south (i.e., parallel to the inflow). Same as inflow bands.

    This term also is used in tropical meteorology to describe spiral-shaped bands of convection surrounding, and moving toward, the center of a tropical cyclone.

    *Flanking Line - A line of cumulus or towering cumulus clouds connected to and extending outward from the most active part of a supercell, normally on the southwest side. The line normally has a stair-step appearance, with the tallest clouds closest to the main storm, and generally coincides with the pseudo-cold front. See Fig. 3, HP storm, and Fig. 7, supercell.

    Forward Flank Downdraft - The main region of downdraft in the forward, or leading, part of a supercell, where most of the heavy precipitation is. Compare with rear flank downdraft. See pseudo-warm front, and Fig. 7, supercell.

    Front - A boundary or transition zone between two air masses of different density, and thus (usually) of different temperature. A moving front is named according to the advancing air mass, e.g., cold front if colder air is advancing.

    Fractus - Ragged, detached cloud fragments; same as scud.

    Fujita Scale (or F Scale) - A scale of wind damage intensity in which wind speeds are inferred from an analysis of wind damage:

         F0 (weak):     40- 72 mph, light damage.
         F1 (weak):     73-112 mph, moderate damage.
         F2 (strong):  113-157 mph, considerable damage.
         F3 (strong):  158-206 mph, severe damage.
         F4 (violent): 207-260 mph, devastating damage.
         F5 (violent): 261-318 mph, (rare) incredible damage.
    
    All tornadoes, and most other severe local windstorms, are assigned a single number from this scale according to the most intense damage caused by the storm.

    *Funnel Cloud - A condensation funnel extending from the base of a towering cumulus or Cb, associated with a rotating column of air that is not in contact with the ground (and hence different from a tornado). A condensation funnel is a tornado, not a funnel cloud, if either a) it is in contact with the ground or b) a debris cloud or dust whirl is visible beneath it.
















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