Wurtele, Morton G. Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, California.
Ehernberger, L. J. Dryden Flight Research Facility, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Edwards, California.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Forecasting and detection
- Flight safety
- Origin and explanation
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Turbulence above the boundary layer but not associated with cumulus convection. The atmosphere is a fluid in turbulent motion. That turbulence of a scale sensed by humans in aircraft is primarily associated with the boundary layer within a kilometer or so of the Earth, where it is induced by the surface roughness, or in regions of deep convection such as cumulus cloud development or thunderstorms. However, aircraft occasionally encounter turbulence when flying at altitudes well above the surface and far from convective clouds. This phenomenon has been given the rather unsatisfactory name of clear-air turbulence (CAT).
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