Emanuel, Kerry Andrew Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Convective motions
- Moist convection
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A state of fluid flow in which the balance of body forces along the direction of the net body force is unstable and will thus break down. Fluid flows are subject to a variety of instabilities, which may be broadly viewed as a process by which relatively simple flows become more complex. Instabilities are an important step in the transition between smooth and turbulent flow, and in the atmosphere they are responsible for phenomena ranging from thunderstorms to low- and high-pressure systems. Meteorologists and oceanographers divide instabilities into two broad classes: convective and dynamic. See also: Dynamic instability
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