clear-air turbulence

[ kleer-air ]
/ ˈklɪərˈɛər /

noun

atmospheric turbulence, sometimes severe, occurring in air devoid of clouds or other visible indicators that turbulence might be present. Abbreviation: CAT

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Origin of clear-air turbulence

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Scientific definitions for clear-air turbulence

clear-air turbulence
[ klîrâr ]

Atmospheric turbulence that occurs under tranquil and cloudless conditions at high altitudes near jet streams, mountain ranges, and developing storm systems. It subjects aircraft to strong updrafts and downdrafts.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.