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National Weather Service Glossary

This glossary contains information on more than 2000 terms, phrases and abbreviations used by the NWS. Many of these terms and abbreviations are used by NWS forecasters to communicate between each other and have been in use for many years and before many NWS products were directly available to the public. It is the purpose of this glossary to aid the general public in better understanding NWS products.

You can either type in the word you are looking for in the box below or browse by letter.

Here are the results for the letter X
X-Band
A frequency band of microwave radiation in which radars operate.
X-Ray Background
In solar-terrestrial terms, a daily average background X-ray flux in the 1 to 8 angstrom range. It is a midday minimum designed to reduce the effects of flares.
X-Ray Burst
In solar-terrestrial terms, a temporary enhancement of the X-ray emission of the sun. The time-intensity profile of soft X-ray bursts is similar to that of the H-alpha profile of an associated flare.
X-Ray Flare Class
In solar-terrestrial terms, rank of a flare based on its X-ray energy output. Flares are classified by the order of magnitude of the peak burst intensity (I) measured at the earth in the 1 to 8 angstrom band as follows:

ClassIntensity (in Watts/m2)
BI < 10-6
C10-6 <= I < 10-5
M10-5 <= I < 10-4
XI >= 10-4
X-Rays
Very energetic electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths intermediate between 0.01 and 10 nanometers (0.1-100 Angstroms) or between gamma rays and ultraviolet radiation. Essentially all X-Rays from space are absorbed in the Earth's upper atmosphere.
XBT
Expendable Bathythermograph
XCITED
Excited
XCPT
Expecting
XPC
Expect
XSEC
Cross Section