clear-air turbulence

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  • noun

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strong turbulence in an otherwise cloudless region that subjects aircraft to violent updrafts or downdrafts

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28 incident in which clear-air turbulence jarred a Boeing 747-100, killing one woman and injuring dozens of other passengers.
The new radar reinforces performance by adding innovative features: dual polarization observation enhances the precision of rainfall estimation by capturing the shape and size of raindrops and cloud; clear-air turbulence observation detects very low levels of signal scattering, enabling to observe air conditions including wind speed even in clear weather -- a very difficult task for most weather radars.
At NASA's Langley Research Center, Zuckerwar is investigating how to use infrasound data to warn airplane pilots of clear-air turbulence.
More study is needed, he said, but the impacts on aviation in the coming decades "could be more clear-air turbulence, resulting in a bumpier ride for passengers.
There is evidence that clear-air turbulence has already risen by 40-90% over Europe and North America since 1958, but that is set to increase further due to global warming.