Weather Glossary - Z



A light, warm breeze. Derived from Zephryros, the personification by the ancient Greeks of the warm west wind that was thought to prevail around the time of the summer solstice.

Zonal flow

Large-scale atmospheric flow in which the east-west component (i.e., latitudinal) is dominant. The accompanying meridional (north-south) component often is weaker than normal. Compare with meridional flow. Weather systems tend to move past quickly in a zonal flow regime.


Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Centred on zero degrees longitude. For scientific purposes this time zone is also known as Universal Time (UTC). All meteorological observations worldwide are reported using this time (for ease of comparison and computation). This timezone is commonly suffixed with 'Z'.

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Thunderstorms light up the Kimberley sky

17:30 AEDT A low over northern areas of Western Australia's Kimberley region is generating plenty of thunderstorms and areas of heavy rain over an already saturated landscape.

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