Clouds and weather prediction
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Clouds and Weather Prediction - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Clouds and Weather Prediction. Learner Expectations. Grade 5 Atmosphere: Conditions/Data/Predict The learner will be able to predict weather conditions based on an analysis of atmospheric data. In this activity you will:. Learn about the types of clouds and the weather each might predict.

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Learner Expectations

  • Grade 5

    • Atmosphere: Conditions/Data/PredictThe learner will be able to predict weather conditions based on an analysis of atmospheric data.

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In this activity you will:

  • Learn about the types of clouds and the weather each might predict.

  • Write a paragraph about a cloud type and its weather.

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What are clouds?

  • A cloud is made up of tiny water droplets and/or ice crystals, a snowflake is a collection of many ice crystals, and rain is just liquid water.

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Cloud Types

  • Names of specific types of clouds are created by combining the name of the cloud's shape with its height.

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Cloud Types

  • The presence of clouds in the sky is one type of signal to meteorologists that there will be changes in the weather. Predicting the weather requires the understanding of the different types of clouds.

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Cloud Formation

  • Clouds form when solar heating of the earth’s surface warms the air near the ground. This air begins to rise and it expands and cools.

  • Water vapor then condenses on small dust particles suspended in the air and these combine to form clouds.

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Cloud Formation

  • The type of cloud created is determined by how fast the air rises.

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There are 3 main types of clouds:

  • Cumulus or fluffy clouds form when air is forced up rapidly and therefore rises higher.

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  • Stratus clouds are layered clouds that form when air that is forced up slowly.


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  • Cirrus clouds are thin feathery clouds.


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There are three categories of cloud heights:

  • High Clouds = Cirrus

  • Middle Clouds = Alto

  • Low Clouds = Stratus

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High Clouds = Cirrus


  • Cirrus

  • Cirrostratus

  • Cirrocumulus

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High Clouds: Cirrus

  • Cirrus clouds are made of ice crystals and are high and wispy. They can be divided into cirrostratus and cirrocumulus clouds.

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High Clouds:Cirrus

  • Cirrus generally occur in fair weather and point in the direction of air movement at their elevation.

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  • Cirrus clouds are usually the first sign of an approaching storm.

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Middle Clouds: Alto

  • Altostratus

  • Altocumulus

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Middle Clouds:Altocumulus

Altocumulus clouds usually form from the gradual lifting of air in advance of a cold front.

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Middle Clouds:Altocumulus

The presence of altocumulus clouds on a warm and humid summer morning is commonly followed by thunderstorms later in the day.

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Low Clouds: Stratus

  • Stratus

  • Stratocumulus

  • Nimbostratus

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Low Level Stratus Clouds

Low clouds are of mostly composed of water droplets. However, when temperatures are cold enough, these clouds may also contain ice particles and snow.

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Low Clouds: Stratus

  • Stratus clouds resemble fog, but they do not reach the ground. They often produce mist or drizzle.

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Vertically Developed Clouds

  • Fair weather cumulus have the appearance of floating cotton and have a lifetime of 5-40 minutes. The cloud tops designate the limit of the rising air.

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Vertically Developed Clouds

  • Harmless fair weather cumulus can later develop into towering cumulonimbus clouds associated with powerful thunderstorms.

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Nimbus Clouds

  • Nimbus clouds are clouds that produce precipitation. Nimbo or nimbus might be used with cumulus or stratus to indicate a cloud formation that is producing rain.

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Cumulonimbus and Nimbostratus

  • A nimbostratus cloud is a stratus cloud with precipitation and a cumulonimbus cloud is a cumulus cloud with precipitation.

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Cumulonimbus Clouds

  • Cumulonimbus cloudsare the "thunderheads" that can be seen on a warm summer day and can bring strong winds, hail, and rain.

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  • Nimbostratus are dark, low-level clouds accompanied by light to moderately falling precipitation.

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  • Nimbostratus clouds will bring a long steady rain. However, when temperatures are cold enough, these clouds may also contain ice particles and snow.

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Stratocumulus Clouds

  • Stratocumulus clouds generally appear as a low, lumpy layer of clouds that is sometimes accompanied by weak intensity precipitation.

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Weather Predictors

  • Clouds, in many cases, foreshadow incoming weather and assist in forecasting.

More about Clouds

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Writing Activity

  • Write a paragraph about one type of cloud and the weather conditions it predicts. Include 4 facts from this presentation.