Clouds
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Clouds. Cloud Formation. Condensation - water vapor gathers and forms water droplets or ice crystals (deposition) 1) Warm air rises taking along vapor, cools and condenses 2) Molecules (dust, salt, ash – condensation nuclei ) combine with water vapor and form droplets. Where clouds form.

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Clouds

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Clouds

Clouds


Cloud formation

Cloud Formation

  • Condensation - water vapor gathers and forms water droplets or ice crystals (deposition)

  • 1) Warm air rises taking along vapor, cools and condenses

  • 2) Molecules (dust, salt, ash – condensation nuclei) combine with water vapor and form droplets


Where clouds form

Where clouds form

  • Word parts indicate where clouds form and describe appearance

    • Strato – layered clouds, usually form below 6,500 feet

    • Cumulo – fluffy clouds that grow upward

    • Alto - between 6,500 and 20,000 feet

    • Cirro – feathery clouds forming above 20,000 feet

    • Nimbo– refer to dark rain clouds


Where clouds form1

Where clouds form


High level clouds

High Level Clouds

  • Bases above 20,000 ft (7,000 m)

  • Composed of ice crystals

  • Types: Cirrus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus


High level clouds cirrus clouds

High level clouds:Cirrus Clouds

  • Thin, wispy, and fibrous, hair-like in appearance

  • Indicate fair weather


High level clouds1

High level clouds

  • Cirrocumulus –extremely high

    • Occur before snowfall, made entirely of ice

  • Cirrostratus – indicate snow or rain, blanket sky

    • Produce halos around Sun and moon


Middle level clouds

Middle level clouds

  • Bases between 6,500 and 20,000 ft

  • Associated with light precipitation

  • Contain ice crystals and/or water droplets

  • Types: Altocumulus and Altostratus


Middle level clouds altocumulus

Middle level clouds: Altocumulus

  • Puffy with noticeable height piling upward

  • Commonly followed by thunderstorms


Middle level clouds altostratus

Middle level clouds: Altostratus

  • More uniform coverage, still layered

  • Gray or bluish in color

  • Indicates an approaching thunderstorm or cyclone


Low level clouds

Low Level Clouds

  • Bases lie below 6,500 ft (2,000 m)

  • Mostly water droplets

  • Some ice crystals in cold climates

  • Types: Nimbostratus, Cumulonimbus, Stratocumulus, Stratus, and fog


Low level clouds1

Low level clouds

  • Nimbostratus

    • Dark gray, layered clouds

    • Produce steady rain

  • Cumulonimbus

    • Also low level, but produce heavy rain, thunder, lightning, or hail


Low level clouds stratus clouds

Low level clouds: Stratus Clouds

  • Substantial, flat or layered

  • Appear before thunderstorms, but produce little precipitation

  • Usually the lowest

  • Appear overcast


Low level clouds stratocumulus

Low level clouds: Stratocumulus

  • Layers of puffy clouds, flat on top

  • Often cover sky in winter

  • Can produce precipitation


Low level clouds fog

Low level clouds:Fog

  • “Cloud” that is touching the ground

  • Becomes stratus when it lifts


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