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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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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
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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