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Earth Science Hook. Clouds. How do Clouds Form?. In order for clouds to form you need the following: Low Pressure Relatively “humid” air Condensation Clouds form when water vapor in the air becomes liquid water or ice crystals. At what height do clouds form?.

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how do clouds form
How do Clouds Form?
  • In order for clouds to form you need the following:
    • Low Pressure
    • Relatively “humid” air
    • Condensation

Clouds form when water vapor in the air becomes liquid water or ice crystals

at what height do clouds form
At what height do clouds form?
  • Clouds form at various heights. One thing that scientists know is that cloud formation is based on the DEW POINT!!
  • So clouds form at the dew point temperature in the air.
  • Because the earth does not warm up evenly, clouds don’t all develop at the same height!
three major types and height
Three Major Types and Height
  • Stratus
  • Cumulus
  • Cirrus
stratus
Stratus
  • Latin word meaning “to spread out”
  • Horizontal, layered clouds that stretch out across the sky like a blanket.
  • Form when warm-moist air passes over a layer of cool air.
  • Low-level clouds
3 kind of low level clouds
3 kind of Low Level clouds
  • Stratus
  • Nimbostratus
  • Stratocumulus
cumulus
Cumulus
  • Latin word meaning “heap” or “a pile”
  • Puffy in appearance
    • Large cotton balls
  • Form when warm, moist air is forced upward.
  • Mid-Level clouds
middle level clouds
Middle Level Clouds
  • Cumulus
  • Altocumulus
  • Altostratus
cirrus
Cirrus
  • Latin word meaning “tuft” or “curl of hair”
  • Very wispy and feathery looking
  • Form in very high altitudes!!
    • 7km above earth’s surface
  • Composed of ice crystals and are so thin the sunlight can pass right through them
high level clouds
High Level Clouds
  • Cirrus
  • Cirrocumulus
  • Cirrostratus
2 extra ones
2 extra ones…
  • Contrails
  • Cumulonimbus
contrails
Contrails
  • Clouds that are created by airplanes
  • Planes leave CO2 and steam from their giant tailpipes
  • These cool and become clouds!!
the mother of them all
The mother of them all…..
  • Cumulonimbus!!!
    • Commonly known as Thunder Heads!
    • Vertical development is caused by temperature difference between the clouds and the air around it…
    • This unstable air is what causes THUNDERSTORMS