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Cloud Formation and Types. Why Do Clouds Form?. Clouds need three things to form: Cooling Condensation Nuclei Saturated Air. What Causes Cooling?. There are Four Processes that lead to the cooling of air- #1 Convective Cooling Rising air expands because pressure decreases

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Presentation Transcript
why do clouds form
Why Do Clouds Form?
  • Clouds need three things to form:
    • Cooling
    • Condensation Nuclei
    • Saturated Air
what causes cooling
What Causes Cooling?

There are Four Processes that lead to the cooling of air-

  • #1 Convective Cooling

Rising air expands because pressure decreases

Expansion causes the air to become cooler

    • Adiabatic Temperature Changesare changes in temperature from the expansion or compression of air
adiabatic temperature change convective cooling continued
Adiabatic Temperature Change(Convective Cooling Continued)
  • For dry air, temperature changes 1ºC every 100 meters in elevation change
  • 5.4ºF for every 1000 feet
  • For moist air, the cooling rate varies from 0.5ºC per 100 m for air with a high moisture content to 0.9ºC per 100 m for air with a very low moisture content
  • Average is 0.7ºC per 100 m
convective cooling continued
Convective Cooling (Continued)
  • When the rising air reaches the dew point temperature, water vapor begins to condense
  • The condensation level is the height above the ground at which condensation takes place
2 forceful lifting
#2 Forceful Lifting
  • An event occurs that forces the air to rise
  • Air moving up and over a mountain
3temperature changes
#3Temperature Changes
  • Two air masses with different temperatures mix
  • The temperature change of the combined air masses may be cooler than the dew point
4 advective cooling
#4 Advective Cooling
  • Warm, moist air moving over cool land or water causes the air temperature to drop
  • Forms low clouds or fog
condensation nuclei
Condensation Nuclei
  • The water vapor needs a surface on which to condense.
  • Condensation nuclei are tiny, less than 0.001 mm in diameter. There MUST be solid particles in the air for the water vapor to condense onto.
  • Examples include:
      • Suspended particles of atmospheric dust
      • mineral particles
      • ash from fires
      • volcanic dust
      • microscopic organisms
      • vaporized meteors
    • salt from sea spray
saturated air
Saturated Air
  • Air temperature must be equal to the dew point.
  • Thus, 100% humidity. . . Clouds form!
let s make a cloud

Let’s Make a Cloud!

Magic?!. . . No, science.

cloud types 1
Cloud Types 1
  • Stratus Clouds
    • sheet-like, or layered.
  • Cumulus Clouds
    • puffy, like cotton balls.
  • Cirrus Clouds
    • thin and wispy.
cloud types 2
Cloud Types 2
  • High Clouds (above 6,000 m)
    • Cirrus
    • Cirrostratus
  • Mid-level Clouds
    • Altostratus
    • Altocumulus
  • Low-level Clouds
    • Stratus
    • Cumulus, Cumulonimbus