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Different Types of Clouds
Transcript of Different Types of Clouds
What are Clouds?
Names of Clouds
To better communicate and understand the many cloud forms in the sky, meteorologists identify clouds based on five basic cloud characteristics:
1. The altitude at which they occur
5. Degree of cover.
From this information, we can identify three basic cloud types and seven other common cloud types.
Types of Clouds
There are 3 main types of clouds
Clouds are made up of tiny water droplets and/or ice crystals
A snowflake is a collection of many ice crystals
Rain is just liquid water
Stratus clouds are thin, sheet-like clouds.
They are layered with some rippling, and cover large portions of the sky.
Cirrus clouds are thin, white clouds with a feathery appearance.
The long stringy cirrus clouds are called “mares’ tails”
Cirrus generally occur in fair weather
The word cirrus comes from a Latin word that means a tuft or curl of hair.
Low clouds are made of water droplets; however, when temperatures are cold enough, these clouds may also contain ice particles and snow.
They often produce mist or drizzle
They have a lifetime of about 5 minutes to 40 minutes
The word cumulus comes from the Latin word for a heap or a pile
Cirrus clouds are usually the first sign of an approaching storm.
They point in the direction of air movement at their elevation
Cirrus clouds are formed by ice crystals.
They are the highest of all clouds forming at heights of 30,000 feet or more above the earth's surface.
Stratus clouds are formed when air is forced up slowly.
They are low, large, flat layers. They resemble fog, but they do not reach the ground.
Cumulus or fluffy clouds form when air is forced up rapidly and therefore rises higher.
Cumulus clouds are most prominent during the summer months.
Often the top of cumulus clouds have a "cauliflower-like" appearance.
Cumulus clouds are flat-based, billowing clouds with vertical doming.
The word stratus comes from the Latin word that means "to spread out"
Stratus clouds are horizontal, layered clouds that stretch out across the sky like a blanket
Fair weather cumulus have the appearance of floating cotton, they can later develop into towering cumulonimbus clouds associated with powerful thunderstorms
Cumulus clouds are puffy in appearance and look like large cotton balls
We see the cumulative effect of millions of reflections of this sunlight as a sun pillar.
Cirrus Cloud Phenomenon
Sometimes, when the sun is just below the horizon, aligned ice crystals reflect light from their crystal faces.