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PO.M336.02 - Explain the Formation of Clouds (Meteorological Conditions)

Cadets Lesson Plan
by

Ruby Wu

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of PO.M336.02 - Explain the Formation of Clouds (Meteorological Conditions)

PO.M336.02 Explaining the Formation of Clouds Lifting Agents Rising air currents affect weather conditions
There are 5 conditions that provide lift required to initiate rising currents of air: Will help determine future weather conditions
Can be used to decide on safe flying conditions Cpl. Chen Meteorological Conditions cloud classification
types of cloud formations
cloud height
specific cloud types
air stability
lifting agents
cloud formation SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LESSON: TOPICS TO BE COVERED: Clouds are classified mainly based on the type of formation and height CLOUD CLASSIFICATION Types of Formation Cloud Height Formed in unstable air
Puffy and cotton-y looking
Usually seen in warmer seasons
May develop into storm clouds CUMULUS STRATUS Formed in stable air
Flat, can be seen all year
Usually associated with cold temperatures Base ranges from the surface to 6,500 ft AGL
Composed of water droplets or ice crystals
Uses "stratus" as a prefix or suffix Low Clouds Middle Clouds Range from 6,500 to 23,000 ft AGL
Composed of water droplets or ice crystals (above 0 degrees Celcius
Uses prefix of "alto" High Clouds Range from 16,500 to 45,000 ft AGL (avg 25,000)
Composed of ice crystals
Uses prefix of "cirrus" or "cirro" Vertical Development Ranges from 1,500 ft AGL to the lower stratosphere
Appear isolated or embedded in layers of clouds
Associated with thunderstorms and extreme weather conditions (summer months) INTRODUCTION ** Air Stability Normal air flow is horizontal on the surface
Sometimes disturbances occur that cause vertical air currents to develop (caused by change in temperature)
If the displaced air resists the change, it is stable
If the displaced air does not resist the change, it is unstable
When air rises, it expands and cools If a mass of rising air is cooler than the air it comes in contact with above it, it will sink back down
It may have the following effects on flight characteristics: Stable Air poor low-level visibility (fog)
stratus type cloud
steady precipitation
steady winds, which can change with height
smooth flying conditions Unstable Air A mass of rising air is warmer than the new air around it
The air mass will continue to rise
It may have the following affects on flight characteristics: good visibility (except in precipitation)
cumulus type cloud
showery precipitation
gusty winds
moderate to severe turbulence Convection
Orographic Lift
Frontal Lift
Mechanical Turbulence
Convergence Air is heated through the surface of the earth
Sun heats up surface, air in contact with the surface warms up as well, rises up, and expands
Can also occur when air is heated up by moving over a warm surface CONVECTION When an air mass moves from low elevation to high elevation
Air then cools down, which increases humidity
Might cause rain OROGRAPHIC LIFT Occurs when different air masses meet
Warmer air is forced upward by the colder air (denser).
Warm air mass may become unstable FRONTAL LIFT Friction may occur between the air and obstacles (ie. forests, buildings, large ditches)
Causes eddies (rotational movements of air) within the first few thousand feet of the atmosphere MECHANICAL TURBULENCE In a low pressures system, wind blows toward the center of the system
The excess air gathered in the center is forced upward CONVERGENCE CLOUD FORMATION Formed by lifting agents and air stability
Formed in two ways
Either temperature drops to saturation point of the air
Or temperature is the same while water content in the air increases Each of the lifting agents mentioned is affected by or has an effect air stability Relating Lifting Agents to Air Stability Relating Air Stability to Types of Formation Air stability directly affects cloud formation: determines what type of cloud will be formed. Clouds are classified by type of formation REVIEW cumulus, formed in stable air
stratus, formed in unstable air Clouds are also classified by height low
middle
high
vertical development Stable air: when rising air sinks back down Unstable air: air that continues to rise TYPES OF LIFTING AGENTS CONVECTION (air heated through the earth's surface) FRONTAL LIFT (two air masses meet; warmer mass is forced up) CONVERGENCE (low pressure air system; air in the middle goes up) MECHANICAL TURBULENCE (friction between air and obstacles cause eddies) OROGRAPHIC LIFT (air is forced up over rising land) WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO KNOW? HOW IS THIS RELATED TO AIR CADETS? THE END :)
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