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Types of Clouds

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Jenny Kenyon

on 6 March 2012

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Transcript of Types of Clouds

Different Types
of Clouds Conclusion Let's Learn About Clouds! Now go home, grab someone and tell 'em all about clouds. They will surely be fascinated! Introduction to Clouds More on clouds So wait, what are the different types of clouds? What are clouds?
A cloud is a large collection of very tiny water droplets or ice crystals. The droplets are so small and light that they can float in the air.
All air contains water, but near the ground it is usually in the form of an invisible gas called water vapor. When warm air rises, it expands and cools. Cool air can't hold as much water vapor as warm air, so some of the vapor condenses onto tiny pieces of dust that are floating in the air and forms a tiny droplet around each dust particle. When billions of these droplets come together they become a visible cloud.

Clouds look white because they reflect the light of the sun. They can turn gray however, if the clouds get thick enough or high enough so that all the light above does not make it through. If there are lots of other clouds around, their shadows can also make them appear gray.
Cirrus Clouds "Alto" Clouds Stratus Clouds Cumulus Clouds Special Clouds
High Clouds = Cirrus Above 18,000 feet

Middle Clouds = Alto 6,500 feet to 18,000 feet

Low Clouds = Stratus Up to 6,500 feet
Within these cloud groups, are more types of clouds! Are you ready to find out more? Clouds move with the wind. Their characteristics are based on what elements are available, which is why they form at different levels in the atmosphere. Amount of water vapor, temperature, wind, and inerplay of other air masses all explain why they form at different heights. These are the most common types of clouds. They are thin and wispy, being composed of ice. They are white and usually associated with fair and plesant weather. They are higher in the atmosphere, and have two other types associated with them; cirrostratus and cirrocumulus. Cirrostratus Clouds Cirrostratus clouds are very thin, sometimes described as "sheetlike" clouds. They are known for being able to see the sun and moon through their thin exterior. Oftentimes, they cover the entire sky. They appear in the atmosphere 12-24 hours before a rain or snow storm. Cirrocumulus clouds appear as small, rounded white puffs that appear in long rows. Cirrocumulus clouds are usually seen in the winter and indicate fair, but cold weather. However, in tropical regions, they may indicate an approaching hurricane. Cirroculumus Clouds "Alto" or Altostratus clouds are gray or blue-gray in color. They are mid level atmospheric clouds composed of ice crystals and water droplets. These clouds usually cover the entire sky. In the thinner areas of the clouds, the sun may be dimly visible as a thin, round circle. Altostratus clouds often form ahead of storms with a lot of rain or snow. Altocumulus clouds are another type of "Alto" cloud. They are mid level clouds that are made of water droplets and appear as gray puffy masses. They usually form in groups. If you see altocumulus clouds on a warm, sticky morning, be prepared to see thunderstorms late in the afternoon. Altocumulus Clouds Stratus clouds are uniform grayish clouds that often cover the entire sky. They look like fog that doesn't reach the ground. Light mist or drizzle sometimes falls out of these clouds. Stratocumulus clouds are low, puffy and gray. Most form in rows with some of the blue sky visible in between them. Rain rarely occurs with stratocumulus clouds. However, they can turn into nimbostratus clouds. Nimbostratus clouds form a dark gray, wet looking cloudy layer associated with continuously falling rain or snow. They often produce precipitation that is usually light to moderate. Stratocumulus Clouds Nimbostratus Clouds Cumulus clouds are white, puffy clouds that look like floating cottonballs. Cumulus clouds are often called "fair-weather clouds" because on days that they are present, the weather is fairly nice. The base of each cloud is flat and the top of each cloud has rounded towers. When the top of the cumulus clouds start to resemble the head of a cauliflower, the clouds are called cumulus congestus or towering cumulus. These clouds grow upward and they can develop into giant cumulonimbus clouds, which are thunderstorm clouds. Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds. They form from cumulus clouds. High winds can flatten the top of the cloud into an anvil-like shape. Cumulonimbus clouds are associated with heavy rain, snow, hail, lightning and even tornadoes. The anvil usually points in the direction the storm is moving. Cumulonimbus Clouds I feel like a cloud expert! Cloud Mobile Project Here is a quick review! Mammatus clouds are low hanging bulges that droop from cumulonimbus clouds. Mammatus clouds are usually associated with severe weather. Lenticular clouds are caused by a wave wind pattern created by the mountains. They look like discs or flying saucers that form near mountains. Fog is a cloud on the ground. It is composed of billions of tiny water droplets floating in the air. Fog exists if the atmospheric visibility near the Earth's surface is reduced to 1 kilometer or less. Contrails are trails left behind jet aircrafts due to condensation. Contrails form when hot humid air from jet exhaust mixes with environmental air of low vapor pressure and low temperature. The mixing is a result of turbulence generated by the engine exhaust. Green Clouds are often associated with severe weather. The green color is not completely understood, but it is thought to have something to do with having a high amount of liquid water drops and hail inside the clouds. In the Great Plains region of the U.S. green clouds are associated with storms likely to produce hail and tornadoes. There are a few other types of clouds out there! They each have special characteristics and resemble a type of cloud but have a bit of a difference.... Mammatus Clouds Lenticular Clouds Fog Contrails Green Clouds Wall Clouds Pretty Cirrus Clouds Quick Quiz: What type of cloud is this? By Jenny Kenyon
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