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  1. 1. What are clouds? • Clouds are water droplets or ice crystals that are in the Earths troposphere (the bottom part of the Earth's atmosphere)
  2. 2. Dew Point and Condensation • Condensation- when water vapor becomes a liquid • Dew point- temperature where water vapor condenses into a liquid. • Clouds form when water vapor sticks to dust particles and condenses in the air
  3. 3. How do clouds form? • Clouds form when the air rises. • As air rises it cools. • Cooler air cannot hold as much water vapor as warmer air. • As the temperature reaches the dew point, the water vapor will condense on dust particles. • A cloud is formed!
  4. 4. What are the different types of clouds? • Clouds are classified by their altitude and appearance • Each type of cloud forms in a different way and brings its own type of weather • There are 3 main forms of clouds • The main forms are, cirrus, stratus, cumulus
  5. 5. Cloud Prefixes • Cirro: means wisp of hair (highest clouds) • Alto: means high (name given to mid- level clouds). • Nimbo/nimbus: means rain. The cloud can make precipitation • Cumulo: means heap. (piled-up clouds) • Strato: means layer • There is no prefix for low-altitude clouds
  6. 6. Cirrus • Cirrus is Latin for curl • Cirrus clouds look like curls of white hair. • Very high, made of ice crystals • Can indicate a change in the weather.
  7. 7. Stratus • Stratus: Latin for sheet or layer • Stratus clouds look like a gray, flat blanket that covers the entire sky. • Look like fog that does not reach the ground. • Usually no precipitation, but sometimes they may drizzle.
  8. 8. Cumulus • In Latin cumulus means heap • Cumulus clouds look like a heap of whipped cream or cotton balls • Forms on sunny days • Signal good weather • If it gets higher it can cause bad weather
  9. 9. Common Clouds • Most clouds are a mixture of the three main clouds at different altitudes • Some common clouds are: • Cumulo-nimbus • Cirro-stratus • Cirro-cumulus • Alto-stratus • Strato-cumulus • Nimbo-stratus • Fog
  10. 10. Cumulonimbus • thunderheads • thunderstorm clouds that can grow very high (over 40,000 feet) • Tremendous amounts of energy are released by the condensation of water vapor inside this cloud. • Lightning, thunder, and even violent tornadoes often occur with this cloud.
  11. 11. Cirrostratus • Cirrostratus are sheet- like, high-level clouds made of ice crystals. • Though cirrostratus can cover the entire sky and be up to several thousand feet thick, they are relatively transparent, as the sun or the moon can often be seen through them.
  12. 12. Cirrocumulus • appear as small, rounded white puffs. • The small ripples in these clouds resemble the scales of a fish. • This sky is sometimes referred to as a "mackerel sky."
  13. 13. Altostratus • Gray or blue-gray middle level clouds composed of ice crystals and water droplets. • Often cover the entire sky. • In the thinner areas of the cloud, the sun may be dimly visible as a round disk. • Altostratus clouds often form ahead of storms that will produce continuous precipitation.
  14. 14. Stratocumulus • Usually dark, heavy looking clouds. • Rain is likely.
  15. 15. Nimbostratus • Uniform dark flat low featureless clouds that make precipitation.
  16. 16. Fog • Very low stratus cloud • In contact with ground
  17. 17. Bibliography • s/astronomy/planets/earth/clouds/ • • Prentice Hall Earth Science Teacher Edition • Our Textbook •