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  1. 1. Cloud Types and Precipitation
  2. 2. Clouds <ul><li>Clouds among the most striking and noticeable effects of the atmosphere and its weather. </li></ul><ul><li>Clouds are a form of condensation best described as visible mixtures of tiny droplets of water or tiny crystals of ice. </li></ul><ul><li>Clouds show what’s going on in the atmosphere. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Types of Clouds <ul><li>Clouds are classified on the basis of their form and height. </li></ul><ul><li>The three basic forms are cirrus, cumulus, and stratus. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All other clouds reflect one of these three basic forms or are combinations or modifications of them. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Cirrus- (a curl of hair) <ul><li>These clouds are high, white, and thin, and they occur as patches or like sheets. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also known as “wispy.” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Cumulus-(a pile) <ul><li>These clouds consist of rounded individual cloud masses. </li></ul><ul><li>They normally have a flat base and the appearance of towers and often have a cauliflower structure. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Stratus-(a layer) <ul><li>Clouds are best described as sheets or layers that cover the sky. </li></ul>
  7. 7. High Clouds <ul><li>Cirrus, cirrostratus. cirrocumulus </li></ul><ul><li>These clouds are not considered precipitation makers. </li></ul><ul><li>May warn of approaching stormy weather. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Middle Clouds <ul><li>Clouds that appear in the middle range from about 2000-6000 meters. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Altocumulus and altostratus </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Low Clouds <ul><li>Stratus, stratocumulus, and nimbostratus. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The stratus clouds are like a uniform, a fog like layer of clouds that frequently cover much of the sky. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Nimbus” means “rainy cloud” and “stratus” means “to cover with a layer.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These clouds are known as precipitation makers. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Fog <ul><li>Physically there is not difference between a fog and a cloud but their appearance and structure are the same. </li></ul><ul><li>Their difference is the method and place of formation. </li></ul><ul><li>Most fogs are the result of radiation cooling or the movement of air over a cold surface. </li></ul><ul><li>Fog is defined as a cloud with its base at or very near the ground. </li></ul>
  11. 11. How Precipitation Forms <ul><li>Cloud droplets are very tiny, averaging less than 20 micrometers in diameter. </li></ul><ul><li>Because of their small size, the rate at which cloud droplets fall is incredibly slow. </li></ul><ul><li>For precipitation to form, cloud droplets must grow in volume by roughly one million times. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Cold Cloud Precipitation <ul><li>The Bergeron process- a theory that relates the formation of precipitation to super cooled clouds, freezing nuclei, and the different levels of ice and liquid water. </li></ul><ul><li>Supercooled- the condition of water droplets that remain the liquid state at temperatures well below 0 degrees Celsius </li></ul><ul><li>Supersaturated- the condition of air that is more highly concentrated than is normally possible under given temperature and pressure conditions; when describing humidity it refers to a relative humidity that is greater than 100 percent. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Forms of Precipitation <ul><li>The type of precipitation that reaches Earth’s surface depends on the temperature profile in the lowest few kilometers of the atmosphere. </li></ul>