Types of clouds low clouds: stratus clouds




Дата канвертавання18.04.2016
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TYPES OF CLOUDS

TYPES OF CLOUDS


LOW CLOUDS: STRATUS CLOUDS
Stratus clouds are uniform grayish clouds that often cover the entire sky. They resemble fog that does not reach the ground. Usually no precipitation falls from stratus clouds, but sometimes they may drizzle.
Nimbostratus clouds form a dark gray, "wet" looking cloudy layer associated with continuously falling light to moderate rain or snow.

MIDDLE CLOUDS: ALTO CLOUDS


Clouds with the prefix "alto" are middle level clouds that have bases between 2000 and 7000 m (6500 to 23,000 ft.).
Altocumulus clouds are middle level clouds that are made of water droplets and appear as gray, puffy masses, sometimes rolled out in parallel waves or bands. The appearance of these clouds on a warm, humid summer morning often means thunderstorms may occur by late afternoon.
Altostratus clouds are gray or blue-gray middle level clouds composed of ice crystals and water droplets. These clouds usually 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.

HIGH CLOUDS: CIRRUS CLOUDS
Cirrus clouds are thin, wispy clouds blown by high winds into long streamers. They are considered "high clouds" forming above 6000 m (20,000 ft). Cirrus clouds usually move across the sky from west to east. They generally mean fair to pleasant weather.
Cirrostratus clouds are thin, sheet like high clouds that often cover the entire sky. They are so thin that the sun and moon can be seen through them.
Cirrocumulus clouds appear as small, rounded white puffs. The small ripples in the cirrocumulus sometimes resemble the scales of a fish. A sky with cirrocumulus clouds is sometimes referred to as a "mackerel sky."

CLOUDS WITH VERTICAL DEVELOPMENT: CUMULUS CLOUDS


Cumulus clouds are puffy clouds that sometimes look like pieces of floating cotton. The base of each cloud is often flat and may be only 1000 m (330 ft) above the ground. The top of the cloud has rounded towers. When the top of the cumulus resembles the head of a cauliflower, it is called towering cumulus. These clouds grow upward, and they can develop into a giant cumulonimbus, which is a thunderstorm cloud.
Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds that form if towering cumulus clouds continue to grow vertically. Their dark bases may be no more than 300 m (1000 ft) above the Earth's surface. Their tops may extend upward to over 12,000 m (39,000 ft). Tremendous amounts of energy are released by the condensation of water vapor within a cumulonimbus. Lightning, thunder, and even violent tornadoes are associated with the cumulonimbus.

HOW MUCH OF THE SKY IS COVERED BY CLOUD?

Meteorologists measure the amount of the sky covered in eighths or oktas



1 okta

2 oktas

3 oktas

4 oktas

5 oktas

6 oktas

7 oktas

8 oktas

Not quite cloudless.

About a ¼ of the sky covered in cloud.

Just under ½ of the sky covered by cloud.

½ the sky covered.

Just over ½ of the sky covered by cloud.

¾ of the sky covered in cloud.

Only a tiny portion of blue sky showing


No blue sky overcast.

.




Examples of some clouds types (clockwise from top left): cirrus; altocumulus; cumulus; stratocumulus

Observing the Clouds

In this activity you will need to make observations about the clouds and the weather for one week.



Use the table to record the observations you make about the following cloud and weather conditions each day for one week:



Make a note of the day, date and time you made your observations



Observe how much of the sky is covered which cloud (use oktas)



What type[s] of cloud are in the sky



Describe the weather conditions



Comment on your observations. For example were certain types of clouds associated with specific weather. Did the weather and cloud type and cover change much over the week, etc?

Extension ideas:



Re-design the observation table and add additional information such as extreme weather conditions



Take digital photographs of the cloud/cloud cover and add these into your table



Get the current satellite image, weather charts, rain radar image from the Newspaper or MetService website each day, copy and crop it to the region you are making your observations



Add brief comments linking each aspect of your data collection




Observing the Clouds



Day

Date

Time

Oktas

(sky covered by cloud)

Types of cloud

Weather conditions


1



















2



















3



















4



















5



















6



















7


















Comments on my observations -




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