Useful Tips

How to distinguish different types of clouds

Pin
Send
Share
Send
Send


The question “What is a cloud?” People asked back in those distant times, when only birds and the clouds themselves flew across the sky. Wikipedia then did not exist, and no one has invented the Children's Encyclopedia or published it. Therefore, what some dreamers just did not come up with to explain this natural phenomenon.

Due to the fact that from below the clouds seem so soft and fluffy, there was a time when people thought they were made of fluff.

There were more amusing assumptions about what these heavenly formations were made of. They even said that cotton candy is the building material of white whorls floating in the sky.

Of course, this is fiction. What the cloud consists of, scientists learned at the end of the 18th century. This happened when humanity found a way to ascend to heaven. Then it was possible to answer the question: what does the cloud consist of? It turned out that the clouds, which seemed white and dense below, were actually ordinary fog. So walking in foggy weather is a journey through the cloud.
In those same years, people learned what clouds consist of. After all, before that their nature was also explained in different ways. But all this will be discussed later.

In general, clouds can consist not only of water droplets, like ordinary fog, but also of ice crystals. It all depends on how high they are formed.

Most often, clouds appear at an altitude of 6 to 20 km from the surface of our planet. This part of the atmosphere is called the troposphere. It is here that clouds are formed, consisting of water droplets. The temperature inside such formations is usually above -10 0 C. The clouds that form at this height can have a different structure and shape.

There are also clouds that are born much higher. For example, the so-called pearly clouds are born 20-25 km from the Earth. However, the record holders are almost invisible without special equipment silver clouds. Their cradle is located at an altitude of 70 to 80 km above sea level.

Why and how do clouds appear?

But how are clouds formed? For children, this is a very important issue. To answer it, you need to get acquainted with another interesting physical phenomenon - condensation. What is it?

We have all seen more than once the steam coming from the spout of a boiling kettle. If you substitute a cold saucer under this trickle, then water droplets will appear on its surface. This phenomenon is called condensation.

In the upper atmosphere, approximately the same processes occur. Water vapor, rising higher and higher, cools and begins to condense into droplets of liquid, from which clouds form. The size of these droplets is incredibly small - 100, and sometimes 1000 times less than 1 mm. If the pair manages to rise very high, then it will go not into a liquid, but into a solid state. Therefore, in the uppermost layers of the atmosphere, clouds are made up of tiny pieces of ice.

But for the steam to condense, just lowering the temperature is not enough. The center of each droplet or crystal is the smallest speck of dust, around which moisture has collected.

By the way, it is for this reason that over the cities, where there are many cars or large factories, one can often observe very large clouds. Indeed, in such places there are much more different particles polluting the air in the atmosphere than in sparsely populated areas of our planet.

Why are clouds flying?

From the surface of the earth, clouds seem so light and airy. In fact, they can weigh many tons. How does a whole cloud of water, consisting of a huge accumulation of water droplets, stay in the air? Everything is very simple. The size of each droplet is so small that even a small stream of air rising from the Earth stops their fall.

Scientists have estimated that the upward velocity to hold the cloud can be as little as 50 cm per second. If you translate this number into a more understandable form, you get a very small value - 1.8 km / h. And this is much less than the speed of a pedestrian.

What are the clouds?

Beautiful white mountains floating in the bright blue sky are always pleasing to the eye. But why do they seem so?
It turns out that the more sunlight passes through the clouds, the whiter they seem to us from the Earth. A gray cloudy sky only means that the cloud layer is very dense and the rays of the sun through it practically do not pass. But black clouds often just contain a lot of dust. Cloud formations of this color often appear again over industrial areas where air pollution is most severe.

But clouds differ not only in color, but also in shape. The generally accepted name for clouds, as a rule, describes their appearance. Although scientists have come up with a very complex classification of clouds, it is clear that only three types of clouds can be distinguished.

It is this type of accumulation of water vapor in the sky that we most often call clouds. These are the same dazzling white whoppers, smoothly changing their shape. It is for them that people like to watch, imagining who they look like. Such cloudiness does not bother at all. And this is not surprising, because cumulus clouds are satellites of good weather.


However, it is this type of cloud that periodically turns into clouds, which scientists call the cumulonimbus clouds. What does a cloud consist of? Actually from the same as all the clouds. As a rule, its lower layers are droplets of water. But the upper part of the rain clouds consists of ice crystals. Due to this layering, the height of the clouds can be very large, sometimes reaching 10 km.

Layered clouds are no longer so beautiful. Most often they are gray in various shades. Such clouds are quite dense and consist solely of drops ready to fall onto the Earth. They do not swim so high above the surface. In this case, the height of the clouds above the ground is about 1-2 km.


If the sky is covered with layered clouds mixed with cumulus, then nothing is scary - the weather is unlikely to go bad. This type of cloud is often also called cumulonimbus clouds. By the way, it is precisely this kind of clouds that comes to mind when you need to answer the question: “What is cloudiness?”. But the solid gray veil always suggests the long and tedious rain.

And this type of cloud is located quite high. They can be observed at approximately seven kilometer altitude. They look like lamb or smears of oil paint smeared in the sky.

Such cloudiness indicates an imminent change in the weather for the worse. By the way, cirrus clouds are the most photogenic. The photos in which they are present look incredibly impressive.

The clouds are very heavy. On average, their weight is about 10 tons. In addition, they also have huge sizes. One cloud can stretch over 10 km, and thunderclouds can extend the same distance in height.

The duration of the "life" of clouds depends on air humidity. With normal humidity, the cloud can exist for a very long time. But at low, the droplets of water that make up the cloud will quickly evaporate and it can live no more than 15 minutes.

It is hard to imagine, looking at the clouds floating across the sky, that this natural wonder can be created at home. Although in fact, a real cloud can be made artificially. True, this will require special equipment. Invented how to make clouds Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde. His makeshift clouds do not last long, about 10 seconds. But during this time they can be photographed or take the moment of birth of a small cloud in the video.

Such a phenomenon as cloudiness is observed not only on Earth, but also on several other planets of the solar system. Clouds were discovered in the atmosphere of Venus and Mars, as well as on the satellites of Saturn - Titan and Neptune - Triton.

In 2004, several meteorologists and physicists joined together in the international organization, the Society of Cloud Lovers. They not only themselves admire these bizarre creations of the earth's atmosphere, but also urge everyone to raise their eyes to the sky in order to admire the beautiful and diverse clouds.

Surprisingly, even scientists do not know everything about the clouds. Their study is still ongoing. Both Russia and the USA still have programs to find out all the properties of these beautiful, snow-white, airy islands.

Dreamers, scientists, environmentalists and you like to look at the clouds, as well as watch them. Despite the desire to call that big fluffy cloud “heavy, rainy or dark,” you might be more interested (and more useful) to use the correct terminology if you want to understand the classification of clouds. The classification of clouds, first invented by the English scientist Luke Howard, is divided according to their height: low, medium or high tier, their shape: cumulus and layered, and also based on the weather that creates them.

High clouds

Look at high clouds (or just “high clouds”). They are located at an altitude of approximately 5.943 meters and 12.954 meters. They include cirrus, cirrostratus and cumulus clouds. Usually they are filled with ice crystals and have vague outlines. They are also thin and smoky.

  • Traces of the aircraft are also at this level of the earth's atmosphere.
  • During sunset and dawn, high clouds become beautiful in red, orange and yellow.
  • Glow around the moon or the sun appears due to feather clouds. Sometimes it can indicate rain or snow, especially when accompanied by thick, low clouds.
  • Often, feather clouds partially obscure the sun. [>

How to distinguish different types of clouds. Types of clouds by origin

Either in the form of a continuous veil, they tighten the vault of heaven, or appear in the form of isolated cloud masses, sometimes very powerfully developing in height, then they have a relatively delicate structure, then in the form of strips or feathers of a fibrous structure, then in the form of white small lamb, or scales, etc. n. The density of the clouds largely depends on their height. The most dense and powerful clouds usually float at a low altitude - below two kilometers. The higher the clouds float, the thinner and more transparent their structure becomes. All the clouds that we observe in the sky usually float in a layer from the surface to a height of 10-12 kilometers.

Our idea of ​​the weather is usually closely connected with the picture of the vault of heaven, i.e., with the shapes and number of clouds observed in the sky.

Low clouds

When the process of condensation of water vapor occurs in the lowest layers, the resulting cloud is located near the surface of the earth. It directly surrounds us and appears to us in the form of fog. In general, any cloud, if located inside it, for example, on a mountain or when flying on an airplane, is presented to the observer in the form of fog.

Layered clouds

Everyone knows the picture of clouds in gloomy gray weather, when the sky is covered by a continuous completely homogeneous gray cloudy shroud, relatively low above the ground. She gives the impression of a raised fog. usually does not shine through this veil at all. Sometimes a light drizzling rain in the form of fine water dust falls out of it, in winter, sometimes the tiniest rare snowflakes. These are the so-called layered clouds (international name Stratus or abbreviated St). In fact, these clouds represent a fog, raised above the surface of the earth. They usually swim not high - sometimes at a height of one hundred or several hundred meters, usually not more than a kilometer.

In some cases, layered clouds are torn into separate shreds with torn edges. Then they are called torn-layered clouds (international name Fracto-Stratus or in abbreviated form - FrSt).

Rain clouds

Recall another picture of the sky. Inclement weather. It is raining, but not the one that will break out quickly in the form of a shower, but it will pass quickly, but the rain (in the winter snow), which, as they say, “charged for a long time” and in a large area (it is called heavy rain). It may happen that there is no rain yet, but the very sight of the clouds makes us expect it soon. The clouds have the appearance of a low dark gray layer, almost uniform, so that only in some places this layer seems darker, in other places a little lighter. These typical clouds of inclement weather are called layered rain or colloquially rain (international name Nimbo-Stratus or abbreviated NbSt).

Stratocumulus clouds

Stratocumulus clouds (international name Strato-Cumulus, abbr. StCu), which are represented as stretching dark cloudy shafts or spherical masses that give the sky a wavy look, should not be mixed with the latter form of clouds. Usually the cover of stratocumulus clouds is not continuous, but with gaps between the individual shafts. These clouds are usually not accompanied by precipitation. Most often they are found in the winter season, although they also occur in the summer. In their form, they are, as it were, transitional from the layered clouds described above to cumulus, which we will dwell on.

Cumulus clouds

Consider now the shape of the clouds that is common for a good summer day. In the morning the sky is completely clear, but about 8-10 hours light, white clouds begin to appear in the sky in some places. They grow rapidly both sideways and, mainly, upward. Their base is almost horizontal, the peaks have a dome-shaped appearance with separate, usually sharply outlined bulges at the top. Illuminated by the sun, they appear to the observer of blinding whiteness. If they are between the observer and the sun, they appear dark in the middle.

These clouds grow during the day, by the evening they usually begin to melt and gradually disappear. They are called cumulus (international name Cumulus, abbreviated Cu).

Thunderclouds

Sometimes clouds, which at first look like cumulus clouds, grow so intensively that they reach huge sizes (often up to several kilometers), take the form of mountains or huge towers. The very top of the cloud often instead of the shape of the bulges begins to take on a fibrous structure, and sometimes it looks like an anvil. Such clouds usually carry thunderstorms, downpours and hail, and in winter heavy snowfalls. They are called cumulonimbus clouds (international, name Cumulo-Nimbus, abbreviated CuNb), when they are accompanied by thunderstorms, in common parlance they are usually called thunderstorms.

The five cloud forms considered by us — layered, layered rain, layered cumulus, cumulus and cumulus rain, are called “lower clouds”. They swim relatively low above the surface of the earth, so that their base is no higher than 2000 meters. For layered clouds, the limiting level of the lower base is less than about half (usually they float no higher than 1000 meters). The clouds of the lower tier from other forms of clouds (middle and upper tiers) described below are distinguished by their density and thickness, noticeably obscuring the sun. In addition, floating at a relatively low altitude, they often create a known difficulty during flights. Flying in cumulonimbus clouds is further complicated by the fact that these clouds are often accompanied by vortices and generally turbulent air movements.

How to distinguish different types of clouds. Types of clouds: what are they? At what height do clouds form

Either in the form of a continuous veil, they tighten the vault of heaven, or appear in the form of isolated cloud masses, sometimes very powerfully developing in height, then they have a relatively delicate structure, then in the form of strips or feathers of a fibrous structure, then in the form of white small lamb, or scales, etc. n. The density of the clouds largely depends on their height. The most dense and powerful clouds usually float at a low altitude - below two kilometers. The higher the clouds float, the thinner and more transparent their structure becomes. All the clouds that we observe in the sky usually float in a layer from the surface to a height of 10-12 kilometers.

Our idea of ​​the weather is usually closely connected with the picture of the vault of heaven, i.e., with the shapes and number of clouds observed in the sky.

Altostratus

A continuous cloud cover of the sky in the form of a grayish or bluish shroud can be located well above 1000 meters, that is, above the limit level at which ordinary layered clouds float. This shroud is usually so transparent that it allows you to distinguish between the sun or moon in the form of a more or less blurry spot. Such a cloud cover is called highly layered clouds (international name Alto-Stratus, abbreviated AlSt). High-layered clouds, becoming denser, can gradually turn into layered rain clouds, which have a darker color, completely covering the sun or moon. Occasional rain or snow sometimes falls from a layer of highly layered clouds.

Altocumulus clouds

These clouds have an international name - Aito-Cumuius, abbreviated A-Cu. In appearance, they correspond to cumulus clouds of the lower tier, although they differ from them in a much smaller capacity, more delicate structure and swim much higher. Для наблюдателя высококучевые облака представляются в виде барашков, иногда в виде маленьких хлопьев снега, или небольших закругленных хлопьев ваты, часто приближающихся к шаро­образной форме, с довольно отчетливо выраженными краями, или в виде чешуек. Толщина их настолько незначительна, что они почти не затеняют солнца, бла­годаря чему кажутся на небе равномерно белого цвета без теней. Эти барашки, хлопья или чешуйки обычно располагаются на небе связанными группами или рядами. Иногда они представляются в виде параллельных полос или волн, ка­жущихся, (вследствие «перспективы»), сходящимися между собою у гори­зонта.Altocumulus clouds also belong to the clouds of the so-called “middle” tier. They usually swim at altitudes between 2000 and 6000 meters.

How to distinguish different types of clouds. General and lower cloud cover

Earth - there are, of course, clouds. A variety of forms and types of clouds just can not help but delight. It would seem like clouds that are not alike, can be classified? It turns out you can! And very simple. You probably yourself have repeatedly noticed that some clouds form very high in the sky, while others are much lower in the background. It turns out that different clouds form in the sky at different heights. Those types of clouds, which are almost invisible, have a translucent color and the shape of the threads, moving along the Sun or the Moon, practically do not weaken their light. And those that are lower have a denser structure and almost completely hide the moon and the sun.

How are clouds formed? As we have already said, clouds are air, or rather warm air, which rises from the earth's surface from Reaching to a certain height, the air is cooled, and the steam is converted into water. Of this, in fact, are the clouds.

But why does the shape and types of clouds depend? And it depends on the height at which the cloud formed and the temperature that is there. Let us consider in more detail the different types of clouds.

Silvery - are formed at an altitude of 70-90 km from the surface of the earth. They are a fairly thin layer, which is barely noticeable against the sky at night.

Mother of pearl clouds - located at an altitude of 20-30 km. Such clouds form relatively rarely. They can be seen before the sun rises, or when it is already going beyond the horizon.

Cirrus - located at an altitude of 7-10 km. Thin white clouds that look like tangled or parallel threads.

Cirrostratus clouds - are located at a distance of 6-8 km from the ground. They are a shroud of white or blue.

Cirrocumulus - also located at an altitude of 6-8 km. Thin white clouds that look like a flock of flakes.

Altocumulus clouds - 2-6 km. A slightly translucent cloud layer in the form of waves of white, gray or blue. From this type of clouds, light rainfall is possible.

Highly layered - 3-5 ka above the ground. They are sometimes a fibrous veil in appearance. Of these, light rain or snow may fall.

Stratocumulus clouds - 0.3-1.5 km. This is a layer with a clearly distinguishable structure, similar to a plate or wave. From such clouds, small precipitation in the form of snow or rain falls.

Layered clouds - are located at an altitude of 0.5-0.7 km. Homogeneous, opaque layer of gray color.

Layered rain - located at an altitude of 0, -1.0 km from the ground. A continuous, opaque veil of dark gray color. From such clouds it is snowing or raining.

Cumulus clouds - 0.8-1.5 km. They have a gray, flat-looking base and dense domed peaks of white color. As a rule, there is no rainfall from this type of cloud.

Cumulonimbus clouds - 0.4-1.0 km. It is an entire array of clouds, which has a dark blue base and white top. Such clouds bring precipitation - showers, thunderstorms, hail or snow pellets.

Whenever possible, peer into the sky, and you will very soon learn to distinguish not only forms, but also types of clouds.

From the surface of the Earth, it seems that all the clouds are at about the same height. However, between them there can be huge distances equal to several kilometers. But what are the highest and lowest of them? This post has all the information you need to become a cloud expert!

10. Layered clouds (average height - 300-450 m)

Wikipedia information: Layered clouds are low-level clouds characterized by horizontal layering with a uniform layer, unlike cumulus clouds, which are formed by ascending warm streams.

More specifically, the term “layered” is used to describe flat, foggy clouds of the lower tier, the color of which varies from dark gray to almost white.

9. Cumulus clouds (average altitude - 450-2000 m)


Wikipedia information: "Cumulus" in Latin means "heap, pile." Cumulus clouds are often described as “puffy”, “cotton-like” or “fluffy” in appearance and have a flat lower border.

Being clouds of the lower tier, they are usually less than 1000 meters in height, only if they are not a more vertical form of cumulus clouds. Cumulus clouds can appear on their own, in lines or in clusters.

8. Stratocumulus clouds (average altitude - 450-2000 m)


Wikipedia information: Stratocumulus clouds belong to a variety of clouds characterized by large dark, rounded masses, usually in the form of groups, lines or waves, individual elements of which are larger than those of high cumulus clouds, forming at a lower height, usually below 2400 meters .

Weak convective air flows create shallow layers of clouds due to the drier, stationary air above them, which prevents their further vertical development.

7. Cumulonimbus clouds (average altitude - 450-2000 m)


Wikipedia information: Cumulonimbus clouds are dense towering vertical clouds associated with thunderstorms and atmospheric instability, formed from water vapor carried by powerful ascending air currents.

Cumulonimbus clouds can form alone, in the form of clusters or in the form of a shaft with a barrage along the cold front. These clouds are capable of producing lightning and other dangerous severe weather conditions such as tornadoes.

6. Layered rain clouds (average height - 900-3000 m)


Wikipedia information: Rain clouds usually cause rainfall over a vast territory. They have a scattered base, usually located somewhere near a nearby surface at lower levels and at an altitude of about 3,000 meters at intermediate levels.

Despite the fact that usually layered rain clouds are dark in color at the base, they are often illuminated from the inside when viewed from the surface of the Earth.

5. Highly layered clouds (average height - 2000-7000 m)


Wikipedia information: High-layered clouds are a kind of middle-tier clouds that belong to a layered physical category, which is characterized, as a rule, by a uniform layer, the color of which varies from gray to bluish-green.

They are lighter than layered rain clouds, and darker than tall cirrostratus. The sun can be seen through thin, highly layered clouds, but thicker ones can have a denser, opaque structure.

4. Altocumulus clouds (average altitude - 2000-7000 m)


Wikipedia information: Altocumulus clouds are a type of middle-tier cloud that mainly belongs to the stratocumulus physical category, characterized by spherical masses or ridges in layers or plates, individual elements of which are larger and darker than cirrocumulus clouds and smaller. than cumulus clouds.

However, if the layers become flaky due to increased instability of the air mass, the high cumulus clouds become more cumulus in their structure.

3. Cirrus clouds (average height - 5000-13.500 m)


Wikipedia information: Cirrus clouds are a type of atmospheric cloud usually characterized by thin, filamentous fibers.

The filaments of the cloud are sometimes formed into bundles of a characteristic shape, commonly known as "mare's tails." Cirrus clouds are usually white or light gray.

2. Cirrostratus clouds (average level - 5000-13.500 m)


Wikipedia information: Cirrostratus clouds are a type of thin, whitish stratus cloud made up of ice crystals. They are difficult to detect, and they are able to form a halo when they take the form of a thin cirrostratus foggy cloud.

1. Cirrocumulus clouds (average altitude - 5000-13.500 m)


Wikipedia information: Cirrocumulus clouds are one of the three main varieties of tropospheric clouds of the upper tier (the other two are cirrus and cirrostratus clouds). Like cumulus clouds of lower tiers, cirrocumulus clouds mean convection.

Unlike other tall cirrus and cirrostratus, Cirrocumulus consist of a small number of transparent drops of water, although they are in a supercooled state.

The question “What is a cloud?” People asked back in those distant times, when only birds and the clouds themselves flew across the sky. Wikipedia then did not exist, and no one has invented the Children's Encyclopedia or published it. Therefore, what some dreamers just did not come up with to explain this natural phenomenon.

Due to the fact that from below the clouds seem so soft and fluffy, there was a time when people thought they were made of fluff.

There were more amusing assumptions about what these heavenly formations were made of. They even said that cotton candy is the building material of white whorls floating in the sky.

Of course, this is fiction. What the cloud consists of, scientists learned at the end of the 18th century. This happened when humanity found a way to ascend to heaven. Then it was possible to answer the question: what does the cloud consist of? It turned out that the clouds, which seemed white and dense below, were actually ordinary fog. So walking in foggy weather is a journey through the cloud.
In those same years, people learned what clouds consist of. After all, before that their nature was also explained in different ways. But all this will be discussed later.

In general, clouds can consist not only of water droplets, like ordinary fog, but also of ice crystals. It all depends on how high they are formed.

Most often, clouds appear at an altitude of 6 to 20 km from the surface of our planet. This part of the atmosphere is called the troposphere. It is here that clouds are formed, consisting of water droplets. The temperature inside such formations is usually above -10 0 C. The clouds that form at this height can have a different structure and shape.

There are also clouds that are born much higher. For example, the so-called pearly clouds are born 20-25 km from the Earth. However, the record holders are almost invisible without special equipment silver clouds. Their cradle is located at an altitude of 70 to 80 km above sea level.

Beautiful clouds

Gross or tubular clouds are associated with a thunderstorm or a cold atmospheric front. They are usually low located and are in the form of pipes or rolls.

These clouds form at high altitudes of up to 30 km. Cirrus clouds can be observed in the polar regions near the poles, where they acquire an iridescent color.

Cloudy clouds (Mammatus ) These are rare clouds in the form of cells that form after a thunderstorm. Contrary to popular belief, such clouds do not portend an impending hurricane, despite its ominous appearance.

Sky and clouds (photo)

These clouds are difficult to see with the naked eye and are best observed from space. In satellite images, a structure similar to a leaf or a wheel that stands out against the sky is visible.

When you look at the shelf clouds from the Earth, they seem low and wedge-shaped. These clouds appear during severe thunderstorms and are usually attached to the parent cloud, which is located directly above them.

Cloud Altocumulus castellanus or a jellyfish cloud stand out for their extraordinary appearance and form when moist air "gets stuck" between two layers of dry air.

Punched hole cloud

These huge round gaps form when the water temperature in the clouds is below zero, but the water has not frozen yet. Often they are mistaken for UFOs.

Clouds in the mountains

Hat-clouds are high-soaring clouds that are located above the top of a larger cloud. An example would be a cloud-cap over the Sarychev volcano in the Kuril Islands, which formed over volcanic ash during the eruption.

These clouds are usually formed by air waves that pass over the mountain ranges.

Rare clouds

The clouds Undulatus asperatus

These awesome-looking clouds are still a mystery to scientists. In 2009, the clouds Undulatus asperatus proposed to be attributed to a separate type of cloud. If this happens, it will be the first type of cloud added since 1951.

This rare occurrence is difficult to observe due to the unpredictable nature of the clouds. Moreover, the only place where the Morning Glory clouds appear is in northern Australia.

Cirrocumulus clouds

These clouds have the international name Cirro-Cumulus, abbreviated CiCu. In transitional forms, they sometimes resemble miniature high cumulus clouds with which they can be confused. Cirrocumulus clouds appear to the observer as very small white flakes or miniature lumps of snow arranged in regular groups or rows, or in the form of ripples in the sand. Sometimes they are formed from the cirrostratus or cirrus clouds described below, and have a fibrous structure. They are so delicate in structure that on their lower side they give absolutely no shadow.

Cirrostratus clouds

Similarly to layered clouds in the lower tier and highly layered on average, in the upper tier there is also a cloud form in the form of a continuous homogeneous shroud, the so-called cirrostratus clouds (international name Cirro-Stratus or abbreviated CiSt). These clouds cover the sky with a continuous whitish veil, completely washed out and giving the sky a whitish hue. Through this veil, the sun can be seen so clearly that the edges of their disks have very distinct outlines and are not blurred. A characteristic feature of cirrostratus clouds is the appearance in the sky of circles near the sun or moon.

Spindrift clouds

Sometimes in the sky at high altitude, very gentle individual clouds of a fibrous or filamentous structure are observed. They come in a wide variety of shapes, either in the form of feathers or horse tails, or in the form of thin flakes of cotton wool with a fibrous structure, or in the form of threads or light, transparent strokes of white paint over a blue sky. Sometimes individual clouds are scattered randomly across the sky, sometimes they are bizarrely intertwined or arranged in the form of parallel stripes crossing the entire sky or part of it, and, due to perspective, such stripes seem to converge among themselves. Such clouds are called cirrus (international name Cirrus or abbreviated Ci).

Cirrus clouds are the highest of the upper tier clouds.

In general, the clouds of the upper tier are usually located at levels above 6,000 meters.

In our latitudes, the upper boundary of the layer of air where the highest “cirrus” clouds are formed extends to about 11-12 kilometers. Less commonly, they are observed somewhat higher.

Highest clouds

The atmospheric layer from the surface of the earth to a height of about 11 kilometers (in our latitudes) called the “troposphere” is characterized by the fact that it decreases with increasing altitude. In the overlying layer, called the "stratosphere", the temperature drop with height stops. Thus, all clouds observed in the sky float in the troposphere. In the higher atmosphere, clouds of the usual type are not observed at all.

Silvery clouds

However, in rare cases, sometimes at enormous heights appear faintly glowing, the so-called "silver clouds", the origin of which is still largely mysterious. They are observed in the sky after sunset, when its rays continue to obliquely illuminate the upper layers of the atmosphere in which these clouds float, which is why they seem to glow against the dark background of the sky after sunset.

These clouds were discovered in 1885, shortly after the huge eruption of the volcano Krakatau (between the islands of Java and Sumatra) in 1883. They sailed at an exceptionally high altitude: about 70-80 kilometers. Some scientists have suggested that these clouds are products of volcanic eruption abandoned to enormous heights, consisting mainly of ice crystals formed from water vapor released during the eruption. Reflecting the sun's rays, they seem luminous to us. However, in the last century (starting in 1926), silvery clouds began to be observed again in the sky, but at a much lower altitude, namely about 28 kilometers.

Observations of the appearance of silvery clouds are important in the sense that maybe they will help solve the mysterious question about the causes of their origin.

The term “cloud” means the number of clouds observed in one place. Clouds, in turn, are atmospheric phenomena formed by a suspension of water vapor. The classification of clouds includes many of their species, divided by size, shape, nature of formation and altitude.

In the household field, special terms are used to measure cloud cover. Detailed scales for measuring this indicator are used in meteorology, maritime affairs and aviation.

Meteorologists use a ten-point cloud cover, which is sometimes expressed as a percentage of coverage of visible heaven (1 point - 10% of coverage). In addition, the height of cloud formation is divided into upper and lower tiers. The same system is used in the maritime industry. Авиационные метеорологи используют систему из восьми октант (частей обозримого неба) с более подробным указанием высоты расположения облаков.

Для определения нижней границы облаков используется специальный прибор. Но острую необходимость в нём испытывают только авиационные метеостанции. В остальных случаях производится визуальная оценка высоты.

Типы облачности

Облачность играет важную роль в формировании погодных условий. Облачный покров предотвращает нагрев поверхности Земли, и продлевает процесс её охлаждения. Облачный покров существенно снижает суточные колебания температуры. Depending on the number of clouds at a certain time, several types of clouds are distinguished:

  1. “Clear or cloudy” corresponds to a cloud of 3 points in the lower (up to 2 km) and middle tier (2 - 6 km) or any number of clouds in the upper (above 6 km).
  2. “Changing or variable” - 1-3 / 4-7 points in the lower or middle tier.
  3. “With clarifications” - up to 7 points of total cloud cover of the lower and middle tiers.
  4. “Cloudy, cloudy” - 8-10 points in the lower tier or non-translucent clouds on average, as well as with precipitation in the form of rain or snow.

How are clouds formed?

As the sun heats the water, it turns into a gas called water vapor. This process is called evaporation. When water vapor rises to the sky, it cools. The higher the cooler the air. In the end, the steam becomes quite cool and condenses into droplets of water, forming clouds that we observe in the sky.

Cumulonimbus clouds

Also known as “kings of the clouds”, cumulonimbus clouds are responsible for very heavy rain and hail. Precipitation falls in a short period of time.

These are also the only clouds that can generate lightning and thunder. Cumulonimbus clouds are very high and often spread across different layers of the sky.

How to distinguish cumulus, Altocumulus and Cirrocumulus clouds in the sky?

You can distinguish these types of clouds with your hand. Extend your hand toward the cloud and clench your fingers into a fist. If the cloud is larger than the fist, it is a cumulus cloud.

If the cloud is smaller than a fist, move your thumb to the side. When the cloud is larger than a finger, it is high-cumulus, and if it is smaller, it is most likely a cirrocumulus cloud.

Why are the clouds white?

The clouds are white because the droplets inside them are larger than the particles in around. This makes the droplets of clouds able to scatter and break light into different colors, which are then combined into white.

The clouds look gray when they become dense enough to keep out sunlight.

How to determine the weather from the clouds?

It is difficult to accurately predict the weather with the help of clouds, but for some signs it can be done! If the clouds are tall, dark and cover the whole sky, the rain will be continuous. When most of the sky is blue, light rain can be expected.

If cumulus clouds are getting higher and higher, you can observe harsh showers in the evening or even thunder and lightning. However, this often occurs on hot and humid days.

If you find an error, please select a piece of text and press Ctrl + Enter .

Highly layered translucent clouds.

Altocumulus clouds (Altocumulus, Ac
Colour: white, gray or bluish white.
Description and shape of the cloud. Altocumulus clouds usually occur in the summer. They are arranged in waves or ridges in the form of flakes or plates. Between the individual elements there are gaps. Sometimes a beautiful phenomenon called "Iridization". This is a rainbow coloring of the edge of the cloud.
Cloud visibility: 50-80 meters.
Composition and education.Formed when warm air masses rise up. The rise can be triggered by the onset of a cold front, which displaces the heated air at the surface of the earth up.
Prediction of weather over the clouds. Appear after a thunderstorm or storm. Portend clear weather.

High-layered clouds (Altostratus, As) - a type of clouds of the middle tier.
Colour: gray or bluish.
Description and shape of the cloud. Highly layered clouds are in the form of a uniform or slightly wavy veil, through which the sun and moon are weakly visible. The height of the cloud varies from one to four kilometers.
Cloud visibility: 25-40 meters.
Composition and education.The main cloud elements are ice crystals, snowflakes, supercooled water.
Prediction of weather over the clouds. Highly layered clouds precipitate. It is rain or snow.

Highly layered translucent clouds (Altostratus translucidus, As trans) - a type of clouds of the middle tier .
Colour: white-bluish.
Description and shape of the cloud. Clearly visible translucent wavy stripes. The solar and lunar discs are quite distinguishable. Despite this, they cast a faint shadow on the ground. The lower boundary of these clouds is at an altitude of 3-5 km. The height of the cloud mass is 1-2 km. Gradually cover the whole sky with a continuous veil.
Cloud Weather Prediction

Pin
Send
Share
Send
Send