Lab3_Cloud and Moisture

Lab3_Cloud and Moisture - CLOUD RECOGNITION Exercise 3:...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
CLOUD RECOGNITION Exercise 3: Cloud Recognition Required Materials 1. This lab manual. 2. Elemental Geosystems, 5 th edition, 2006, by R. Christopherson Required Readings 1. Chapter 5 in Elemental Geosystems. 2. University of Illinois Weather Website http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/cld/home.rxml 3. This exercise Introduction Water is known to exist in three different states: solid, liquid, or gas. Clouds, snow and rain are all made up of some form of water. A cloud is comprised of tiny water droplets and/or ice crystals, a snowflake is an aggregate of many crystals, and rain is just liquid water. 26
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
CLOUD RECOGNITION Water existing as a gas is called water vapor. When referring to the amount of moisture in the air, we are actually referring to the amount of water vapor. If the air is described as "moist", that means the air contains large amounts of water vapor. Common sources of moisture for the United States are the warm moist air masses that flow northward from the Gulf of Mexico and western Atlantic Ocean as well as the moist Pacific air masses brought onshore by the westerlies. As cyclones move eastward from the Rocky Mountains, southerly winds ahead of these systems transport the warm moist air northward. Moisture is a necessary ingredient for the production of clouds and precipitation. Clouds form when moist air in the atmosphere is cooled. There are many ways that air can be cooled, two of which we will explain in this lab. The first way occurs when the air at the surface of the earth is heated and starts rise. As the air rises, it cools and the warm air starts to condense, or form little beads. These beads of water collect on each other. This collection of the beads of water is what we see as a cloud. Cloud Types and Associated Weather Clouds are classified into a system that uses Latin words to describe the appearance of clouds as seen by an observer on the ground. The table below summarizes the four principal components of this classification system. 27
Background image of page 2
CLOUD RECOGNITION LATIN ROOT TRANSLATION EXAMPLE Cumulus Heap Fair weather cumulus Stratus Layer Altostratus Cirrus Curl of Hair Cirrus Nimbus Rain Cumulonimbus Further classification identifies clouds by height of cloud base. For example, cloud names containing the prefix "cirr-", as in cirrus clouds, are located at high levels while cloud names with the prefix "alto-", as in altostratus, are found at middle levels. This module introduces several cloud groups. The first three groups are identified based upon their height above the ground. The fourth group consists of vertically developed clouds, while the final group consists of a collection of miscellaneous cloud types. High Level Clouds High-level clouds form above 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) and since the temperatures are so cold at such high elevations, these clouds are primarily composed of ice crystals. High-level clouds are typically thin and white in appearance, but can appear in a magnificent array of colors when the sun is low on the horizon. The most common form of high-level clouds are thin and often wispy
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 16

Lab3_Cloud and Moisture - CLOUD RECOGNITION Exercise 3:...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online