Tag Archives: clouds

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Advanced cloud identification

The last post ‘Cloud identification’ was all basic clouds in the atmosphere, This one is about the identification of advanced clouds and what they signify in terms of weather patterns.

This will also be divided into 4 sections :)Advanced Cloud Identification

1. Low clouds
Scud clouds
A type of fractus cloud, are low, detached, irregular clouds found beneath cumulonimbus clouds. These clouds are often ragged or wispy in appearance, signifies instability.
Fractus clouds:
Fragments of an ambient cloud base, also signifies instability.
2.Mid Clouds:
 Altocumulus castellanus:
This type of alto cloud looks castel like and if seen in the morning may signify showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon, evidence of mid-atmospheric instability and a high mid-altitude lapse rate.
Altocumulus lenticularis(lenticular cloud):
Formations caused by wave like movements in the upper mid atmosphere, caused by mountainous areas and sometimes mistaken for UFO’s.
 3.High Clouds:
Noctilucent Clouds:
Clouds (cirrus like) above the stratosphere, visible (seemingly glowing) at night as a result of its high altitude.
Contrails:
Caused by the condensation of water vapor in the upper atmosphere as a result of jet engine exaust.
4.Convective Clouds:
Funnel clouds:
Signifies the formation of a tornado, please see my article “Tornado Safety
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Cloud identification

I love clouds XD they are so fascinating to watch, that’s why I want you to enjoy cloud watching as much as I do with this picture guide to how to identify a cloud.

How to identify a cloud
1.Low Level Clouds
Low level clouds are typically found from the surface to about 2000 metres or about 6000 ft into the troposphere. There are various types of low level clouds ranging from fog to stratus.
Fog:

Found near or on the ground, restricting visibility and scattering sunlight.

Stratus:

Horizontal clouds with uniform bases, usually the cause of cloudy or drizzle days. Meaning layers in latin.

Nimbostratus:

 

Dark, non-uniform low clouds capable of producing light to medium precipitation under normal conditions. This is the cloud that causes most of the rain in the spring and fall. These clouds may also contain ice particles and snow.
Nimbo meaning rain.

Stratocumulus:

 

Low clouds in large, rounded masses usually forming clumps or lines, formed by weak convective currents and does not typically exceed 8000 ft.

 

2.Mid Level Clouds
Altostratus:
Mid altitude, semi opaque clouds with a uniform base. solar light usually visible to a certain extent. Usually signals coming rain in the next 48 hours. Alto meaning mid-range
Altocumulus:
Mid level clouds forming globular masses or rolls in layers or patches, the individual elements being larger and darker than those of cirrocumulus and smaller than those of stratocumulus.
Can signal a variety of different patterns, wait for the next blog post :)
3.High clouds
Cirrus:
High clouds resembling whisps of hair, usually transparent to light.
Cirrocumulus:
At approx 3.1 miles high, these globular clouds signify slight convection in the upper atmosphere. Resembling fish scales lol
Cirrostratus:

Cirrostratus is a thin layer of high clouds sometimes producing a halo around the sun.

4. Convective Clouds

Cumulus:

Puffy convective clouds spanning from low to mid altitudes, usually white in colour and indicates fair weather if it does not keep growing bigger.

Towering cumulus:

Tall cumulus clouds, usually dark at the base and capable of producing rain or hail, capable of turning into a Cumulonimbus

Cumulonimbus:

Thundercloud. Cumulonimbi usually span the entire troposphere, forming an anvil shaped top when coming in contact with the stratosphere. This cloud is capable of producing anything imaginable, rain, snow, hail, lightning, tornado etc

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Weather is beautiful: Part 1

Here we have a collection of photographs I’ve taken of various weather and climatic phenomenon! All Images copyright of MemeScience!– fair use permitted :)
ominous Cumulonimbus cloud base in Calgary AB
Beautiful sunset near Rocky Mountain House AB
Red sky at night :) sun set obscured by stratiform clouds in Calgary AB
Highway 93 SB near Kootney Ntl Park, snowstorm imminent
Large Cumuloform cloud base near Fairmont BC