I'm currently working on some software for cloud masking, and thus far I have only been using satellite data as recent as spring (northern hemisphere). However, I'm wondering if cloud coverage or formations have a noticeable change across different seasons?

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    $\begingroup$ Certainly. For instance, in the western US you get Pacific storms in the winter, with days or even weeks of overcast to rain/snow. In the summer, clouds are comparatively rare, and are usually cumulus, often building into thunderstorms by late afternoon. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jun 12, 2019 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


Yes. The types of clouds formed are dependent on the profile of temperature and the profile of water vapor. During the summer, there is more radiative flux, which produces more buoyancy. Hence more buoyant clouds (cumulus-type) are formed in the summer than in the winter. Instinctively you may recognize that you get more thunderstorms during the summer than the winter.

Kelvin-Helmholtz wave clouds usually need different densities of air, typical of an inversion. This is more likely to happen during cooler seasons (Fall, Winter, and Spring).

Also, freezing fog is inherently more common in the winter than the summer.


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