Questions tagged [clouds]

In meteorology, a cloud refers to a visible group of liquid droplets and/or frozen crystals made of water or various chemicals, suspended in the atmosphere.

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19
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3answers
6k views

Why clouds are not moving in NASA's video of the Moon passing in front of the Earth?

I recently saw a short video from NASA. It shows the moon passing by the Earth as it rotates. NASA link: From a Million Miles Away, NASA Camera Shows Moon Crossing Face of Earth. The video itself ...
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Why do clouds sometimes form a ring around the Sun?

Someone shared a video with me in which clouds were forming a ring around the Sun. I took this screen shot of that video: What is the reason behind this?
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Why are clouds darker before it rains?

What causes the darker color of the clouds (nimbus) when it is about to rain? Non-precipitating clouds (e.g., cumulus, stratus) tend to be white, but rain clouds become gray and almost black before it ...
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Why One Side of Mountain Range is Lush

I'm new to this site and certainly not someone with any real background in atmospheric science, so please forgive me if this question is a little stupid. I recall learning in High School about ...
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Are clouds a gas, liquid, and/or solid?

Are clouds a solid, liquid, or gas? I have been looking online and they are often described ambiguously as a "mass". For instance, from NASA: A cloud is a mass of water drops or ice crystals ...
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What causes these banded clouds?

A set of banded clouds can be seen in MODIS imagery during several days in January and February over the Gulf of Maine. They tend to occur with very cold winds from the NW following storms. There are ...
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1answer
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Are cloudy nights warmer than nights without clouds?

I have noticed this winter that nights without clouds (especially when the 12h before the night where not cloudy) were way colder than the cloudy ones. It makes sense to me because the clouds can ...
13
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1answer
153 views

Great Lakes - cookie cutter clouds

On 2014-07-10, in the afternoon, the GOES East satellite image in the visible showed a mass of cloud in central North America. However, in the middle, the Great Lakes stood out in a most extraordinary ...
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1answer
698 views

What type of cloud formation are these dark low-hanging clouds?

I was thinking it could have been a non-rotating wall cloud, but I'm not sure. YouTube video Picture taken on September 9 2014... between 5-7 pm in North Georgia, about 40 miles north of Atlanta.
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What determines how fast clouds move?

Do cirrus clouds in the upper troposphere move faster than cumulus and stratus clouds in the lower atmosphere? What about clouds associated with extratropical systems, compared with clouds in the ...
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226 views

What atmospheric radiative effects, if any, do contrails cause?

First of all, this question is not about the conspiracy theory based chemtrails as in the linked question, from the answers there and from the question Equation for predicting contrail formation I ...
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1answer
329 views

Do clouds float on anything?

Clouds of the same type have such a consistent altitude, it appears as if they're floating on an invisible layer. Is this true? Put another way, is there a significant change in air composition at ...
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How to tell if fog is made out of water droplets or ice crystals?

I understand that clouds can be made out of water droplets and/or ice crystals. And that fog is nothing else than low-lying clouds. However, I've experienced fog in a wide ranges of temperatures. I ...
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1answer
911 views

How to tell the difference between real rain and fake rain (cloud seeding)?

I live in a city where the pollution is bad, so bad that sometimes we get 'fake' rain (from cloud seeding). This may last for an extended period. There have been times before when it has “rained” and ...
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711 views

How does the influence of clouds on climate vary with height?

It is generally assumed that clouds affect climate by reflecting sunlight back to space and therefore decreasing the total warming of the Earth. However, stratospheric ice clouds are said to have a ...
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668 views

How can daily brightness be quantified or measured?

It occurred to me that there might very will be a metric out there that measures and quantifies "daily brightness". Meaning, how bright any given day is, taking weather conditions and cloud coverage ...
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1answer
333 views

Electricity in clouds and induced magnetism

This is well known to everyone that clouds carry electric charges and cumulonimbus clouds contain huge amount of electricity. It is also known from Maxwell's equations that moving particles induce ...
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How do the various types of clouds affect the atmosphere below them in a polluted environment?

I am working through this problem on my own as well, but am feeling that some perspective is in order. So, ignoring the obvious effects where precipitation will wash stuff out of the air, and blocking ...
10
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1answer
224 views

Does this optical phenomenon have a name?

Last summer, I snuck out with a row boat around 4am. Eventually with the sun risen but still quite low in the horizon, I was rowing in the middle of the absolutely still lake when I witnessed an ...
10
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1answer
167 views

Noctilucent clouds and anthropogenic climate change

In reading about observing noctilucent clouds, several articles about this phenomena, such as Science Daily's Spectacular 'Night-shining' Clouds Could Be A Harbinger Of Climate Change, suggest that ...
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Weight vs. Mass of Clouds

I came across a statement online that said that an average cloud has a weight of 1 million pounds. My main question is, does a cloud actually have weight on Earth or was the term "weight" a colloquial ...
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1answer
145 views

Where does the symmetry of cloudy bands come from?

Reading Meteorology Fundamentals by Sylvie Malardel, it says: We observe a symmetry of the cloudy bands with respect to the rotation axis of Earth and between Northern Hemisphere and Southern ...
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What causes clouds to appear blue?

In a thunderstorm cloud about sunset time, I saw these clouds, including some (in the upper right) that were a unique shade of blue. I don't think I've seen clouds quite that color before. I tried ...
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1answer
107 views

What cloud formation is this?

I thought it may be mammatus, but the absence of the hanging down "udders" made me doubt.
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211 views

What type of clouds are these?

I would appreciate some help in identifying these clouds: This was taken on a commercial plane flying between Hong Kong and Japan on the 31st of March around 2pm. I tried looking up cloud types but ...
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1answer
986 views

Is there a seasonal difference in the average cloud floor?

It always looks like clouds are so much higher in the sky (altitude) in the summer than in the winter. Is that true? If not, is there some sort of optical illusion? If so, why is that? I live in Iowa,...
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1answer
379 views

What atmospheric phenomenon am I seeing in this photo?

On a trip to Brighton, England on April 12th, 2015, I noticed this strange plume in the sky over the English Channel at about 13:00 hours. It looks like; Something that fell out of the sky - the news ...
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1answer
541 views

Snow from Fire: Could graupel, or even snow, fall from pyrocumulus clouds?

Pyrocumulus clouds often form in areas that experience prolonged fire conditions, particularly forest fires, but are also associated with volcanic eruptions and even nuclear explosions. This question ...
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554 views

Where can we see the noctilucent clouds?

I saw many pictures of noctilucent clouds in the UK. Is it a phenomenon only visible in the UK or we can see it somewhere else?
8
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1answer
369 views

What is this cloud formation?

What is the cloud formation in this video? I don't know where this footage was taken. Here's the link to the video again.
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How are 'Morning Glory' clouds maintained?

Reading the Physics.SE question What is the current physical theory of what causes the 'Morning Glory' roll cloud over Northern Australia? (pictured below): Image source: NASA Astronomy picture of ...
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Clouds moving in opposite directions

Today driving to work I saw a small, isolated horse's mane cloud at about 2000 feet. Directly above it was a small strato-cumulous cloud at 4000 feet and and they were moving in opposite directions. ...
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1answer
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Can overshooting tops enter the stratosphere, or will they rather push the tropopause upward?

Convective overshooting tops reach above the normally horizontal flat layer of the convective system, a layer that should coincide with the tropopause. If we have such an overshooting top, does this ...
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1answer
229 views

“New” cloud types: Can they be used as markers for climate change observations?

This question was originally posted on Physics SE, (now deleted) but I think this community is a better fit. This article "New" type of Clouds, reports that a revision to the International Cloud ...
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Are these clouds exhibiting gravity waves?

This is a GOES visible channel image from 2017-01-27, about 9 a.m. local time. It's the Atlantic coast of the US. The coast is visible towards the bottom of the image. The scale is large. This ...
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Relationship between illuminance and cloud cover

Is there a clear formula or table relating the illuminance in (lux) to status of the sky in terms of cloud cover? For example, mostly cloudy would be 2000-3000 lux.
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Which clouds can produce lighting and thunder?

There are several number of cloud types, but I only know that cumulonimbus clouds discharge electricity, which in turn produces thunder and lightning. Is this type of cloud (cumulonimbus) the only ...
7
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1answer
344 views

What are the advantages in looking at an OLR map versus looking at IR satellite imagery?

Conceptually they seem to be showing the same information. But in the context of a Madden Julien Oscillation (MJO) or equatorial waves especially over the equatorial oceanic layers which one is more ...
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1answer
216 views

Difference between sulfuric clouds and sulfuric haze (on Venus)?

In a conversation in comments below this answer to the question in Space Exploration Could we see the surface of Venus after the explosion of a H-bomb in its atmosphere? we're speculating about what ...
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1answer
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Strangely bright morning twilight over Switzerland

Yesterday morning (04.11.2014) I woke up at 6:40 as usual and noticed that it was relatively bright out. I had a better look around 7 and concluded that it was definitely quite a bit brighter than it ...
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1answer
295 views

What reflects UV radiation more: stratus clouds or cumulus clouds?

Interested in this since I sometimes look down on the clouds in the plane, and wonder if some of the reflected UV-A radiation might damage my eyes.
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What is this spaceship-shaped cloud?

This tweet from the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Spanish account show a striking photo of a round, flat, "space-ship-shaped" cloud in an otherwise completely clear sky. The stars are out so I assume ...
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1answer
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Unusual light at sunset?

This evening in Boston there was quite a spectacular sunset. However, many people noticed this odd vertical "stripe" in the west. Has anyone seen this before? It looked as though it was projected ...
6
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1answer
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What type of storm cloud is this?

We have had (and are still experiencing) waves of storms passing through this area of the central Queensland 'Capricornia' coast, Australia. This area is a subtropical coastal environment, close to ...
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1answer
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Can someone help me identify this cloud formation?

These pictures were taken today in Oklahoma City and I am both baffled and curious as to what formation this may be. I was wondering if anyone had any idea? Thank you!
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1answer
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What mechanism leads to these spectacular iridescent patterns in clouds labeled as a “Fire Rainbow”?

The 21-Feb-2016 BBC new article Singapore 'fire rainbow' cloud phenomenon lights up sky shows several photos of a rainbow-like iridescence in clouds on a sunny day in Singapore (about 1.3 degrees ...
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How do these cloud forms grow?

What conditions would cause these windswept clouds at sunset in Michigan? Do these cloud forms have a name?
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Is there a name for these “pouring” clouds?

I snapped this photo with my phone flat against the window of a bus, facing south while traveling west across a bridge in New Taipei City. I'd say it was at about 24.995N, 121.438E. It was about 14:00 ...
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1answer
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Are these plane trails seen from satellite

Here are photos from West of Normandy, at 7-9am after sunrise on the 14th of may, from the visible satellite. It's a bit strange that they are visible from space, they are 2-3 miles wide? Are they jet ...
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What would a planet's sky look like with different chemical compositions, such as low nitrogen, high methane etc?

What are the processes, chemicals and particles involved in creating colour in a planet's sky? Could you give some examples of sky colour processes different from what happens on Earth?