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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How do bull’s eye squalls occur?

The only things I could find on the internet were that they had vortices and are marked by an isolated cloud, for example, in the American Met. Soc. glossary: https://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Bull%...
8 votes
5 answers
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Why do clouds dissipate when mixing with dry air?

So if dry air is just low humidity, meaning it has the capacity to hold more water vapour, it should make sense that the water droplets from the clouds will just evaporate and fill that dry air with ...
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How does coastal fog form on the Chilean coast?

When traveling through the northern parts of Chile (La Serena, Antofagasta) during November and December, I noticed a thin layer of coastal fog very close to the coastline. Since this fog was present ...
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1 answer
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Pileus / velum & altocumulus / altostratus - classification problems

I have a lot of free time and often observe and take photos of the sky. Along with that, I always try to figure out what exactly I saw. I think that I have the basic understanding of clouds and cloud ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Drawing the cloud cover bar of Skew-T plot

I'm trying to display cloud cover info by altitude from sounding data in a compact widget of an app for free-flight pilots. It's basically the vertical bar showing different shades of gray according ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Do cloud formations change depending on the season?

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 ...
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How do I know where clouds form from a skew-T diagram?

I should know where clouds form in the atmosphere from the skew-T diagram below. The anwer should be that there is a big stromcloud from a height of 300hPa to 900hPa, but I don't get why. My reasoning ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Is the air temperature usually below the dewpoint above the top of a cloud?

Rising from the ground in an airplane, I fly into the bottom of a cloud. I can explain the bottom of the cloud as air temperature (which decreases with altitude) being decreased to the dewpoint. I fly ...
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Question about calculating cloud raditiave feedback by adjusted cloud radiative forcing

from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-022-06369-z from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-022-06577-7 These two formulas aim to calculate cloud radiative feedback by ...
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Are clouds aerosol?

I recently came across a science writer's page according to which clouds are liquid water. I pointed out to this author that in reality clouds are made up of a dispersion of water micro-droplets in a ...
10 votes
2 answers
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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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Can firecrackers be used to subside thunderstorms due to cumulonimbus clouds

Cumulonimbus clouds are associated with thunderstorms. Firecrackers which go up high in the sky and then burst into glittering show, can such crackers be injected in a cumulonimbus cloud and then ...
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Showing cloud animations on a website

I want to show cloud movements from satellite imagery. How does sites like ZoomEarth.com make cloud animations? My understanding is: They download images from satellite image providers. Play those ...
12 votes
1 answer
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Why aren't lenticular clouds moved by the wind?

My book tells me that altocumulus lenticularis are not moved by wind but rather the air just flows through them without effect on their position. How come they are the only cloud type that is ...
12 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
1 vote
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Visualization of formation of cirrus vertebratus?

I am trying to understand how Cirrus Vertebratus are formed. My book and many web pages simply say "waves orthogonally to the initial cloud formation direction, in fitting conditions, forming ...
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1 answer
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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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Is it cold or hot on top of a tropical cyclone?

So I know that cloud tops of the thunderstorm in a tropical cyclone can reach -80 degrees Celsius according to infrared satellite imagery. Is the temperature of the air above the storm's eyewall ...
4 votes
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Why atmospheric temperature lapse rate doesn't have a discontinuity at 0°C when ice is formed?

When trying to calculate the adiabatic lapse rate of moist air based on known values of basic thermodynamic properties of the constituents (ice, water, vapor,...) I came to the following question: ...
17 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
2 votes
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Altocumulus lenticularis - Why is this not considered a "strati-form type cloud

Of the major cloud families, the "cumulus" type (including stratocumulus, altocumulus and so on) are generally formed by convection in unstable air, leading to their "lumpy" or &...
3 votes
1 answer
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What is this ring of cloud?

We were in Legoland in Windsor (SE England) recently, and towards the end of the day, we noticed what looked like a ring of cloud in the sky. It was quite large (hard to say as being up in the sky we ...
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Determine cloud type on the picture

I'm struggling to determine a cloud type on the photo below (I assume it is a Cirrus cloud and wind shear also depicted there, correct me if I'm wrong).
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2 answers
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Why does Earth's atmosphere have a whiter color near the horizon?

Why does Earth's atmosphere have a whiter color (paler) near the horizon? (on a clear, cloudless day when the sun is highest in the sky)? The amount of air being greater in this direction, why is the ...
5 votes
3 answers
273 views

How does water vapor cool the troposphere?

I have read about the Fixed Anvil Temperature (FAT) hypothesis and wonder why radiative cooling decreases with decreasing water vapor mixing ratio. Doesn't this stand in contrast with the fact, that ...
2 votes
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Why are nocturnal winter clouds so bright or so easily illuminated at night, compared to clouds in the summer?

In the winter when it's overcast, clouds at night are much brighter or more easily illuminated (unsure if they appear above cities/towns only) than in summer, making them look orange at night. I don't ...
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Why do clouds have positive climate feedback although they have a cooling net effect?

In a lecture we learned that instantaneously removing all clouds from earth would give radiation forcing of about 18W/m² [1], leading to significant warming. So clouds, in simple words, cool the earth ...
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What is the name and effect behind this circular cloud phenomenon?

The picture of this cloudy sky was taken today in Hamburg, Germany. Any idea, what it is, where it comes from and if it has a special name?
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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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
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Is it natural for clouds to flow near the surface?

A week ago, I have seen something that I have never seen before, Nah it's not a flying dragon, but clouds that were flowing so near my roof (about 5-6 meters above my roof). These are the pictures, I ...
4 votes
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Estimating longwave radiative forcing from clouds from direct/diffuse shortwave components

I am trying to estimate the downward longwave forcing from clouds. I have in-situ measurements of the direct and diffuse components of the incoming shortwave radiation, and I also have the top-of-...
4 votes
2 answers
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Looking for global cloud cover animations or videos

I am looking for a video of global cloud cover. Something like an animated version of this image: (Originally presented at http://naturalearth.springercarto.com/ne3_data/8192/clouds/africa_clouds_8k....
4 votes
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Do surface temperatures at lower latitudes continue to correlate with frequency of noctilucent clouds in the arctic stratosphere?

I saw this image in this answer to the question Noctilucent clouds and anthropogenic climate change which was listed as related to the question “New” cloud types: Can they be used as markers for ...
7 votes
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What kind of clouds did Joseph Kittinger see at 102,000 ft?

When Joseph Kittinger in Excelsior III dwelt at his peak altitude of 102,000 ft (31 km), he reportedly saw clouds at his altitude. What in the world could these clouds have been? Polar stratospheric ...
4 votes
2 answers
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Total Cloud Cover% from NOAA inverted?

I'm trying to find and use data involving total cloud cover %. I have downloaded data from NCEI/NOAA specifically here and I'm plotting it like this: ...
4 votes
1 answer
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Is it unusual to see haboobs travel over the Indian Ocean with shelf clouds on top? What conditions can bring all of this about?

By accident1 I ended up on the Bytes Daily page Photographs 2013, part 1. I saw an interesting image who's caption reads: A white shelf cloud caps brownish dirt from a dust storm, or haboob, as it ...
9 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
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What is this narrow band of clouds?

I came across a narrow streak of clouds in Asia when playing with Google Earth. Does anyone know what that is?
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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 ...
5 votes
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Formation of Clouds in High Pressure Systems (Western Australia - Perth)

High pressure systems are normally correlated with stable atmospheric conditions with little to no cloud cover, but due to this minimal cloud cover, doesn't that open up the ocean / ground moisture to ...
7 votes
1 answer
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What factors influence cloud height and type?

What factors influence cloud height and type? For example, why do altocumulus clouds fail to form at 6400m in high latitude locations, but will form at this height at a lower latitude? Is it simply ...
2 votes
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Atmospheric gravity waves or cumulus cloud street?

I observed these clouds today (november 12, Belgium) and I was wondering if they could be caused by atmospheric gravity waves. How would you spot the difference between gravity waves and a cloud ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Can clouds increase the level of UV-A radiations received on the earth surface? If so, by how much, and in which condition(s)?

The American Scientist article nicely explains that clouds sometimes increase the level of UV radiations received on the earth surface. However, all the papers they cite focused on UV-B radiations. ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Why do clouds sometimes form in "plumes"?

When I started exploring GOES satellite images of cloud cover (such as this), I noticed clouds could form from "plumes." That is, large clouds could sometimes form by billowing up from one ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Can Cirrocumulus and Cirrostratus appear at the same time?

I see cirrocumulus fading away in the front and bunch of cirrostratus in the back. However, I was taught that cirrocumulus appear when the upper atmosphere is unstable while cirrostratus appear when ...
4 votes
1 answer
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Why are clouds outlining the southeastern United States?

While watching the Starlink 25 launch earlier this month, I noticed that the Florida peninsula seemed to be nicely outlined by clouds. Pulling up satellite imagery from that time showed that my ...
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How high could snow form on a mountain?

I was reminded recently of a moment in the Eragon books where the main characters see a "tall" mountain range, and then after a minute realize that the white sky stretching up above them is just ...
6 votes
1 answer
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Can clouds be formed without a pollen particle's role?

I read online that it is scientifically proven that pollen particles can trigger cloud formation "is that true"? if true ,does it mean that no clouds can be formed without pollen particles' ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Is the weather of Miami, Florida and the weather of Lagos, Nigeria the same

I've been to Lagos and it rains a lot sometimes overflooding but it's pretty sunny. I'm aware that it rains a lot too in Miami. Is the climate the same apart from Lagos being near Equator and ITCZ ...
3 votes
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Equilibrium condition for Kelvin's Vapor Pressure-curvature equation

This is regarding the Correction due to 'Curvature of the drop' made by Lord Kelvin to the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation. So, the idea is that, during large scale nucleation of water vapour into cloud ...