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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Why does San Francisco see so much more fog than Seattle?

Having learned that fog often forms when wet air hits cold land, I’m now wondering why San Francisco sees so much more fog than Seattle does. They’re both Marine West Coast, with moist, westerly ...
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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 ...
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What might cause these “wave clouds” near the horizon? Could it be gravity waves?

I found this image on a website - returned as a HTTP error 404 'not found'. But the clouds look strangely repetitive. At first I thought the image had been "photoshopped", but as @gerrit pointed out ...
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“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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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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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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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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Elevation of Atmosphere differ?

Does the atmosphere depth (or how high the air molecules from the ground) of Earth or Mars differ gradually or can there be plumes of atmosphere that reaches into space? If I were able to travel a ...
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Making clouds for science project

This is about a group project for our science class and we've decided to do a physical model on clouds. We could use liquid nitrogen and hot water to demonstrate the formation of the clouds and we ...
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Have these optical satellite ground station locations been chosen for clear skies?

Having lived in southern California, I know that some areas on the planet can be absurdly sunny and clear throughout the year, and having lived several other places, I know some areas can be ...
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What affects the surface characteristics of cumulus clouds?

I love looking at clouds. I love trying to describe them and compare what I see day to day. I have dozens of questions about the things I’ve observed and I would really like to understand the physics ...
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Beam of light coming from otherwise cloudly [closed]

I was viewing Google Street View and saw an oddly shaped line of light coming from the clouds. How did this happen? It probably couldn't be lightning as it appeared over multiple images and is too ...
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Calculate the Top of a Cloud

So, I'm trying to find the Height of the Top of a cloud from basic weather information (ie. temperature on the ground, altitude, pressure, humidity, dew point, etc.) I'm looking for an equation that ...
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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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Why are lenticular clouds circular?

I recently visited Japan, where I observed a lenticular cloud above Mount Fuji: Curious by the cloud, I looked it up and found it it's a lenticular cloud, that forms because of rising moist air ...
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Why is the increased albedo from cloud cover not expected to counteract global warming? [duplicate]

(I'm not saying global warming isn't a thing!) So, any fool will tell you that cloudy days are colder days, some times significantly so. When there are multiple cloudy days the temperature will ...
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How to output slope parameter and shape parameter in WRF?

I'd like to ask if it's possible to output slope parameter and shape parameter of cloud hydrometeors in WRF? I'm calculating cloud effective radius and I'm using the formula found in Morrison scheme ...
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How to distinguish between Altocumulus, Stratocumulus and Cumulus clouds?

There are four different categories of clouds. High clouds, medium altitude clouds, lower clouds, and vertical tall clouds. They are broken down into ten genuses of clouds: Cirrus, Cirrocumulus, ...
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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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How do simulate a cloudy day for a science fair project?

I'm trying to help my 5th grade daughter with her science fair project. She wants to test that water heats up more on a sunny day than a cloudy day. To help her, I'm trying to figure out how to ...
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Does the Nasa video show proof of the biotic pump theory?

(Edited). Biotic pump theory (2006): Forests cause enhanced transpiration and precipitation and create areas of low pressure that suck in more moisture in a positive feedback loop. A few years ago an ...
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Cloud in a bottle experiment. Why does the “cloud” get thicker with repeated squeezing?

I have done the cloud in a bottle experiment (Youtube video) with a thermometer probe in the bottle to show the temperature increase and decrease. I am interested in the nature of the changes as the ...
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Does cloud fraction of 0 for low clouds means it was raining?

What information does cloud fraction provide about weather on a certain day? Do low-level (1000-700 hPa) cloud fraction, optical thickness of all clouds and total cloud fraction provide any ...
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Best sources / methods to find additional cloud information for current weather conditions?

I posted this question on Aviation Stack Exchange here. One of the responses suggested that I post my question on Earth Science Stack Exchange. I need a source that reports necessary current cloud ...
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How is a UV Index calculated?

I have three parameters for a particular location, namely: Ozone:- A numerical value representing the columnar density of total atmospheric ozone at the given time in Dobson units Elevation: The ...
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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 ...
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How to estimate size of cloud formation

Looking up at say a cumulus cloud at a height of 2km which covers say 10 degrees of the visible sky, what is the easiest way to estimate its rough size at its base? Simply put, how large is the arc ...
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What type of cloud is this?

I live in a sub-tropical region of Australia. Earlier today, we experienced temperatures of 31C and it was clear about 2 hours before I went out and noticed the following clouds directly above my ...
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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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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?
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What kind of cloud is this?

I would like to know if anybody knows the name of this cloud formation. The picture was taken in Bern Switzerland, just before a cold front moved in. I am thinking about roll clouds or Asperatus ...
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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 ...
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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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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 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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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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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 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 ...
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Why do clouds have areas of darkness instead of scattering light to produce a rainbow?

I suspect it has to do with the difference in size of a rain drop and that of the water particles in the cloud.
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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Fictional Land - How can I keep dense fog in an area for half a day? [closed]

This question is now here on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange I am a writer, and this question is for a fictional work. However, given its nature, I believe it is better suited here than Writers Stack ...
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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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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 ...