What is a cirrus cloud made of?

Cirrus clouds often produce hair-like filaments—similar to the virga produced in liquid–water clouds—called fall streaks, and they are made of heavier ice crystals that fall from the cloud. The sizes and shapes of fall streaks are determined by the wind shear.

What are the main characteristics of cirrus clouds?

Cirrus clouds form in very cold air at high altitudes. Made of ice crystals, they have a wispy or feathery appearance. Strong winds often blow streamers or “tails” off cirrus clouds. These features show the direction of the wind in the upper troposphere.

What kind of weather do stratus clouds bring?

Stratus clouds are low clouds that produce a hazy, gray veil with a uniform base throughout the sky. They do not usually produce precipitation, though drizzle or snow grains are possible with stratus clouds. One particular stratus cloud that affects transportation is fog.

Which phase change in the atmosphere forms clouds?

The heat expended in the phase change of water to vapor is not lost, but is contained in the vapor in latent form. When the vapor condenses, the heat is freed for warming the surrounding air. (We shall see later how this release of heat during condensation drives hurricanes.)

How do Arcus clouds form?

Their more common cousin is the shelf cloud, often seen on the leading edges of thunderstorms. Roll clouds sometimes form along with storms, too, born out of the storm’s downdraft. Sinking cold air causes warm, moist air on the planet’s surface to climb to higher altitudes, where the moisture condenses into cloud form.

How does a cirrus cloud form?

The most common form of high-level clouds are thin and often wispy cirrus clouds. Typically found at heights greater than 20,000 feet (6,000 meters), cirrus clouds are composed of ice crystals that originate from the freezing of supercooled water droplets.

What is the definition of a cirrus cloud?

Cirrus (cloud classification symbol: Ci) is a genus of atmospheric cloud generally characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving the type its name from the Latin word cirrus, meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair.

What are the characteristics of a cirrus cloud?

Cirrus clouds form in very cold air at high altitudes. Made of ice crystals, they have a wispy or feathery appearance. Strong winds often blow streamers or “tails” off cirrus clouds. These features show the direction of the wind in the upper troposphere.

What process allows clouds to form?

Clouds form when rising air, through expansion, cools to the point where some of the water vapor molecules “clump together” faster than they are torn apart by their thermal energy. Some of that (invisible) water vapor condenses to form (visible) cloud droplets or ice crystals.

What kind of weather do cirrus clouds bring?

Cirrus clouds are the most common of the high clouds. They are composed of ice and are thin, wispy clouds blown in high winds into long streamers. Cirrus clouds are usually white and predict fair to pleasant weather. By watching the movement of cirrus clouds you can tell from which direction weather is approaching.

What kind of weather is found in the Stratus cloud?

Stratus clouds are low clouds that produce a hazy, gray veil with a uniform base throughout the sky. They do not usually produce precipitation, though drizzle or snow grains are possible with stratus clouds. One particular stratus cloud that affects transportation is fog.

What type of cloud is formed by fog lifting in the morning?

Stratus clouds are among the low-lying clouds. They are gray clouds that cover the entire sky and can be the result of very thick fog lifting in the morning. Nimbostratus clouds are dark gray clouds that produce falling rain or snow. Cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds are both known as vertical clouds.

Do cirrus clouds produce precipitation?

If this cloud begins to precipitate, the base usually lowers, classifying it as a nimbostratus. Cirrus clouds are composed mainly of ice crystals due to their height in the atmosphere (6000 m, 20,000 ft and above). The dryness of the air higher in the atmosphere contributes to their thin, wispy look.

What do cirrus clouds predict?

High clouds exist above 18,000 feet and are cirrus clouds. Cirrus clouds are the most common of the high clouds. They are composed of ice and consist of long, thin, wispy streamers. Cirrus clouds are usually white and predict fair weather.

What layer of the atmosphere are cirrus clouds in?

The clouds listed in the figure on this page are found in the troposphere, which is the lowest layer in the atmosphere and is where weather occurs. Polar stratospheric clouds are located in a layer of the atmosphere called the stratosphere.

How many types of clouds are there in the world?

All in all, there are ten fundamental types of clouds. Often, you’ll some places simply class clouds as cirrus, stratus, and cumulus because these clouds are the most common and representative for each altitude class. High-level clouds (5-13 km): cirrocumulus, cirrus, and cirrostratus.

How a cumulus cloud is formed?

The word “cumulus” is Latin for the word “heap.”.When warm, moist air rises, water vapor eventually cools and condenses on particles (called condensation nuclei) into tiny water droplets. As the process continues, water droplets continue to accumulate upwards, creating heaps visible in the sky as white, fluffy clouds.

What is fog and what type of cloud is it?

Water vapor normally begins to condense on condensation nuclei such as dust, ice, and salt in order to form clouds. Fog, like its elevated cousin stratus, is a stable cloud deck which tends to form when a cool, stable air mass is trapped underneath a warm air mass. Fog normally occurs at a relative humidity near 100%.

What is the nimbus clouds?

Nimbostratus are dark, low-level clouds accompanied by light to moderately falling precipitation. Low clouds are primarily composed of water droplets since their bases generally lie below 6,500 feet (2,000 meters). However, when temperatures are cold enough, these clouds may also contain ice particles and snow.

How does a cumulonimbus cloud form?

Cumulonimbus, from the Latin cumulus (“heaped”) and nimbus (“rainstorm”), is a dense, towering vertical cloud, forming from water vapor carried by powerful upward air currents.

What is the meaning of cirro?

The root word “cirro” (meaning “curl”) describes a high cloud that is usually composed of wispy ice crystals. The Latin word “alto” (“high”) indicates a cloud in the middle of the troposphere that is below the high cirro-type clouds. The prefix or suffix “nimbus” (“rain”) denotes a cloud that is causing precipitation.

What are the different forms of clouds?

Visit the Cloud Gallery to see photos of the different cloud types. Cumulonimbus clouds can also grow to be very high. Mid-level clouds include altocumulus and altostratus. The lowest clouds in the atmosphere are stratus, cumulus, and stratocumulus.

What is the definition of altostratus clouds?

Altostratus is a middle altitude cloud genus belonging to the stratiform physical category characterized by a generally uniform gray to bluish-green and sheet or layer. It is lighter in color than nimbostratus and darker than high cirrostratus.

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