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Weather Systems Experts Can Tell All The Clouds Apart

Oct 11, 2007
From technical analysis we conclude that rising air masses and condensing air vapor manifest themselves through clouds. By observing the cloud shapes weather forecasters can feel the present and upcoming weather events. From the aesthetic point of view, the endless variety of beautiful clouds has remained a source of immense delight for mankind from the very beginning. Interestingly, until the early 19th century no system was developed for classification of clouds.

An English scientist, Luke Howard, presented a classification scheme to his local scientific society in 1803. Howard classified the basic cloud shapes and the language he used was Latin, the language of science. Since combination of words was allowed in his system that left the scope for further classification. Immediate acceptance and universal admiration were the gains of his system.

In our time cumuliform and stratiform are the two basic types of classification to start with. From cumulus, the Latin equivalent of heap,the word cumuliform is derived. Puffy clouds are called cumiliform clouds. From convection or orographic lifting this type is generated normally.

From stratus, the Latin equivalent of layer, the word stratiform is derived. A flat, layered shape is the characteristic of straiform clouds. Normally with the accompaniment of stable weather appear stratiform clouds.

Further classification of these two basic types is possible if the heights at which they form are taken into consideration. The term cirrus clouds are applied to high-level clouds beyond 16,500 feet. To a basic cloud type the prefix cirro is sometimes added. For clouds developed in the range of 6,500 to 16,500 feet the pr4ix alto is applied. No prefix is applicable for clouds developed below 6,500 feet and therefore the basic types, stratus and cumulus, are denoted by default as low-level clouds. For signifying quite a few types of clouds, height prefixes can be combined with basic types. Thus layer clouds at mid-level altitudes are termed allostratus clouds.

Since too familiar cumulonimbus cloud extends from low to high altitudes it itself is taken as a category. It is bears rain and the word nimbus means just that.

Not really a science classification of clouds is. Still considering the fact that clouds vary all the time and the variations are of endless forms, the best results can be obtained through a classification system that is flexible.

What does precipitation mean?

When air rises and cools till it is saturated with water vapor clouds formation takes place. In such a condition, water vapor condenses into tiny water droplets or sublimates into tiny crystals of ice. However due to gravity tiny water droplets or ice crystals fall into the ground if they become quite b big. Precipitation signifies this fall.

Determination of how it should be classified depends on the form in which the precipitation reaches the ground. On the process of formation, temperatures within and below the cloud and the ground temperatures as well depends whether precipitation will fall as rain, freezing rain, sleet, or snow.

Depending on water droplet size and quantity, steady or intermittent can be the classification of the precipitation. Steady or intermittent can also be the classification of the precipitation. Normally with frontal activity steady precipitation is associated, and with convection and atmospheric instability is the association of intermittent precipitation.
About the Author
Vince Paxton continually makes long articles on ideas relating to Denia and Altea. You might discover his contributions on places to visit in malaga spain over at http://www.alicante-spain.com .
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