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Have you ever played the game of finding familiar shapes in clouds? It’s a fun game to play! Clouds are part of our weather system and cloud formations are categorized into three different groups based upon their altitude. There are low-level clouds, middle-level clouds and high-level clouds. However, even these groups contain other forms of clouds such as vertical clouds and special clouds.
Each cloud form develops under specific weather and/or temperature conditions in the Earth’s troposphere (the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere). There are clouds that can form above the troposphere into the Earth’s upper atmosphere (the stratosphere and mesosphere), but these occurrences are rare.
The first condition necessary for a cloud to form deals with the degree of sunlight on the Earth’s surface. As the sunlight heats the Earth or bodies of water, moisture begins to evaporate and rise into the air as water molecules. As the water molecules rise, they reach the cooler temperatures in the altitude. The higher the water molecules rise, the cooler the surrounding air temperature is. The cooler air then causes the molecules to condense. Finally, the condensed water molecules collect dust particles and a cloud is formed.
TYPES OF CLOUDS
1. The low-level clouds include:
2. The middle-level clouds include:
3. The high-level clouds include.
4. Vertical Development Clouds include:
They sometimes appear in a mushroom shape.
5. Special Clouds include:
THE STUDY OF CLOUDS
The study of weather conditions is known as meteorology and a person who studies weather conditions is a meteorologist. However, the specific study of clouds and cloud formations is known as nephology while a person whose focus is on clouds is a nephologist.
IMPORTANCE OF CLOUDS
Clouds are an important part of the Earth’s weather system because they:
So, the next time you look up at the sky and see clouds, see if you can determine what kind of cloud it is and then think about the benefits that cloud brings. Clouds are truly amazing beyond being beautiful and fascinating.
Now let’s see just how much you have learned about clouds. Read over the next ten question and see if you can find the correct answers.
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