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Cloud and Precipitation Notes

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Presentation on theme: "Cloud and Precipitation Notes"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cloud and Precipitation Notes

2 Water Cycle Most of the Earth’s water is recycled
Oceans hold most of the water Evaporation: The change of state from a liquid to a gas Condensation: The change of state from a gas to a liquid Precipitation: Water falls from clouds to the earth

3 How are clouds formed? Made of condensed water vapor
Air cools as it rises and condenses into tiny droplets or ice crystals These tiny droplets/ice crystals are so light they either float as clouds or fall very slowly Water must condense on something solid (Ex. dust, smoke, salt, etc.)

4 Characteristics of clouds
Form under different conditions Shapes and sizes are determined by air movement Location is also a factor Higher altitude = tiny crystals Lower altitude = water droplets/ice crystals

5 3 Main Types of Clouds Cirrus Cumulus Stratus

6 Two prefixes that help to describe clouds further are:
Nimbo/nimbus Produce precipitation Alto Medium altitude

7 Cirrus Clouds Means “curl of hair”
Form at high altitudes in very cold air It is made of ice Wispy or feathery in appearance Normally found in fair weather but can be a sign that a storm is approaching

8 Cumulus Clouds Means “heap” or “pile”
Puffy white clouds with darker bases Usually appear in the daytime Cooler air sinks along the sides of these clouds keeping them apart Cumulonimbus clouds are ones that produce thunder storms, they are also called thunderheads

9 Stratus Clouds Means “spread out”
These are the clouds that produce ‘grey’ skies They form in flat layers when air cools over large area without rising They are smooth because they form without strong air movement


11 Fog A cloud that rests on the ground or a body of water
If forms when a surface is colder than the air above it Heaviest at dawn It can be a safety hazard while driving because it makes it hard to see what is in front of you

12 What is precipitation? Any form of water that falls from the clouds and reaches Earth’s surface Cloud droplets are much smaller than a typical raindrop Precipitation always comes from clouds but not all clouds form precipitation What types of clouds do?

13 Formation Cloud droplets (water) or ice crystals must grow heavy enough to fall through the air. They get heavier by colliding or combining with other droplets.

14 Measuring Precipitation
Rain Gauge Measuring snow Rain gauge - open ended tube or can that collects rainfall in a container. The container usuallly has markings on it or a ruler is used Snow - use a ruler in the snow or melting snow collected in a container.

15 Types of Precipitation
Rain Sleet Freezing Rain Snow Hail

16 Rain Most common form .5mm in diameter Fall from nimbostratus clouds

17 Rain

18 Sleet When there are layers of warm air and cold air in the sky.
As droplets fall they freeze into solid ice particles

19 Sleet

20 Freezing Rain Raindrops falling through cold air that don’t freeze until they reach a cold surface (the ground) Looks like sleet as it falls but freezes on the surface instead of right before it hits the surface

21 Freezing Rain

22 Freezing Rain vs. Sleet Smaller the cold area closest to ground is freezing rain (less time to refreeze) What is the difference between the two pictures? Which is freezing rain and which is sleet? WHY?

23 Snow Ice crystals grow and merge to form snowflakes
Variety of shapes and sizes Most have 6 sides or branches When they fall through moist air that is near freezing they clump together When falling through colder drier air they don’t

24 Hail Only forms inside cumulonimbus clouds
Strong updrafts carry the ice pellets up and down causing the pellet to get bigger When it gets to heavy it falls to the ground

25 Hail


27 Acid Rain Forms when factories, power plants, automobiles and some natural sources release sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air They combine with the water to form sulfuric acid and nitric acid This acid rain can affect trees, lakes and damage the surface of buildings and sculptures

28 Acid Rain damage

29 How Acid Rain Forms

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