Presentation on theme: "Cloud and Precipitation Notes. Temperature affects water in the atmosphere Water is always in the atmosphere It can be a solid (snow), a liquid (rain)"— Presentation transcript:
Temperature affects water in the atmosphere Water is always in the atmosphere It can be a solid (snow), a liquid (rain) or a gas (water vapor)
Water in the Air Most of the Earth’s water is recycled Oceans hold most of the water
Water Vapor condenses and forms clouds Clouds are 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. In the air, water condenses on the particles found in it (dust, smoke, salt, etc.)
Characteristics of clouds Clouds form under different conditions The shapes and sizes are determined by air movement Location also is a factor – Higher altitude clouds are made of tiny crystals – Lower altitude clouds are made of droplets of water or a mixture of droplets and ice crystals
Two prefixes that help to describe clouds further are: Nimbo/nimbus – Produce precipitation Alto – Medium altitude
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
Cumulus Clouds Means “heap ” or “pile ” Puffy white clouds with darker bases Usually appear in the daytime when warm air rises and its water vapor condenses 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
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
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 Fog tends to be heaviest at dawn, after the ground has cooled overnight, it clears as the ground is heated by the sunlight It can be a safety hazard while driving because it makes it hard to see what is in front of you
Precipitation forms from water droplets or ice crystals Precipitation is 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?
For precipitation to occur… 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.
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
Freezing Rain vs. Sleet What is the difference between the two pictures? Which is freezing rain and which is sleet? WHY?
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
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
Precipitation carries pollution Acid rain forms when factories, power plants, automobiles and some natural sources release sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air The 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