Presentation on theme: "Cloud Development and Forms"— Presentation transcript:
1 Cloud Development and Forms Chapter 6Cloud Development and Forms
2 Four mechanisms lift air so that condensation and cloud formation can occur:1. Orographic lifting, the forcing of air above a mountain barrier2. Frontal lifting, the displacement of one air mass over another3. Convergence, the horizontal movement of air intoan area at low levels4. Localized convective lifting due to buoyancy
3 Orographic liftingThe upward displacement of air that leads to adiabaticcooling is called orographic uplift (or the orographic effect).When air approaches a topographic barrier, it can belifted upward or deflected around the barrier.Downwind of a mountain ridge, on its leeward side,air descends the slope and warms by compressionto create a rain shadow effect, an area of lower precipitation.
4 Fronts Fronts are transition zones in which great temperature differences occur across relatively short distances.Air flow along frontal boundaries results in the widespread developmentof clouds in either of two ways. When cold air advances toward warmerair (cold front), the denser cold air displaces the lighter warm air aheadof it (a). When warm air flows toward a wedge of cold air (warm front),the warm air is forced upward in much the same way that theorographic effect causes air to rise above a mountain barrier (b).
5 Horizontal convergence Pressure differences set the air in motion in theeffect we call wind. When a low-pressure cellis near the surface, winds in the loweratmosphere tend to converge on the center ofthe low from all directions. Horizontal movementtoward a common location implies anaccumulation of mass called horizontal convergence,or just convergence for short.
6 ConvectionConvection results from heating the air near the surface. The result is an updraft which is often strong enough to form clouds and precipitation.
7 Static stabilityThe air’s susceptibility to uplift is called its static stability.Statically unstable air becomes buoyant when lifted andcontinues to rise if given an initial upward push;statically stable air resists upward displacement andsinks back to its original level when the lifting mechanismceases. Statically neutral air neither rises on its ownfollowing an initial lift nor sinks back to its original level;it simply comes to rest at the height to which it was displaced.
8 Static stabilityThe stability depends on the temperature of the lifted air parcelcompared to its environment.Statically unstable is warmer than the environment after lifting;statically stable is colder than the environment; andstatically neutral has the same temperature as the environment.
9 Static stabilityThe stability depends on the temperature of the lifted air parcelcompared to its environment.Statically unstable is warmer than the environment after lifting;statically stable is colder than the environment; andstatically neutral has the same temperature as the environment.AdiabatzTParcel curve
10 Static stabilityThe stability depends on the temperature of the lifted air parcelcompared to its environment.Statically unstable is warmer than the environment after lifting;statically stable is colder than the environment; andstatically neutral has the same temperature as the environment.AdiabatUnstableenvironmentzTParcel curve
11 Static stabilityThe stability depends on the temperature of the lifted air parcelcompared to its environment.Statically unstable is warmer than the environment after lifting;statically stable is colder than the environment; andstatically neutral has the same temperature as the environment.AdiabatStableenvironmentUnstableenvironmentzTParcel curve
12 Static stability: unsaturated air Dry and unsaturated air follows the dry adiabat, andstability is relative to DALRDALRStableenvironmentUnstableenvironmentzTParcel curve
13 Static stability: saturated air Saturated air follows the saturated adiabat, andstability is relative to SALRSALRStableenvironmentUnstableenvironmentzTParcel curve
14 Absolutely unstable air When a parcel of unsaturated or saturated air is liftedand the Environmental Lapse Rate (ELR)is greater than the dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR),the result is absolutely unstable air.
15 Absolutely stable airWhen a parcel of unsaturated or saturated air is liftedand the Environmental Lapse Rate (ELR) is less thanthe saturated adiabatic lapse rate (SALR), the resultis absolutely stable air and the parcel will resist lifting.
16 Conditionally unstable When the ELR is between the dry and saturated adiabatic lapse rates the air is said to beconditionally unstable, and the tendency for a lifted parcel to sink or continue rising depends on whether or not it becomes saturated and how far it is lifted.The level of free convection is the height to which a parcel of air must be lifted for it to become buoyantand to rise on its own.
17 is less than that of the surrounding air, so it has negative buoyancy. Assume the ELR is 0.7 °C/100 m and the air is unsaturated. As a parcel of air is lifted, its temperatureis less than that of the surrounding air,so it has negative buoyancy.
18 A parcel starts off unsaturated but cools to the LCL, where it is cooler than the surrounding air. Further liftingcools the parcel at the SALR. At the 200-m level, it isstill cooler than the surrounding air, but if taken to 300 m,it is warmer and buoyant.Tutorial ”Stability” Ch 6 (ed4)
19 The wind direction at the 100 m level has shifted to northeasterly, The ELR can be changed by the advection of air with a different temperature aloft. In (a), the winds at the surface and the 100 m level bring in air with temperatures of 10 °C and 9.5 °C, respectively, yielding an ELR of 0.5 °C/100 m. In (b), the surface winds still bring in air with a temperature of 10 °C.The wind direction at the 100 m level has shifted to northeasterly,and the advected air has a temperature of 9.0 °C.
20 The ELR changes when a new air mass replaces one that has a different lapse rate.Location A has a steeper ELR than does B.As the air mass over Location A moves over B,it brings to that location the new temperature profile.
21 Air that is unstable at one level may be stable aloft Air that is unstable at one level may be stable aloft. The solid line depicts a temperature profile that is unstable in the lowest 500 m but capped by an inversion. An unsaturated air parcel displaced upward would cool by the DALR (dashed line), making it initially warm and buoyant relative to the surrounding level. After penetrating the inversion layer, the rising air is no longer warmer than the surrounding air, and lifting is suppressed. The parcel continues upward due to its momentum. It cools more rapidly than the surrounding air and becomes relatively dense. After stopping, the air parcel sinks and eventually comes to rest at some equilibrium level.
22 EntrainmentAn air parcel has no barrier to prevent it from mixing withits surroundings. As air rises, considerable turbulence isgenerated, which causes ambient air to be drawn into theparcel. This process, called entrainment, is especiallyimportant along the edges of growing clouds. Entrainmentsuppresses the growth of clouds because it introducesunsaturated air into their margins and thus causes someof the liquid droplets to evaporate.
23 InversionsSituations in which the temperature increases with altitude are called inversions. Air parcels rising through inversions encounter ever-warmer surrounding air and have strong negative buoyancy. Inversions are extremely stable and resist vertical mixing. Radiation inversions result from cooling of the surface.Frontal inversions exist at the transition zone separating warm and cold air masses. Subsidence inversions result from sinking air.Frontal InversionSubsidence Inversion
24 The Basic Cloud TypesHigh clouds - cirrus, cirrostratus, and cirrocumulusMiddle clouds - altostratus and altocumulusLow clouds - stratus, stratocumulus, and nimbostratusClouds with vertical development - cumulus and cumulonimbus
25 High clouds are generally above 6000 m (19,000 ft). The simplest of the high clouds are cirrus,which are wispy aggregations of ice crystals.
26 Low clouds have bases below 2000 m. Stratus are layered clouds that form when extensive areas of stable air are lifted.Usually the rate of uplift producing a stratus cloud is only a fewtens of centimeters per second, and its water content is low.Low, layered clouds that yield light precipitation are called nimbostratus.Seen from below, these clouds look very much like stratus,except for the presence of precipitation.
27 Stratocumulus are low, layered clouds with some vertical development. Their darkness varies when seen from below because their thicknessvaries across the cloud. Thicker sections appear dark, and thinnerareas appear as bright spots.
28 Intensely developed clouds are cumulus congestus. They consist of multiple towers, and each tower has several cells of uplift.This gives them a fortress-like appearance with numerous columnsof varying heights. Their strong vertical development impliesthat these clouds form in unstable air.
29 Cumulonimbus are the most violent of all clouds and produce the most intense thunderstorms. In warm, humid, and unstable air,they can have bases just a few hundred meters above the surfaceand tops extending into the lower stratosphere. A cumulonimbus isdistinguished by the presence of an anvil composed entirely of ice crystalsformed by the high winds of the lower stratosphere that extend the cloud forward.