Cumulus clouds can be formed from water vapour, supercooled water droplets, or ice crystals, depending upon the ambient temperature. [17][18], Cumulus clouds come in four distinct species, cumulis humilis, mediocris, congestus, and fractus. Cumulus clouds are often called “fair-weather clouds”. General Features of the Droplet Spectrum", 10.1175/1520-0469(1969)026<1049:TMOCCP>2.0.CO;2, Time-lapse of the formation of Cumulus clouds, Nitric acid and water polar stratospheric clouds, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cumulus_cloud&oldid=989571357, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 November 2020, at 19:35. The base of each cloud is flat and the top of each cloud has rounded towers. Cumulus clouds are known for their mammoth size, extending for thousands of meters vertically and horizontally. A camera on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of clouds over the Southern Indian Ocean. Cumulus cloud formation. What you may not have known is that there is a lot of science behind clouds, including cumulus clouds, and it is very interesting to learning more about what these clouds mean for the weather. Their name derives from the Latin cumulo-, meaning heap or pile. Their horizontal base and dome-shaped surface resemble a cauliflower. When a wall of air and water vapor encounters a mountain side, it has nowhere else to go but up the slopes. If observed during a storm, these clouds may be referred to as thunderheads. How do cirrocumulus clouds form? [12] They can have precipitation and are commonly composed of a mixture of ice crystals, supercooled water droplets, and water droplets in temperate latitudes. [24], Cumulus supplementary features are most commonly seen with the species congestus. The colder air and their downward movement gives them distance from each other. of water vapor within a cumulonimbus. They are formed in the troposphere at a lower altitude of below 8,000 feet. 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When the top of the cumulus resembles the head of a cauliflower, it is called cumulus congestus or towering cumulus. [23] Cumulus mediocris clouds are similar, except that they have some vertical development, which implies that they can grow into cumulus congestus or even cumulonimbus clouds, which can produce heavy rain, lightning, severe winds, hail, and even tornadoes. [12], Cumulus clouds can be composed of ice crystals, water droplets, supercooled water droplets, or a mixture of them. Cumulus clouds are formed when rising warm air meets a body of cool air. [30], Due to reflectivity, clouds cool the earth by around 12 °C (22 °F), an effect largely caused by stratocumulus clouds. A cloud is made up of liquid water droplets. The other clouds in this level are cirrus and cirrostratus. They come in many distinct subforms and generally cool the earth by reflecting the incoming solar radiation. Stratus clouds may turn into cumulus or cirrus clouds are air masses and moisture rise higher into the atmosphere. Stratus clouds results from a forced lifting of air (low level convergence, upper level divergence). A cumulus cloud is formed by warm air rising into a layer of cooler air, so the base of the cloud will be warmer and the air will get colder toward the top of the cloud. Cumulus clouds are formed near the earth when hot wet air rises from the ground. Cirrocumulus cloudlets are usually made up of both ice and 'supercooled' water. Cirrocumulus clouds can also form through contrails, the vapour trails left by planes as they fly through a dry upper troposphere. Stratus clouds are formed with an air mass is lifted vertically into the air, and reaches a temperature cool enough for condensation to begin. When the temperature of the air reaches a temperature known as the dew point, condensing water separates from the air around it, which creates a “cloud” as we see it. Other types of clouds, such as cumulus clouds, form above mountains too as air is warmed at the ground and rises. They are less common in tropical areas and commonly form after cold fronts. Scientifically clouds are classified by their altitude and a combination of the stratus, cumulus, cirrus, and nimbus to further sort them. Cumulus clouds are formed when sunshine warms moist air pockets, causing them to rise at a quickened pace. These are much more modest cumulus clouds, but cumulus clouds nonetheless. Cumulus clouds are formed when sunshine warms moist air pockets, causing them to rise at a quickened pace. Towering Cumulus Stage: The first stage is the towering cumulus stage, or growth stage. They are those that are at a higher altitude, exceed 7,500 meters in height, and are formed by tiny ice crystals. Cumulus clouds are probably the most well-known of the cloud types. Normally, cumulus clouds produce little or no precipitation, but they can grow into the precipitation-bearing congestus or cumulonimbus clouds. The word cumulus means a pile or heap. Cumulonimbus clouds are a type of cumulus cloud associated with thunder storms and heavy precipitation. Towering Cumulus Stage: The first stage is the towering cumulus stage, or growth stage. The moisture in the warm air mass condenses as a result of the surrounding cool air. Cumulus virga clouds are cumulus clouds producing virga (precipitation that evaporates while aloft), and cumulus praecipitatio produce precipitation that reaches the Earth's surface. [37] Cirrocumulus are, like other members of the cumuliform and stratocumuliform categories, formed via convective processes. Cumulus clouds have vertical growth. [32] The more vertical cumulus congestus species and cumulonimbus genus of clouds grow high into the atmosphere, carrying moisture with them, which can lead to the formation of cirrus clouds. 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