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Cloud Types
Dr. Dave Dempsey
Professor of Meteorology
Department of Geosciences
San Francisco State University
Steam fog
on lake surface
Lassen National Park, CA
~ 6,000 ft. elevation
October
clear night
Steam devil
(steam fog)
Yellowstone
National Park, WY
geothermal hot pool
breeze blowing across pool
Steam devil
(steam fog)
Yellowstone
National Park, WY
geothermal hot pool
breeze blowing across pool
Mixing clouds
Port Townsend, Washington
Contrail and
altocumulus
clouds
Olympic Mts., WA
Contrails
Mt. St. Helens, WA
taken May 20, 1979
mountain erupted May 18,
1980
Contrails
Eastern Sierra Nevada Mts.
and Mono Lake, CA
Radiation fog and
altostratus clouds
Santa Rosa Valley, CA
April
pre-dawn
clear night
Radiation fog
Santa Rosa Valley, CA
(sunrise, April)
Central Valley near Chico, CA
Radiation fog
(morning in December; clear night)
Central Valley near Chico, CA
Radiation fog
(morning in December; clear night)
Radiation fog Central Valley near Chico, CA
(morning in December; clear night)
Advection fog
San Francisco Peninsula,
Crystal Springs Reservoir (June)
Advection fog
San Francisco Peninsula
(looking southwest; June)
Advection fog
San Francisco (June)
Advection fog
San Francisco (June)
Advection fog
Golden Gate,
San Francisco
June
Stratus clouds
(marine push)
North Cascades
National Park, WA
~ 6,000 ft. elevation
well inland from Puget Sound
Cirrus clouds
Western Colorado
Cirrus clouds
Acoma Pueblo, NM
Cirrocumulus clouds
Baja California
Cirrostratus (halo, arcs, etc.)
Mt. Everest, Nepal
Mid- and high-level clouds
Mono Lake, CA
Mid- and high-level clouds
Mono Lake, CA
Altocumulus clouds
Point Reyes, CA (Sept.)
Altocumulus clouds
Western Colorado (June)
Altocumulus &
cumulus clouds
Death Valley, CA (March)
Altocumulus clouds
Chico, CA
• Daisies
• summer
Stratocumulus (roll) clouds
Boulder, Colorado
Fairweather cumulus clouds
S.E. Utah (May)
Stratocumulus clouds
Mono Lake, CA (Aug.)
Cumulus clouds
Crater Lake N.P, Oregon (July)
Cumulus cloud
San Luis Valley, Colorado (June)
Cumulus clouds
Eastern Colorado
(June)
Cumulonimbus &
cumulus clouds
Eastern Utah (July)
Cumulonimbus &
cumulus clouds
Western Colorado (July)
Cumulonimbus cloud
Eastern Utah (July)
Cumulonimbus cloud
with anvil
Death Valley N.P., CA
(March)
Cumulonimbus cloud
with anvil
Death Valley N.P., CA
(March)
Cumulonimbus cloud
with anvil
Mojave desert, CA
(March)
Cumulonimbus
cloud, snowing
Northern New Mexico (Feb.)
Cumulus cloud with
rotating mesocyclone
Eastern Colorado
(May)
Cumulus cloud w/rotating
mesocyclone, dust updraft
Eastern Colorado
(May)
Cumulus cloud
w/wall cloud, tornado
North Texas (May)
Mammatus clouds
beneath cumulus anvil
Yellowstone N.P., WY
(June)
Virga (evaporating rain)
S.E. Utah
(August)
• Pileus
cap cloud
on cumulus cloud
• Cirrus clouds
Orographic wave clouds
(lens clouds)
Baja California (Feb.)
Cap cloud
Mt. St. Helens, WA
(May 1979, before it’s
May 1980 eruption)
Cap cloud
Mt. St. Helens, WA
(May 1979, before its
May 1980 eruption)
Orographic Precipitation and
Rain Shadow
California Topography and
Precipitation
Temperate rainforest
Hoh rainforest,
Olympic
National Park, WA
• annual rainfall ~ 160”
North American Deserts
 Great Basin
 Mohave
 Sonoran
 Chihuahuan
Sand dunes, Eureka Valley, Death Valley NP, CA
Precipitation Pattern, Maui,
Hawaii
Hanakapiai Falls,
Na Pali coast,
Kauai, Hawai
 annual rainfall ~ 80”
Big Island of Hawaii
Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, prickly
pear cacti
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