5.04 Clouds and Fog

5.04 Clouds and Fog
FTGU pages 124-126, 147
5.04 Clouds and Fog
• MTPs:
– Cloud Classification
– Types and Recognition
– Associated Precipitation
– Fog Formation and Types
Cloud Classification
• Clouds are classified by:
Type/Way They Form
Cloud Classification
• Two Cloud TYPES:
Cloud Classification
• Four Cloud FAMILIES:
– High (Cirro)
• bases between 16 500 and 45 000 feet
• Ice crystals
– Middle (Alto)
• Bases between 6500 and 23 000 feet
• Ice crystals, water droplets
Low (Strato)
• Bases from surface to 6500 feet
Clouds of Vertical Development
• May form as low as 1500 feet
• Water droplets above freezing
Cloud Classification
Types and Recognition
• High Clouds
1. Cirrus (Ci)
– very thin wispy cloud, like it was made with an artist’s
– sometimes referred to as cats’ whiskers or mares’ tail
– generally no particular significance to flying
Types and Recognition
• High Clouds
2. Cirrocumulus (Cc)
– thin cotton like clouds
– looks like pattern of the sand at a beach
– no indication of future weather conditions
Types and Recognition
• High Clouds
3. Cirrostratus (Cs)
– thin high sheet of cloud
– sun or moon is visible, producing a halo effect
– often indicate an approaching warm front or occlusion
and therefore of deteriorating weather conditions
Types and Recognition
• Mid level clouds
1. Altocumulus (Ac)
– layers of rounded masses of cloud that may lie in
groups or lines
– sometimes associated with an approaching front
but usually they have little value as a weather
Types and Recognition
• Mid level clouds
2. Altocumulus Castellanus (Acc)
– altocumulus with turreted edges
– may develop into cumulonimbus
– a variation of AC with greater vertical extent
– characteristics include: instability, turbulence and shower
Types and Recognition
• Low Clouds
1. Status (St)
– uniform layer of low cloud resembling fog but
is not touching the ground
– low visibility, drizzle and fog often associated
Types and Recognition
• Low Clouds
2. Stratocumulus (Sc)
– layer or series of rounded masses or rolls of cloud
– common in high pressure areas in winter
– sometimes gives a little precipitation
Types and Recognition
• Low clouds
3. Nimbostratus (Ns)
‘Nimbo’ – means precipitation is associated with the cloud
low dark grey layer
thickened altostratus
associated with warm fronts and continuous/steady rain or snow
may be more than 15,000 ft thick
VFR operations often difficult to impossible
Types and Recognition
• Clouds of vertical development
1. Cumulus (Cu)
Dense, thick, rounded and lumpy
resembles cotton balls
flat bases and sharp clear cut surfaces
forming during day and dissipate at night
height of base depends on temperature and dew point spread
light to moderate turbulence
Types and Recognition
• Clouds of Vertical Development
2. Towering Cumulus (TCu)
a development of cumulus cloud
serious (moderate to heavy) icing and turbulence
rain showers and snow showers in winter
rough air underneath
Types and Recognition
• Clouds of Vertical Development
3. Cumulonimbus (Cb)
development of TCU
often anvil shape top
produces lightning and thunder
gusty surface winds in vicinity
hail is often present within the cloud and may occasionally fall from it
heavy icing, turbulence and showers
may be embedded in stratiform clouds
cloud should be avoided
• Name these clouds:
Drizzle, Freezing drizzle,
Snow grains
Cloud Type
Stratus and Stratocumulus
Thick Altostratus and Nimbostratus
Snow or Rain (continuous)
Snow or Rain (intermittent)
Snow Showers or Rain
Thick Altostratus and
Altocumulus, Towering Cumulus
and Cumulonimbus
Snow Pellets, Hail, Ice
Pellets Showers
Ice Pellets (continuous)
Any cloud that gives Rain - (below
No cloud necessary
Ice Prisms
Fog Formation and Types
• Fog is:
– Cloud (usually stratus) in contact with ground
• Formed when:
– Air cooled to due point
– Air becomes saturated (moisture added)
Fog Formation and Types
Formed By Cooling
Formed by Adding Moisture
Radiation Fog
Steam Fog
Advection Fog
Ice Fog
Upslope Fog
Precipitation-Induced Fog
Fog Formation and Types
1. Radiation Fog (ground fog)
– Forms at night
• Initial heating from sun causes turbulence
– Ground cools losing heat through radiation
• Air in direct contact is cooled
– Clear skies, moist air, light winds (2-5 knots)
Fog Formation and Types
2. Advection Fog
When warm moist air moves over a colder land or sea surface
Winds >15 knots
Most frequent in costal regions
Widespread when moist air from warm region of ocean moves over
colder water
Fog Formation and Types
Precipitation Induced Fog (frontal fog)
– Addition of moisture to air through evaporation of rain or
– The precipitation from warm air evaporates and
saturates cooler air below
– Associated mostly with warm fronts
Fog Formation and Types
4. Upslope Fog
– Cooling of air due to expansion as it move
sup slope
– Light upslope wind required
Fog Formation and Types
Steam Fog
– Cold air passes over warm water surface
– Evaporation of water into air until saturated
– Occurs over rivers and lakes, especially during autumn
Fog Formation and Types
Ice Fog
– Moist air during extremely cold calm conditions
– The cold air cannot hold more moisture and excess sublimates into ice
– Crystals appear suddenly when engine started
• Water vapour
• Condensation nuclei
• Mixing agent
• Watch the link:
– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG0iAsaGO4
• What clouds can you name?
• What are the names for the 3 levels of clouds?
• Name one type of cloud of vertical development.
• What requirements are needed to create fog?
• What type of precipitation would you get in:
• i) stratus clouds
• Ii) cumulus clouds
Nacreous Clouds may be found above the
poles, and are actually in the Stratosphere
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