Atmosphere Diagram

Andrea Lee


Suzanne Mcininch

Atmosphere Diagram

Clouds can be further classified based on their altitude, with three
categories present. High clouds are usually found at altitudes greater than
6 km (20,000 ft.) and generally consist of cirrus clouds because very
little water vapor is present and the temperatures are cold. Middle clouds
range between approximately 2 km and 6 km (6500 ft. and 20,000 ft.) and
include cumulus and stratus clouds that form during intervals of stable and
changing weather, respectively. Low clouds typically occur below 2 km (6500
ft.), usually in association with stratus and cumulus clouds. These low
clouds are the source of most precipitation, with nimbostratus clouds
affiliated with long-term rain or snow events and cumulonimbus clouds
growing to great heights during short-term, severe storms. Cirrus clouds
are thin, wispy clouds that develop high in the troposphere. Cumulus clouds
individual puffy clouds that develop due to convection. Stratus clouds
layered sheets of clouds that have a thick and dark appearance. As you can
see the images below of a cirrus cloud and a cumulus cloud. Atmosphere is
an ocean of gases that circulate above the planet's surface. It contains
moving air particles that exert their weight above a given area, known as
atmospheric pressure or air pressure. Air pressure is proportional to
altitude. The higher the elevation, the lower the air pressure. Areas of
low pressure are caused by rising warm air while areas of high pressure
result from descending cold air. When a low pressure system, or a
depression, develops over a region, the ascending warm air cools. When it
reaches saturation point, the cooled air forms clouds, followed by
precipitation. Areas of very low pressure tend to have stormy weather. When
a high pressure system develops, also known as anticyclone, the descending
air dissipates cloud formation and calm, dry weather conditions succeed.

[pic]Cirrus Clouds

[pic]Cumulus Clouds

[pic] All 3 types of clouds

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