Clouds warm the Earth by absorbing infrared radiation emitted from the surface and reradiating it back down. The process traps heat like a blanket and slows the rate at which the surface can cool. How do clouds affect the climate? We know the following: Clouds cool the Earth by reflecting incoming sunlight.
But it’s a bit complicated: Clouds can both cool down and warm up the temperatures on Earth. Clouds can block light and heat from the Sun, making Earth’s temperature cooler. You’ve probably noticed this kind of cooldown on a cloudy day.
However, some heat from the Sun does get down to Earth. Clouds can trap that heat from the Sun. At night, when there’s no sunlight, clouds are still trapping heat. It’s sort of like clouds are wrapping Earth in a big, warm blanket. During the day, clouds can make the temperature on Earth cooler by blocking heat from the Sun.
Another frequently asked query is “Do low clouds emit more thermal energy than high clouds?”.
Low, warm clouds emit more thermal energy than high, cold clouds. This image illustrates that low clouds emit about the same amount of thermal energy as Earth’s surface does. This is most clearly seen over the Pacific Ocean. The water is nearly white, while the low marine clouds are pale gray, only slightly cooler.
What do clouds tell us about the weather?
So here are six clouds to keep an eye out for, and how they can help you understand the weather. Cumulus: little white fluffy clouds. Brett Sayles/Pexels, CC BY Clouds form when air cools to the dew point, the temperature at which the air can no longer hold all its water vapour.
High-level clouds (5-13 km): cirrocumulus, cirrus, and cirrostratus. Mid-level clouds (2-7 km): altocumulus, altostratus, and nimbostratus. Low-level clouds (0-2 km): stratus, cumulus, cumulonimbus, and stratocumulus.
When we were researching we ran into the inquiry “What type of clouds are associated with fair weather?”.
, and high-level clouds. A few cirrus clouds may indicate fair weather, but increasing cover indicates a change of weather (an approaching warm front) will occur within 24 hours. These are the most abundant of all high-level clouds. Cirrocumulus – like ripples or fish scales (sometimes called a mackerel sky).
What type of cloud is associated with fair weather?
This warmed air rises by convection and forms Cumulus. These “fair weather” clouds look like cotton wool. If you look at a sky filled with cumulus, you may notice they have flat bases, which all lie at the same level. At this height, air from ground level has cooled to the dew point.
What is cloud usually means fair weather?
Cumulus – known as fair-weather clouds because they usually indicate fair, dry conditions. If there is precipitation, it is light. The clouds have a flattish base with rounded stacks or puffs on top.
Their tops are rounded, puffy, and a brilliant white when sunlit, while their bottoms are flat and relatively dark. Cumulus clouds develop on clear, sunny days when the sun heats the ground directly below ( diurnal convection). This is where they get their nickname of “fair weather” clouds.
What kind of clouds are white in the sky?
Cirrostratus Cirrostratus clouds are thin, white clouds that cover the whole sky like a veil. These clouds are most commonly seen in the winter, and can cause the appearance of a halo around the sun or the moon. Weather prediction: Rain or snow will arrive within 24 hours!
These are the most abundant of all high-level clouds. Cirrocumulus – like ripples or fish scales (sometimes called a mackerel sky). When cirrus clouds turn into cirrocumulus, a storm may come – in tropical regions, that could be a hurricane.
How do clouds affect the Earth’s surface?
Clouds within a mile or so of Earth’s surface tend to cool more than they warm. These low, thicker clouds mostly reflect the Sun’s heat. This cools Earth’s surface. Clouds high up in the atmosphere have the opposite effect: They tend to warm Earth more than they cool. High, thin clouds trap some of the Sun’s heat.