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Discussing Paper About Cloud Development and Precipitation (Essay Sample)

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discussing cloud development and precipitation

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CLOUD DEVELOPMENT AND PRECIPITATION
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Cloud development and precipitation
Introduction
Clouds are composed of very tiny droplets of water and ice crystals, or a mixture of the two. Sufficient quantities of both water droplets and crystals of ice make the mass discernible. Clouds presents in a variety of forms. Some are dull, foreboding, and others are pretty. While looking at clouds, it is important to look beyond these aesthetic qualities.
The presence of clouds creates physical evidence of both atmospheric motion and moisture. The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is massive. Scientists estimate that the amount carried across the land by air current is six times more than the amount of water carried by all rivers in the world (Li & Niu, 2011). They estimate that one inch of rainfall over an acre weight 133 tons. Over an area that has the size of Oregon, one inch of rain is equivalent to nearly 8billion tons of water. All of this water emerges from the condensation of vapor in the atmosphere.
It is estimated that, for each ton of water that condenses, about two million B.T.u.'s of latent heat is exposed to the atmosphere.it is clear that massive quantities of energy and water are involved in the formation of precipitation and clouds. In the formation of clouds and precipitation, the atmosphere must be saturated with moisture.
Principles of humidity.
There are two main ways in which the vapor and saturation pressures of the atmosphere attain the same value to produce 100% saturation or relative humidity.
Addition of moisture to air.
The first principle way is through the addition of moisture to air. In other words, the addition, lowering of temperature achieves the desires of the first principal.
According to Vonnegut & Moore (2013), rapid evaporation takes place when cold air passes over warm water. Through this, saturation is quickly reached. Continental polar air that is cold crosses the great warm lakes in the fall and early winter gathers vast amounts of moisture. As the result of the above process, cloudiness is produced, and this causes rain or snow. Saturation may be achieved when warm rain falls through the cold air. For instance, underneath warm front. Falling rain from the warm clouds above the front evaporates in cold air and forms scud clouds.
Atmospheric stability
The presence balance does not control whether air will sink or rise. Rather, it focuses on controlling whether sinking air will continue to fall, or rising air will continue to increase. Sinking air will continue to sink Important methods of reaching saturation is by lowering air temperature.it is accomplished in a variety of ways.
First warm, moist air may be cooled to its point of dew formation. This gets done though passing it over a cold surface. Cooling can take place near the surface when there is the availability of light wind conditions; fog is formed.in case the winds are high, they will cause mixing of cooled air. The result of the mixing is that clouds will form. They can form in several hundred or even a thousand feet above the surface.
The resultant adiabatic expansion and lifting of air is the primary cooling method. The lifting may be achieved by hot, frontal or orographic action. It produces most precipitations and clouds. The presence of local heating will result in thermal lifting (Namias, 2013). When the heated air becomes buoyant, it is forced aloft and cools.at the dry adiabatic rate of 5, 5 degrees F per a thousand feet, the air cools. On the other hand, the dew point lowers only about 1 degrees F per a thousand feet. This reflects the decreases absolute humidity with expansion.
The above picture shows how moist air may be cooled to its dew point and transformed to saturation point as it passes over warm or cold surfaces .It further demonstrates night time cooling of the ground surface by radiation. Also, the subsequent cooling of adjacent air may produce saturation and fog.
Air can saturate through the addition of moisture. This process may occur through the process of evaporation. Mostly, this happens when dry air passes over warm water. Also, when warm rain from above front foils via cold air beneath the front.
Cloud development and stability
Thermal lifting
It is mostly experienced in warm seasons. It may turn morning stratus clouds into stratocumulus with the possibility of light showers. Depending on stability, continued heating results to the formation of cumuliform clouds. These clouds result in heavier showers and thunderstorms. Rainfall that is associated with thermal lifting is likely to present as scattered in a geographic perspective.
Orographic lifting
Orographic lifting involves forcing air up the windward side of slopes and mountain ranges. It produces clouds and precipitation.it resembles thermal lifting where the air is cooled by the adiabatic process. Maritime air that flows from the Pacific Ocean creates winter cloud and precipitation. This is because it lifts the winds over the mountain ranges.
Frontal lifting
Air is usually forced up the slope of both cold and warm. This type of lifting accounts for much cloudiness and precipitation in all regions. It mostly appears during winter and all other seasons of the year. Cold fronts that have characteristics of being steeper possess faster moving air. This leads to the production of more intense rainfall from the cumulonimbus clouds along the squall line or the front.
Convergence
This is another imperative method of lifting. It produces precipitation and clouds. During convergence, air moves horizontally into an area that moves out (Li & Gao, 2011). Excess air is forced upwards. Since moisture present in a concentrated form in the lower atmospheric levels, convergence carries significant quantities of moisture to higher levels. When precipitation does not immediately result from this cause, subsequent precipitation triggered by other processes may be much more intense than if convergence had not occurred.
Precipitation process
The process of precipitation is effected by two processes. The ice crystal and artificial nucleation process. Vapor molecules move to the ice crystals and crystallize. Ice crystals grow t the expense of water droplets. They may attain a size that is larger enough to fall out of the clouds inform of snowflakes.
The ice-crystal process.
It is evident that both cloud droplets and ice crystals can coexist in clouds at subfreezing temperatures. Clouds must be composed of both ice crystals and super cooled liquid cloud droplets for the ice crystal process to take place.
Artificial nucleation
Scientist discovered that the scarcity of sublimation nuclei and ice crystals in super cooled clouds, cam lead to artificial precipitation. Dessens (2013) suggests that, silver iodide crystals which possess structures similar to ice crystals can be useful sublimation nuclei in super cooled clouds with temperatures of 20 degrees F. The release of silver-iodide crystals by aircraft can result in the precipitation process.
Kinds of clouds
Clouds are identified by their formations, content, altitude and their appearance. They are classified into, high, middle, low and clouds with vertical development. They are further classified into clouds formed by localized vertical currents. The currents forming these clouds carry moist air upward beyond the level of condensation.
The second classification entails, clouds formed by the lifting of the entire layers of the earth are formed without local vertical currents until condensation is achieved. These types of clouds are spread out in layers or sheets.
High clouds have bases ranging from 16,500 to 45,000 feet. Clouds included in this family are cirrocumulus, Cirrus, and cirrostratus. They are composed of ice crystals. Middle clouds, on the other hand, have bases ranging from 6,500 to 20,000 feet.
Components of this family are altostratus and altocumulus clouds. They are mostly formed by orographic or frontal lifting. Low clouds have bases ranging from the surface of the earth to 6,500 feet. Stratus, nimbostratus, and stratocumulus fall under the family of this type of cloud.
Kinds of precipitation
The products of precipitation can be classified into three depending on their physical characteristics upon striking the earth. Liquid precipita...
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