The Clouds and the Weather
Basics on the topic The Clouds and the Weather
Do you know the different types of clouds?
In this video, you can we learn about four different types of clouds: cirrus, stratus, cumulus and the cumulonimbus clouds, also known as the thunderstorm clouds.
Transcript The Clouds and the Weather
"Today Uma the Weather fairy welcomes you to a very special weather show!" "The clouds and the weather." Clouds come in many different shapes. Some look like animals, others like objects. But, what are clouds made of anyways? Clouds are made up of millions of tiny water droplets and transparent, or see-through air. Kind of like fog, or steam from a teacup! But, why are most clouds white? If a cloud consists of FEW drops of water, the sun can easily shine through it. Then the sunlight reflects the water droplets and it looks like the cloud is white. The darker the cloud, the MORE raindrops are in it. Let's take a closer look at how clouds are formed. Clouds form when there is MORE water in the air than the air can hold. This water comes from the sea, the rivers, the ground, plants, and if it's heated by the sun, the water vapor droplets rise UP. Then, the water vapor cools down the higher it goes, and many water droplets are formed! We call this process 'condensation'. Cloud droplets collect particularly well around small dust particles. The more cloud droplets, the bigger the cloud will be. In order for a cloud to form, it needs: water vapor, cool air and dust particles. But how can we now tell the different cloud TYPES from each other? To do this, we can put the clouds into THREE categories. There are CIRRUS clouds, STRATUS clouds and CUMULUS clouds. Cirrus clouds are very high and consist ONLY of ice crystals. Cirrus clouds are the highest in the sky and look like feathers or wisps of cotton. If you see them in the sky, the weather will probably stay nice for a while. These clouds are expansive and not confined, they often take up a lot of space. The situation is different for CUMULUS clouds. These middle level clouds consist of ice AND water droplets. Their shape has clear edges. They often mean bad weather is coming and look a bit like a herd of sheep. Don't you think so? But there are still STRATUS clouds! These are fair weather clouds. They are scattered across the sky in many large and small clusters. Stratus clouds are low and look kind of like blankets that are layered. In fact, most low clouds look like they are layered. They have greyish-blue bands or rows and predict rain or snow. And then there are the THUNDERSTORM clouds Thunderstorm clouds are called cumulonimbus clouds and they spread over several heights. Remember cumulus clouds? If a cumulus cloud gathers enough water it can turn into a cumulonimbus cloud. These storm clouds look scarily dark and usually mean a thunderstorm is coming. Today we learned about FOUR different types of clouds: cirrus, stratus, cumulus, and the cumulonimbus clouds, also known as the thunderstorm clouds. But is Uma finished with her weather forecast yet?
Ah, Uma is still on the air and seems to be in a storm! Wait, what kind of cloud is that?
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The Clouds and the Weather exercise
How do clouds form?Hints
A source is where something is obtained from. Can you obtain water in all of the options above?
Remember that we can find the sources in nature.Solution
The different sources of water that form clouds when the water vapor from them cools, are: seas, rivers, and plants. They are all natural water sources we can find around us.
What type of clouds is Uma the Weather Fairy reporting about?Hints
What do the clouds look like? They are fluffy and kind of like sheep. Which cloud type appears like sheep?
Look at the different clouds. Which ones look most like the ones in Uma's forecast?Solution
Uma the Weather Fairy is reporting about cumulus clouds. We know this because the image of the clouds shows mid-level clouds whose shape have clear edges and look like sheep.
What three things are needed for a cloud to form?Hints
Remember what temperature a cloud forms in.
The name for the water in its gas form will help you chose the correct answer.Solution
The three components needed to form a cloud are:
- water vapor
- cool air
- dust particles
What do you know about clouds?Hints
Use image 1 to help you: What are the sun rays doing on the cloud?
Use image 2 to help you: Look at what is coming out of the cup. How might you describe it?
Use image 3 to help you: As the vapor rises, remember it gets cooler. What is it called?
Use image 4 to help you: Think about if there would be more or less raindrops in a storm cloud.Solution
- The sun reflects the water droplets and it looks like the cloud is white.
- Clouds are made of tiny water droplets and see-through, or transparent, air.
- The process when water vapor cools down as it rises to form clouds is called condensation.
- The darker the cloud, the more raindrops are in it.
Which of Uma's weather reports correctly describes the cloud shown?Hints
What type of cloud is shown in the image? It is dark, stormy, and large enough to fill the sky. That means that it is a thunderstorm or cumulonimbus cloud.
Remember to think about the different properties of clouds...which report best matches the properties from hint 1?Solution
"It's a cool day with lots of wind. It is very dark and it looks like a storm is brewing. The sky is full of lots of clouds."
The first weather report best describes the thunderstorm clouds, which can be seen in the image of Uma the Weather Fairy's report. We know this because she describes the correct properties associated with this cloud type:
- sky full of clouds
What are the properties of cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and thunderstorm clouds?Hints
Remember that the properties tell you how the cloud looks. Check out the image to remind you.
There are two characteristics per cloud type.
The clouds are ordered from highest in the sky to lowest: Cirrus, Cumulus, Stratus, and CumulonimbusSolution
- Cirrus clouds look like feathers and are the highest in the sky.
- Cumulus clouds look like sheep and are mid-level in the sky.
- Stratus clouds look like blankets in the sky and are scattered in clusters.
- Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds. They are dark and multi-level.