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GEOG 2110L (50)


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GEOG 2110L
David Stanley

CONDENSATION EVENTS: FORMATION & TYPES ** Clouds, Fog, and Dew all have 2 properties in common: 1) They must form from saturated or nearly saturated air RH = 100%, dew point T° = air T° 2) They must have a surface upon which the water vapor can condense * dew: the ground, vegetation, a car, or similar surface * clouds & fog: need cloud-condensation nuclei * microscopic particles necessary as matter (a surface) on which water vapor condenses to form moisture droplets * can be particles of dust, sea salts, soot, ash, etc. * hygroscopic nuclei: are very water absorbent condensation nuclei usually of sulfate & nitrate crystals *** CLOUDS ** cloud: a form of condensation best described as a dense, visible aggregation of minute moisture droplets and/or tiny crystals of ice * classified by altitude of occurrence & by shape * How do they form? Aparcel of moist air reaches the point of saturation where the water vapor is changed to liquid water droplets. Either by cooling the air T° to the d.p. T° OR by adding more water vapor. Cooling the air T° is the most common method. ** Cloud Classification: * 2 criteria for classifying clouds: altitude & shape Altitude: * 4 altitudinal classes: low, middle, high, vertically developed thru the troposphere low: surface up to 2000 m (6500 ft) * primarily consisting of liquid water EX: stratus, stratocumulus, nimbostratus middle (alto): between 2000 m & 6000 m (20,000 ft) * consisting of liquid water & ice crystals EX: altostratus, altocumulus high: between 6000 m & 13,000 m (43,000 ft) * consisting primarily of ice crystals EX: cirrus, cirrostratus, cirrocumulus vertically developed thru the troposphere: surface to 13,000 m * consisting primarily of water at lower levels & ice crystals at higher levels EX: cumulus, cumulonimbus 5 main clouds: Stratus, nimbostratus, cumulus, cirrus, cumulonimbus Shape: * 3 basic forms: flat, puffy, wispy flat: horizontally developed & layered, or stratiform clouds puffy: vertically developed, or cumuliform clouds wispy: high altitude & made of ice crystals, or cirroform * some common names used: Stratus: layered, horizontally developed & usually low altitude Cumulus: bright & puffy like ‘cotton balls’ Cirrus: “curl of hair,” the clouds found the highest up in the atmosphere
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