The Biloxi weather education center is going to be used to teach about how weather works. In this first lesson we are going to learn how to read the weather based on the types of clouds in the lower levels.
Lesson 1: Low cloud identification and the associated weather.
The first cloud to talk about is the Cumulus cloud. These clouds are usually associated with fair weather. Cumulus clouds appearance is white in general with the looks of puffy cotton balls sometimes. These clouds are typically found between 2,000-3,000ft above the ground.
The second type of low cloud that can be seen in the slide show is the Towering Cumulus Clouds. Sometimes you will hear people call them TCU for short which means towering cumulus clouds. These clouds appear to have a dark gray to light black apperance to them. The reason for that is because of the precipitation that they are holding in them. TCU clouds are known to produce rain and also over the oceans and large lakes may produce waterspouts. These clouds are found around 2,000ft and can grow vertically to heights well above 10,000ft.
The third low cloud is the Cumulus-nimbus clouds. These clouds are associated with bad weather usually if the cloud is over top of your area you will know. From far away as you can see in the slide show photo they seem to appear just like another white cloud in the sky however large. When you get under this cloud it will appear black in color and sometimes it is possible to see even green colors inside this cloud. CB’s are responsible for weather such as tornadoes, large hail, lightening, damaging winds and of course thunder. These clouds usually have a base near 2,000-3,000ft above the ground however they also can grow very large up to 40,000ft in some places. When this cloud is out take head to any local warnings that may occur.
Another low cloud is the Nimbostratus clouds. These low clouds can produce rain or even snow if its cold enough outside. They make the sky dark and also can have lasting effects on the weather for hours. These clouds generally form near 1,000-3,000ft but can extend up to 8,000ft at times above ground.
Next, low cloud is the stratus clouds. Everyone may know this cloud as the fog cloud. That is because stratus clouds can form on the ground and then they are called fog. These clouds also can produce showers of rain and snow if cold enough. The stratus clouds bases are usually between the surface of the ground up to 3,000ft.
The last low cloud to talk about is the Stratocumulus clouds. These clouds are a mix of stratus and cumulus in nature. That is because these clouds do have a little bit of vertical extent and appear puffy just like cumulus clouds but also form in uniform rows. These clouds are generally between 2,000 and 4,000ft above the ground.
That concludes this lesson in low clouds along with some of the weather that you may see with these clouds. Hope you enjoyed and can now go outside and understand what the clouds mean.
Happy cloud watching!