How do clouds form?

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how do clouds form


Cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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** Cloud **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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For other uses, see Cloud (disambiguation).
Stratocumulus stratiformis cumulogenitus

In meteorology, a *cloud* is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen
crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere
above the surface of a planetary body.^[1] These suspended particles are
also known as aerosols. Clouds in Earth's atmosphere are studied in the
cloud physics branch of meteorology. Two processes, possibly acting
together, can lead to air becoming saturated; cooling the air or adding
water vapor to the air. In general, precipitation will fall to the surface;
an exception is virga, which evaporates before reaching the surface.^[2]

The international cloud classification system is based on the fact that
clouds in their most basic forms can show free-convective upward growth
like cumulus, appear in non-convective layered sheets such as stratus, or
take the form of thin fibrous wisps, as in the case of cirrus. Prefixes are
used in connection with clouds to express variations or complexities in
these basic forms or to specify middle or high altitude ranges. These
include /strato-/ for low clouds with limited convection that form mostly
in uneven layers, /cumulo-/ for complex highly-convective storm clouds,
/nimbo-/ for thick layered clouds of some complexity that can produce
moderate to heavy precipitation, /alto-/ for middle clouds, and /cirro-/
for high clouds; the latter two of which may be of simple or moderately
complex structure. Whether or not a cloud is low, middle, or high level
depends on how far above the ground its base forms. Cloud types with
significant vertical extent can form in the low or middle altitude ranges
depending on the moisture content of the air. Clouds in the troposphere
have Latin names


Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud

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