A: Often low clouds, choose stratus and also cumulus, appear to haveflat bases. These clouds create as air close to the ground is climbing. Asthe air rises it broadens and also cools. This cooling causes therelative humidity to increase as the increasing air temperaturephilosophies the dew allude temperature. When it reaches the heightwright here those 2 temperatures are equal, the family member humidity is100% and a cloud forms. Meteorologists speak to this altitude thelifting condensation level (or LCL) bereason it is the elevation atwhich water vapor in rising air starts condensing to develop clouddrops.

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The temperature and also dew suggest temperature near the ground arequite unicreate on the dimension scale of a cloud or a repertoire ofclouds. So, as a layer of air close to the ground rises, the elevation atwhich condensation occurs does not differ much and also the cloud baseelevation appears uniform. From the ground these bottoms appear verylevel, however if you are in a airplane and fly with these bases duringtake-off or landing, you"ll be close sufficient to alert that thecloud bases are not a sharp boundary.

The closer the temperature and also dew allude, the reduced the cloudbase. So, cumulus clouds in the dry southwestern United Statesprimarily have a lot higher bases than those in the southeastern.

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- Stalso A. Ackerman and Jonathan Martin are professors in theDepartment of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madikid, areguests on the Larry Meiller"s WHA-AM radio display the last Monday ofeach month at 11:45 a.m.

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