How Clouds Affect Weather Systems

How clouds are made: When moist air rises and cools, water vapor condenses into tiny water drops or ice crystals that wrap around air particles.

Cloud Classification: Cirrus, stratus, and cumulus clouds are some of the different types of clouds based on how they look and how high they are.

Indicator of Weather Conditions: The type, height, and volume of clouds can tell you a lot about the weather now and in the future.

Low-Level Clouds: Cumulus clouds are linked to clear skies and little rain, while stratus clouds are linked to cloudy skies and heavy rain.

Mid-Level Clouds: Altocumulus clouds may mean that the weather is changing, and altostratus clouds, which make the sky cloudy, often come before storms.

High-Level Clouds: Cirrus clouds are thin and usually mean good weather, but their appearance may mean that a change is coming to the atmosphere.

Storm Clouds: Thunderstorms are linked to cumulonimbus clouds, which can reach through several layers of the sky and bring heavy rain, lightning, and even tornadoes.

Global Effects: Clouds are very important to the Earth's energy balance because they bounce sunshine back into space and keep heat in, which keeps the planet's temperature stable.

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