Measures of convective instability

Measures of convective instability There are many different kinds of measures of convective instability. The most common, and you will come across in virtually an in-depth forecast or storm chaser discussions, is CAPE = Convective Available Potential Energy. Chances are you have heard storm chasers and enthusiasts talk about this “CAPE this, CAPE that…”. CAPE … Read more Measures of convective instability

1.1.3. Different types of convective clouds – from fair weather clouds to thunderstorms

Convection forms distinct types of clouds. Convective clouds are divided into two types (genera): cumulus and cumulonimbus. Each successive type and species displays more vertical development as a result of more convective energy being available. The more convective energy is available, the higher the convective cloud will reach. In terms of how high convection goes, … Read more 1.1.3. Different types of convective clouds – from fair weather clouds to thunderstorms Cumulus humilis – fair weather clouds

CUMULUS HUMILIS Cumulus humilis, also known as fair weather clouds are the smallest convective clouds and the first stage in development of convective clouds. They typically form at 500 to 3000 m altitude and have limited vertical development. Cumulus humilis rarely produce any type of precipitation. You can spot these clouds on many summer days; … Read more Cumulus humilis – fair weather clouds Cumulus congestus (Towering cumulus)

CUMULUS CONGESTUS Cumulus congestus clouds form in deep moist convection, as an intermediate stage between cumulus mediocris and cumulonimbus – a cumulus mediocris will grow into a cumulus congestus if enough convective energy is available. In aviation cumulus congestus is also known as towering cumulus (International Civil Aviation Organization). Cumulus congestus is a sign of … Read more Cumulus congestus (Towering cumulus) Cumulonimbus (calvus, capillatus, incus) – thunderstorms

CUMULONIMBUS CALVUS Cumulonimbus calvus is a form of Cumulonimbus cloud with a sharp, rounded, billowing top, still rising. It develops from Cumulus congestus. Cumulonimbus clouds, by definition, contain ice crystals – they are present in cumulonimbus calvus, but still in relatively small quantities. Cumulonimbus calvus develops further into Cumulonimbus capillatus and can develop into Cumulonimbus … Read more Cumulonimbus (calvus, capillatus, incus) – thunderstorms Examples of convective clouds – how to distinguish them visually

EXAMPLES Convective clouds can present a considerable range of appearances, depending on their type, size and strength of updraft. The following examples encompass much of the variety of convective clouds. Each example includes a photo of a convective cloud or multiple convective clouds with argumentation for their name. Vertical development: how high does the cloud … Read more Examples of convective clouds – how to distinguish them visually

1.2.1. Typical thunderstorm – Cumulonimbus capillatus incus

The most distinctive and typical cloud shape associated with thunderstorms is Cumulonimbus capillatus incus: a convective tower (updraft) flattened into an anvil shape. As we have already seen in the previous chapter, it literally looks like an anvil. It is typically over 10 km high and sometimes reaches so high up, it turns day into … Read more 1.2.1. Typical thunderstorm – Cumulonimbus capillatus incus