A: regularly low clouds, favor stratus and cumulus, show up to haveflat bases. This clouds form as air close to the ground is rising. Asthe waiting rises that expands and cools. This cooling causes therelative humidity to rise as the climbing air temperatureapproaches the dew allude temperature. Once it reaches the heightwhere those two temperatures space equal, the relative humidity is100% and also a cloud forms. Meteorologists speak to this altitude thelifting condensation level (or LCL) since it is the height atwhich water vapor in rising air beginning condensing to type clouddrops.

You are watching: Why are the bottom of clouds flat

The temperature and also dew allude temperature close to the soil arequite uniform top top the size scale of a cloud or a repertoire ofclouds. So, together a class of air close to the soil rises, the height atwhich condensation occurs does not differ much and also the cloud baseheight appears uniform. From the ground this bottoms show up veryflat, yet if you space in a aircraft and fly through these bases duringtake-off or landing, you"ll it is in close enough to notification that thecloud bases are not a sharp boundary.

The closer the temperature and dew point, the lower the cloudbase. So, cumulus clouds in the dry southwestern unified Statesgenerally have actually much greater bases than those in the southeast.

- Steven A. Ackerman and Jonathan Martin are professors in theDepartment of Atmospheric and also Oceanic sciences at UW-moment-g.com, areguests ~ above the Larry Meiller"s WHA-AM radio show the last Monday ofeach month in ~ 11:45 a.m.

See more: How Can You Become A Cpa With A Misdemeanor Possession Of Marijuana Charge?

* ns understand and agree that registration ~ above or use of this website constitutes covenant to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Two world died, consisting of a Baraboo institution District student, and three others were injured in a crash Friday in the Sauk County town of Fairfield, authorities reported.