# How are cloud tops calculated?

## How are cloud tops calculated?

Find the difference in temperatures from the surface to the cloud tops. The difference between -8 and -22 = -16 or 16 degrees. The normal lapse rate is 2 degrees C for every 1000 feet, so then we divide 16 by 2 and get 8 (thousand feet). 8000 feet above the surface is the top of the clouds.

## How are cloud tops on ForeFlight calculated?

ForeFlight includes this under the Forecasts tab, under “Cloud Coverage.” It shows overcast coverage along our route, with bases at seven thousand feet MSL and tops at twelve thousand feet MSL. And those tops lower as we head south.

Why are cloud tops cold?

In the thermal domain, water is a strong absorber (and thus emitter, according to Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation). Hence clouds cool down from the top through infrared radiation at the prevailing temperature: the higher the cloud top, the cooler the particles and the lower the rate of emission.

What does a ceilometer do?

The Vaisala Laser Ceilometer (CEIL) is a self-contained, ground-based, active, remote-sensing device designed to measure cloud-base height, vertical visibility, and potential backscatter signals by aerosols. It detects up to three cloud layers simultaneously.

### How do you calculate cloud base?

1) Calculate the ‘spread,’ where you’re taking the current temperature and subtracting the dew point. 2) Divide the spread by 4.4 (if temperatures are in °F) or 2.5 (if temperatures are in °C), then multiply by 1000. This will give you cloud base in feet above ground level.

### How high are the tops of clouds?

Cumulonimbus clouds are the kings of all clouds, rising from low altitudes to more than 60,000 feet (20,000 meters) above ground level. They grow due to rising air currents called updrafts, with their tops flattening out into an anvil shape.

What does Sierra mean in aviation?

The items covered are: AIRMET Sierra (IFR): Ceilings less than 1000 feet and/or visibility less than 3 miles affecting over 50% of the area at one time. Extensive mountain obscuration. AIRMET Tango (Turbulence):

How cold do cloud tops get?

VIIRS found cloud top temperatures of strongest thunderstorms were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius) around the center. Cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain.

## What is the lowest cloud ever recorded?

A recently released study confirms one of the clouds was measured at minus-168 degrees Fahrenheit, establishing a record for the coldest cloud-top temperature reliably measured globally.

## Where do you put a ceilometer?

A study group from Montreal, Canada in 2013 recommended that ceilometers should be installed “close to the landing threshold” for aerodromes with precision approach runways, but also considered their location “at the middle marker or at an equivalent distance” to be acceptable.

Who uses a ceilometer?

Ceilometers are used for meteorology and aviation mostly. Cloud data is reported to flight crews and cloud ceiling status is monitored continuously at airports. Some ceilometers are capable of measuring cloud layers as high as 30,000 feet. They are also able to measure multiple cloud layers to this height.

What is the difference between cloud base and cloud ceiling?

Simply put, a cloud base is the bottom of a cloud layer of any size. A cloud ceiling is the height of the first cloud layer that constitutes at least a broken layer.

### How can you tell if a cloud is high or low?

Low clouds span up to 6,000 feet in altitude. Middle or mid-level clouds usually are around 10,000 feet in altitude and are associated with the ‘alto-‘ prefix. High clouds are often 20,000 feet or higher and have a ‘cirro-‘ prefix.

### What does CIG mean in aviation?

Ceiling & Visibility (CIG/VIS) Clouds.

How do I change the type of cloud cover?

Using the button at the top right of the cloud cover map, you can select the type of cloud cover. You can distinguish between high, medium, and low clouds. To do this, simply click on the corresponding button.

What is the difference between a gray and high cloud cover?

The chances of catching a glimpse of the sun in this area are therefore very poor. Conversely, a gray area indicates relatively light cloud cover with occasional sunshine. Using the button at the top right of the cloud cover map, you can select the type of cloud cover. You can distinguish between high, medium, and low clouds.

## What is the temperature at the top of the clouds?

Note the green cloud tops over OSC and the temperature across the top that matches it, somewhere around -22. Find the difference in temperatures from the surface to the cloud tops. The difference between -8 and -22 = -16 or 16 degrees.

## How can I get estimated cloud tops?

Using the Velocity Azimuth Display (VAD), you can get the estimated cloud TOPS. The NOAA people pointed us to this technique. EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to Bob “Riff” Riffel, Mich. Bureau of Aeronautics (Ret.), for sharing this with us.