Scientists have studied cloud types and have realized that rain clouds are
formed and shaped according to definite systems and certain steps connected with
certain types of wind and clouds.
One kind of rain cloud is the cumulonimbus cloud (thunderstorm).
Meteorologists have studied how cumulonimbus clouds are formed and how they
produce rain, hail, and lightning.
They have found that cumulonimbus clouds go through the following steps to
- The clouds are pushed by the wind: Cumulonimbus clouds begin to form
when wind pushes some small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds) to an area where
these clouds converge (see figures 17 and 18).
17: Satellite photo showing the clouds moving towards the convergence areas
B, C, and D. The arrows indicate the directions of the wind. (The Use of
Satellite Pictures in Weather Analysis and Forecasting, Anderson and others,
18: Small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds) moving towards a convergence
zone near the horizon, where we can see a large cumulonimbus cloud. (Clouds
and Storms, Ludlam, plate 7.4.)
- Joining: Then the small clouds join together forming a larger cloud
(see figures 18 and 19).
19: (A) Isolated small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds). (B) When the small
clouds join together updrafts within the larger cloud increase, so the cloud is
stacked up. Water drops are indicated by
.(The Atmosphere, Anthes and others, p. 269.)
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