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Cloud types and the weather they predict

 

Preparing in advance our hiking or mountain route is a fundamental part of the activity we are going to perform, being of vital importance for our safety and that of the people who will accompany us. Among the different factors that we must take into account in this process is the weather, undoubtedly a major player in any excursion that we plan to perform. Fortunately nowadays we have a wide variety of means to know in advance the weather we are going to find wherever we go, but even so there are, once on the route, different signs that warn us of the changes in the weather that await us. One of these weather gurus are the clouds, they through their shapes and colors are offering us a fairly reliable weather forecast to which we must be attentive.

Cloud types and the weather they predict

It is not a question of becoming weather shamans, but of being able to understand a little better the signs that the environment around us gives us and in this case the capricious clouds that give us such spectacular shapes and landscapes in our hiking and mountain routes.

In general, most of the clouds we observe are formed as a result of the ascent of humid air and its subsequent cooling, ascent originated either by orography, turbulence or convection. The resulting clouds can be grouped into three different types depending on their altitude.

 

  • Low clouds
  • Medium clouds
  • High clouds
  • Although we can also include a fourth category which would be the vertical development clouds.

 

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Low Clouds

Nimboestratos

Nimboestratos

They are typical precipitation clouds, usually have a regular appearance with a variety of shades of dark gray that characterize them.

Estratocúmulos

Estratocúmulos

They do not usually bring rain, although it is interesting not to lose sight of them because they can evolve into Nimboestratos.

Estratos

Estratos

Without a defined shape, this type of clouds, especially in spring, usually appear in the early morning to dissolve gradually leaving a stable weather, while in winter they can stay all day long in the sky.

 

Medium clouds

Altocúmulos

Altocúmulos

Brickwork in appearance, this type of cloud usually precedes rain or thunderstorms.

Altoestratos

Altoestratos

Formed by a thin layer of clouds, through which we could still see the sun, the altostratos warn us of an almost certain rain, of the chirimiri type, accompanied by a drop in temperature..

 

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High clouds

Cirros

Cirros

As if a bad painter had applied a couple of thick brush strokes to the sky, these characteristic clouds usually warn us of a radical change in the weather in about 24 hours.

Cirrocúmulos

Cirrocúmulos

As the saying goes, sky fleecy  ground wet , and is that these typical clouds usually precede storms or sudden changes in weather usually within the next 12h.

Cirroestratos

Cirroestratos

Similar to Cirros clouds but with a much more defined structure, cirrostratus announce the arrival of bad weather.

 

Clouds of vertical development

Cúmulos

Cúmulos

Typical clouds that grow in height from its unmistakable horizontal base giving shape to curious structures usually in continuous variation. If there is no humidity in the atmosphere and with little wind, these clouds predict good weather, although if not, we will surely see them grow and form storms and heavy rains.

Cumulonimbos

Cumulonimbos

As if it were a wild mountain, these spectacular clouds leave no doubt about the intense storms that await us, in many cases accompanied by hailstorms.

 

Undoubtedly an world exciting the of the clouds, which adds to the beauty of the landscapes that mark an interesting and useful information for the hiker or mountaineer. A knowledge that will undoubtedly help us in our hiking and mountain routes.​

 

 

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