Which Way Are The Clouds Moving

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Why do clouds movement in a certain direction?

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I’ve never really studied clouds or the movements of clouds or paid whatever attention to the scientific discipline that I was taught in school, and so if this question seems stupid, I’m sorry. I always watch the clouds from my window and they always go the same way, but today they are going the contrary direction. Does this happen because of the wind or is this even possible. Like I said I never really studied or paid whatsoever attention when taught, but I’1000 starting to really get into clouds and want to learn more.

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Yeah, it’s possible. The typical direction you see is probably representative of the “prevailing winds” in the area, simply wind direction is ultimately sensitive to the context of surrounding weather patterns so it’south not fixed. There are some well known prevailing winds around the world like the “merchandise winds”

So like from a normal thunderstorm to a possible tornado difference?

Hither is the answer.

In general, clouds move at a speed and direction of the prevailing wind at the altitude where the clouds are occurring. The management and speed of the current of air depends on the force per unit area differences between the areas of high and low pressure.

As you go up in altitude over a particular location, the winds will vary in direction and speed. Ordinarily, the speeds increase with altitude upwardly to a certain point, and so they decrease. Rivers of fast-moving air in the atmosphere are called “jet streams,” and occur at altitudes from 25 to xl thou feet in a higher place the ground. Speeds in the jet stream can attain as high as 175 miles per hour or more. When clouds occur at that level, they motility very quickly. The location and strength of the jet stream has a big consequence on the conditions at a particular location.

At a lower level, the the windspeed may exist unlike, and the direction may exist different besides. Sometimes you tin can meet clouds at several different levels, and they may exist moving in different directions.


So like the deviation between an extremely windy valley where the wind changes the management all the fourth dimension and an area that is rarely windy and is most always the same?

Information technology has to do with the altitude of the clouds. You’re observations are very good.

If you lot live in the U.s., you probably have noticed that high clouds tend to move mostly in a west to east direction, with slight variations. You lot have also noticed that sometimes the clouds change direction, this tin can be caused past a number of events that effect your local conditions. I but looked outside to see which directions the clouds where going right at present and the skies are clear, oh well.

Your gauge about windy valleys is correct.

In areas where winds tend to exist light, the sea breeze/land breeze cycle is the virtually important to the prevailing wind; in areas which have variable terrain, mount and valley breezes dominate the current of air pattern.


Okay well its nix but clouds here. Can you recommend any good books on cloud physics?

Okay well its nothing but clouds here. Can y’all recommend whatever skillful books on cloud physics?

I’1000 afraid I wouldn’t know what to recommend, sorry. But if you similar clouds, take a look at this website.

“Prevailing” means but that, prevailing. The prevailing winds indicate the direction the winds blow in the lower troposphere
on average. The term does not mean “all the time”.

The canonical joke about three statisticians who went duck hunting comes to mind. The statisticians run into a duck flying across in front end of them. The get-go statistician shoots, but his shot goes to the left of the duck by 10 meters. The second statistician shoots, but his shot goes to the right of the duck by x meters. The third statistician shouts “we got it!”

What’south happening now? Are the winds prevailing from the due west? Check out this site: http://hint.fm/wind/

This site shows the surface winds at points across the US. Today, the northeastern seaboard is seeing winds from the e. Winds are stiff across the plains, but are definitely not moving west to east. The winds in the plains are blowing strongly from the northward in some places, strongly from the southward in others. There’southward a line separating the northerly winds from the southerly winds. At the height and bottom of that line you’ll see two squeamish lilliputian swirly patterns. Those are probably not nice places to be right at present.

Those are the surface winds. Oftentimes winds are stiff when the heaven is clear. Then, what’s today’due south weather condition look similar? http://world wide web.accuweather.com/en/us/national/satellite?play=i

The above site cycles through the last half-dozen weather satellite photos, separated past xv minutes. Some things to notice:
– A lot of the places that take loftier winds take no clouds.
– The clouds oftentimes aren’t moving in the aforementioned direction as are the surface winds.
– The clouds frequently aren’t moving to the due east, the direction in which the prevailing winds accident.

Here’s one concluding site: http://globe.nullschool.net

This site shows the surface winds for the entire globe. It is and so very cool. You can rotate the World then y’all can come across dissimilar parts of it, zoom in, zoom out. As I said, cool. Here y’all can see two much worse swirly patterns, one in the Arabian Sea and the other in the Pacific off the coast of Mexico. The showtime is Tropical Cyclone 02A and the other, Hurricane Christina. Those definitely are non dainty places to be correct now.

Lesser line: Prevailing doesn’t mean always. It ways “on average.” Go on those statistician duck hunters on listen when yous read almost prevailing winds.

Okay well its zero but clouds here. Can you recommend whatever good books on cloud physics?

Mayhap not exactly “cloud physics,” only a beautiful volume on clouds, which will teach you a lot, is The Cloud Book: How to Sympathise the Skies.

Old betwixt 1642 and his death in 1647, Evangelista Torricelli gave a lecture from which his notes survived. After he died they were among the few references to his work that remained. Upon being examined it was discovered they contained the earliest right scientific explanation of the origins of winds.

… winds are produced past differences of air temperature, and hence density, between two regions of the earth.

It is unfortunate Torricelli did not put his thoughts to paper as assiduously equally his friend Galileo did, and because of this many of his contributions are unrecognized. merely what is credited to him is impressive and worth a glance.

http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.air-conditioning.great britain/Biographies/Torricelli.html

Having given credit to whom it is due, I turn to the matter at manus to speak for myself. The expanse near the equator receives more Lord’s day. the air is warmed, expands and displaces cooler air elsewhere and in time cools, there. The cool air for its office is pushed, moves, finds a place in the Lord’s day, warms in its turn and repeats the endless loop that is constantly circulating from equator to pole and back again. At the same time, the Earth turns under the current of air. seeing as current of air direction is reckoned with respect to the basis, the circulation takes on a clockwise character in the northern hemisphere, when viewed from to a higher place. And an anti-clockwise rotation in the southern hemisphere.

All things being equal nothing is ever equal. Local variations in temperature and thus pressure with respect to other places constantly alters the general nature of the winds into the particular nature of them. Topography is also an influence. At 1 point wind flows this way because of that, at another point flows that mode because of this. At one fourth dimension winds are brisk at another gentle, on occasion things go very heady indeed.

This of course does non address the actual question. But moving to that information technology must be noted that warm air tin hold more water than cool air and that clouds form, or dissipate, when the temperature of the air changes. Every bit air cools, it sheds water in tiny drops. When air warms it absorbs what moisture is at hand. Thus air well-nigh the basis absorbs h2o and carries it aloft where the air cools and sheds the water to form clouds at the time and place the air can no longer support the water information technology holds. Often the air rises because it is warmer and lighter than nearby air. And often it encounters a mountain and rises because the wind forces it to climb.

I hope this provides a amend foundation to stand upon while considering clouds and where they come up from, where they are going, and why they move as they do. Naturally, the ideas I take mentioned belong to others while the mistake I have fabricated are my very ain.

Final edited:

In southern California (and other locations) the winds are affected by either high pressure zones (clockwise rotation), or low pressure zones (counter-clockwise rotation), and their location relative to where you live. For example, a high pressure level zone to the north results in somewhat e to west flow. High pressure zones tin also trigger a condition chosen Santa Ana winds.


In addition if the prevailing winds are nearly nada, the air heated by the Sunday tends to create a flow that moves west in the mornings and due east in the evenings.

In southern California (and other locations) the winds are affected by either high pressure zones (clockwise rotation), or depression pressure zones (counter-clockwise rotation), and their location relative to where you alive. For instance, a high pressure zone to the northward results in somewhat eastward to w flow. Loftier pressure level zones can also trigger a condition called Santa Ana winds.


In addition if the prevailing winds are about zero, the air heated past the Sun tends to create a menstruum that moves west in the mornings and east in the evenings.

I was talking about a valley in California

I was talking nigh a valley in California

Actually, honey daughter, yous were talking about wanting to know more than about clouds.

I meant when I mentioned California, only thank you for the description. 🙂

Okay well its nothing but clouds here. Tin you recommend whatsoever expert books on cloud physics?

I recommend the latest edition of “A Brusk Course in Deject Physics” by Rogers and Yau.

Okay well its nada but clouds here. Can y’all recommend any good books on cloud physics?

I would recommend Cloud Dynamics by Houze.

Terminal edited past a moderator:

A slightly old thread, but if GeekyChick is withal reading it I would recommend looking for textbooks and websites on meteorology at a suitable educational level earlier starting to dig into specific topics on cloud physics. Noesis in full general meteorology has very much to do with (recognizing) clouds since these traditionally have been the master weather condition indicators for conditions prediction.

Okay well its nothing but clouds hither. Can you recommend whatsoever good books on deject physics?

To circular out a selection of books on cloud physics, I recommend All About Lightning, past Martin Uman. Here we learn how thunderclouds produce lightning, and how thunderstorms act as batteries to keep the earth charged negatively and the atmosphere charged positively. (Fig 18.one, p152)

With respect to answering the question, “Why do clouds motility in a sure direction?”, I would add that clouds are part of the atmosphere, and movement with information technology. In turn, the atmosphere is in a sense locked to the surface of the planet, and moves with it, the coriolis upshot playing an important office.

i am currently reading the book Cloud Dynamics by R Houze. The equations for cloud movements and their growth are explained in that book.

Suggested for: Why practice clouds move in a certain direction?

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