Why can you see clouds in an airplane?
Planes create their mesmerizing contrails as they soar high in the thin, cold air. Water vapor quickly condenses around soot from the plane’s exhaust and freezes to form cirrus clouds, which can last for minutes or hours.
What are the clouds you see while flying in an airplane?
Cumulus Clouds One of the most common cloud terms you’ll hear in aviation, cumulus clouds are puffy white clouds. On a nice summer day, you may see small, pretty white clouds that look like cotton balls. Those are classic cumulus clouds. The atmosphere must provide some lift to make a cumulus cloud.
Are you above the clouds when flying?
One reason that planes cruise above the clouds is so they can fly fast. The higher airplanes climb, the thinner the air gets, and the more efficiently they can fly because of less resistance in the atmosphere, according to Ryan Jorgenson, an aviation data analyst.
Why do pilots avoid clouds?
These cloud-borne updrafts and downdrafts result in rapid and unpredictable changes to the lift force on the wings of an aircraft. More or less lift and the difference between these changes is what causes the aircraft to lurch and jump about during flight, or turbulence as it is called within the industry.
Can you touch a cloud?
Clouds are formed when water on the Earth’s surface evaporates; that’s when heat causes water to change from a liquid into a gas. Although we can’t really touch clouds you could walk through one. In fact that’s what fog is: a cloud that’s formed close to the ground instead of high in the sky.
How high do you have to fly to be above the clouds?
If you choose to climb to VFR on Top, in most airspace you must remain 2000 feet horizontally from clouds. That means you must have a distance of 4000 feet between clouds. If you do climb to VFR on Top, you should note the MSL altitude of the tops and then maintain the required distance above the tops.
Does rain fall above the clouds?
No. If you are above the clouds, then the sky above you is free from droplets of condensed moisture. Since rain forms when droplets of condensed moisture grow large enough to descend rapidly through the air, the absence of any condensed droplets makes it impossible for full raindrops to form.
Do planes avoid thunderstorms?
Jet aircraft can safely fly over thunderstorms only if their flight altitude is well above the turbulent cloud tops. If a busy jet route becomes blocked by intense thunderstorms, traffic will reroute into the neighboring airspace, which can become overcrowded if the flow is not managed (see animation).
Why do clouds appear to float on air?
As a result, clouds appear to float on air. Clouds are composed primarily of small water droplets and, if it’s cold enough, ice crystals. The vast majority of clouds you see contain droplets and/or crystals that are too small to have any appreciable fall velocity. So the particles continue to float with the surrounding air.
What does it mean when clouds are high in the sky?
When we talk about cloud height, we have to be careful because it can mean one of two things. It can refer to the height above ground, in which case it is called the cloud ceiling or cloud base. Or, it can describe the height of the cloud itself — the distance between its base and its top, or how “tall” it is.
Why do those long, white clouds form behind jets flying?
Why do those long, white clouds form behind jets flying high overhead? The clouds that jets form on certain days are called condensation trails or contrails. Some days, the contrails will form thin lines that cross the entire sky. Other days they will be much shorter, and on some days there will be none at all.
Is it possible to see the sun through a cloud?
It’s not hard for a round-Earther to understand the optical illusion here — that a camera’s sensor is not subtle enough to “see” a faint cloud in front of a very bright sun. But if your worldview imagines the sun as a sort of spotlight tracing circles around a flat plane, it’s easier to trust that it’s Big Science, and not your eyes, that fool you.
Why are clouds flat on the bottom of the sky?
2 Answers. These clouds are blobs of air with more moisture than the surrounding air. The flat bottom type are from rising air from heat convection. This is what pilots call “thermals”. The air cools as it rises both from the surrounding air being cooler and because the air is expanding.
Why do clouds grow and cool as they rise?
The air cools as it rises both from the surrounding air being cooler and because the air is expanding. The flat bottom you see is the altitude at which the temperature equals the dew point for the humid air rising up and there is condensation. If you watch you can often see that the cloud grows as more humid air rises.
How are cumulus clouds formed in the sky?
They are generally flat. Cumulus clouds form when bubbles of air are rising while air is sinking nearby. While the bottoms of cumulus clouds typically are flat, the tops can rise like castles in the sky in some places—and hardly at all in others.
When do cumulus clouds start worrying you when you are out flying?
This article is more than 3 years old. As a pilot, at what point do cumulus clouds start worrying you when you’re out flying? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.