By Richard Scorer
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Extra info for A Colour Guide to Clouds
When seen from a height h a cloud at a height H disappears below the horizon on the sea when it is beyond a distance of about Y(2R)Çfb + ][H). Thus, cirrus can still be seen above the horizon at a distance of 150 miles if the visibility is good enough, and from a good vantage point the clouds over most of "a county" can be seen. 2. The speeds of movement of clouds, particularly small cumulus, can be measured by watching the rates of progress of their shadows across the countryside. Distances can be estimated from a large-scale map or by some other means.
Sunshine has very little effect: most of the energy of sunshine is either reflected or passes through the cloud. If there is a difference in wind between the top and the bottom of the layer the cloudlets are formed into rolls (See 32). 48 41. Stratus and Altocumulus layers at dawn show that the air is stable. The wind is light so that there are no waves visible in the altocumulus layers above (waves would form shapes like 28 and 29 if they were present). The layer of stratus below is at the top of cool air which fills the valleys and which does not move with the wind above; little fragments of cloud are being carried off the top by the wind.
By method 2) the height can be estimated from the apparent angular motion when observed from a fixed point. If the height is known the speed may likewise be computed. 6. If the distance is known approximately the rate of rise of cumulus tops can be measured by observing the rate of increase of elevation of the top. This may be done by watching the cloud top move up beyond a pole (with lengths marked on it) at a known distance. 7. The wind direction may be observed by watching the movement of the clouds across the top of a pole while standing at the base.
A Colour Guide to Clouds by Richard Scorer