Why are there less cumulus clouds in winter?

Pricey Tom,

I take pleasure in seeing cumulus clouds that populate our skies, however I don’t see them as a lot through the winter season. Why?

— William Cho, Chicago


Pricey William,

Cumulus clouds regularly happen in Chicago’s sky through the hotter portion of the yr however don’t seem as typically in the course of the winter.

That’s as a result of they include updrafts of heat air which have risen to the environment’s “condensation degree” and past. The solar heats the bottom and the bottom heats the air above.

After sufficient daytime heating, heat floor air (from the bottom up at the least a number of hundred ft) rises in drafts or columns that construct into cumulus clouds.

Within the winter, nevertheless, the solar is far decrease within the sky and the warmth it supplies (per space) is far much less. Floor air is usually cooler than overriding air, so it doesn’t rise.

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