I once asked a kid, “How many seasons do you find in Chennai?” He instantly replied, ‘’Three seasons sir; Hot, hotter and hottest.” The whole class broke out into a thunderous laughter. The funniest and the admirable part is, the kid’s understanding is 100 percent right.
We ought to agree with that sensible kid as we are facing a dry season throughout the year. But once in a while we are left-out in shock when the city receives a downpour. We don’t recognise when it is going to rain and when it is not. All we know is to switch on the TV and start listening to the most famous quotes of Dr. Ramanan. However, most of his predictions happen in other way around, that’s the irony of it.
Why should we rely on others when we can do it ourselves? Yes, we can predict rain! Predicting rainfall is the most interesting thing that you can do. “I am not an atmospheric scientist and I don’t have any instruments, then how can I?” This must be the common question arising from everyone at this stage. The solution is simple; qualification and costly-instruments doesn't matter. All that matters is your patience, observation and little interest towards the environment and climate.
Clouds are the most beautiful structure hanging around in sky impressing almost everyone on earth. And, these beautiful structures are the prominent reason behind every tiny droplets you get in the name of rain. Now it's time for you to realise the social systems of these clouds and their relationship with rainfall.
Clouds are classified based on their altitude, i.e. low level clouds, mid level clouds and high level clouds. Each level has nine types of clouds so totally 27 different structures of clouds can be seen. Don’t panic, I am not going to take you to the class of Nephology (study of cloud physics) rather what I wish to do is to narrate the importance of a few clouds like cirrocumulus, altocumulus, cumulus and cumulonimbus.
Ok, let us start our staring (strictly prohibited to clouds) business. If the clouds you are staring is like ripple or grainy, it is Cirrus clouds. It is high in the sky like long streamers, meaning bad weather is occurring in the next 36 hours.
If you notice clusters of round, puffy clouds on a warm, humid morning, be prepared for the thunderstorm late in the afternoon and the name of the cloud is Altocumulus.
At times, you can witness a beautiful bunch of white cotton balls over the sky, it is Cumulus clouds and it usually denotes fair weather conditions. These clouds later grow in a vertical direction and can form a giant cumulonimbus clouds, which is the reason behind the thunderstorm.
When you discover a huge volume of the white jet stream-like clouds (usually dark at bottom), get ready for the quickly-occurring thunderstorm as you are watching the thunder clouds, Cumulonimbus. These clouds can forecast some of the most extreme conditions, including heavy rain, hail, snow, thunderstorm, tornadoes and hurricanes. The anvil usually points in the direction the storm is going.
Next time when your parents ask you to change the channel for weather forecast, use-up the opportunity and establish your own prediction. Subsequently a series of predictions will make you understand the complexity behind it.
Come-on baby, let's do the selfie with clouds and their names!
You too can predict rain……!!! Reviewed by T R Gowthama on 16:05 Rating: