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What are convective clouds and why do we

  Sep 08, 2018

What are convective clouds and why do we need to understand them better for more precise weather prediction in India?

‘Convection clouds’ are ones that form and grow by the process known as convection. Cumulus and Cumulonimbus are examples of this type of cloud. Convection in the atmosphere is the way air floats upwards on account of being warmer than the surrounding air. 
Our understanding of the monsoons has improved a lot in the past decades. We now understand clouds better, which has been revolutionised by satellites. In any model, knowledge of clouds is the most important. We need clouds for rain. Any problem in the prediction of rainfall is related to the prediction of clouds. The monsoon clouds here are convective. In the US, the weather doesn’t fluctuate that much, we know what the weather will be like for the next two-three days. In India, there will be blue skies in the morning, but in the afternoon there will be thunder clouds and it will rain, and then in the evening we will again have blue skies. This is a result of convective clouds, which is rare in the mid-latitude areas. So how the convective clouds are formed, its physics and so on needs to be understood more scientifically.