Cumulus clouds on a sunny summer day

Cumulus_humilis_congestus_SteveBowerJr_MtPoconoPA_26Jun2014  Cumulus_congestus_SteveBowerJr_PoconosPA_26Jun2014

Steve Bower, Jr.
Location: Poconos, Pennsylvania
Date: 26 June 2014

Ah, summer. When warm air rises in the hot afternoon sun, creating cumulus clouds over the landscape. Initially, these clouds are relatively shallow (wider than tall) and are therefore referred to as Cumulus humilis clouds (seen in the top photo). With time, they can continue to grow to heaps of Cumulus congestus clouds, as can be seen in the second of the two above pictures. As long as the rising air is warmer than the surrounding air, it will continue to rise. The condensation to form drops that occurs with the rising, cooling air gives off additional heat which helps the clouds continue to grow in this unstable environment. No rain was reported by the photographer, Steve Bower, Jr., as is common with these shallower clouds, but they sure made for a beautiful sunset!

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