Red Panda From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2000, 1521 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2569 times:
Ceiling (cloud bottom) is much more well known than clould tops. As a matter of fact, cloud like cumulonimbus can extend vertically in a very short time say an hr. It's sometimes hard to predict the cloud tops. I was once on NW11, DTW to NRT, the pilot just told us that we had to increase altitude since there was cloud developing just beneath us. I can see that we were flying along the edge of cloud top and there was quite strong turbulence. I can actually feel the plane increasing its altitude rapidly. (my ears got sick)
Buff From Australia, joined Mar 2007, 0 posts, RR: 2 Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2548 times:
In an ISA (ICAO Sstandard Atmosphere), the tropopause is between 35,000 and 36,000 feet. It is usually defined as the level of maximum wind. At the trop, the temperature should also stop decreasing. Close to the equator (up to +/- 23.5 degrees depending on season) the trop is at its highest height; close to the poles, at its lowest.
Normally CB tops don't exceed the tropopause. However, during periods of extreme vertical activity, the tops may exceed the trop quite dramatically.
I have seen CB tops in excess of 70,000 feet in the south Pacific; and tops in excess of 50,000 feet in Alberta!