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Cloud Tops  
User currently offlineBobprobert95 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 61 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3941 times:

I am looking for pilot information on cloud tops. I can find ceiling data easily, but nothing pertaining to at what altitudes those clouds cease. Can someone help me out?

Justin

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4200 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3918 times:

It depends on the type of cloud... cumulonimbus clouds are clouds with extensive vertical development and can start at 3000 feet and go all the way up to 60000 feet if they are severe.


I have never really seen cloud top data except on thunderstorms and also they will usually tell you if there are layers... try checking the PIREPS..those sometimes have cloud top data.




Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3912 times:

If you can get access to a NEXRAD radar site, you can find out cloud tops there, in various ways.

User currently offlineRed Panda From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2000, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3901 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)

regards
r panda


User currently offlineBuff From Australia, joined Mar 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3880 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!

Volcanic plumes can also well exceed the trop.

Best Regards,

Buff


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