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With which of the following types of cloud is "+RA" precipitation most commonly associated?
  • A
    AC
  • B
    SC
  • C
    ST
  • D
    NS

Refer to figure.

PRECIPITATION can take many forms; it depends a bit on the temperature and the stability of the atmosphere. The rate of precipitation is usually indicated in light (-), moderate and heavy (+). The type or character of the precipitation can be continuous, intermittent or showery.

Note that "+RA" means heavy rain.

Precipitation and clouds

TYPE

INTENSITY

Heap (instability)

Cu
Cb

Rain/snow showers
Rain/snow/hail showers

Light to moderate
Moderate to heavy

Layer (stability)

As, St, Ac, Sc
Ns
Cc, Cs

Rain/snow
Rain/snow
NIL

Light
Moderate to heavy
NIL

With regards to this question, we have seen that Stratus (St), Stratocumulus (Sc) and Altocumulus (Ac) clouds are associated with light precipitation. Heavy precipitation is associated with Cumulonimbus (Cb) and Nimbostratus (Ns) clouds.


NOTE: CONTINUOUS – usually indicates a thick extensive cloud layer (Nimbostratus clouds). No breaks for 60 minutes +.

  • Nimbostratus, Altostratus

SHOWERS- Always associated with CONVECTION or HEAP type cloud. Of short duration.

  • Cumulus Cu, Cumulonimbus Cb, Towering Cumulus (TCU).

INTERMITTENT - Associated with LAYER cloud. Falling “from time to time”, with no marked clearance.
Intermittent and showery – you may expect clear skies between the, sometimes heavy, precipitation.

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