With our weather finally turning cooler, cloud watchers will notice a significant change in the types of clouds in the sky.

On the warm days of summer and early fall, there are usually many days with puffy cumulus clouds. Such clouds, when precipitating, produce precipitation in irregular bursts (showers and thunderstorms) instead of the steadier precipitation we tend to get from flatter (stratiform) clouds during the colder parts of the year.

Cumulus clouds are the product of individual columns of warm, rising air known as thermals. Larger flat clouds, when precipitating, produce precipitation in steadier, longer-lasting sessions, and are the product of large-scale patterns of ascending air.

With the prevalence of more flat clouds, the remainder of fall and winter will have less ambiguous skies. That is to say, there will be fewer partly cloudy days. Cold season days tend to be either be just cloudy or just sunny.

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