# How high are beautiful white fluffy clouds?

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#### SaturnV

##### Well-Known Member
I think to accomplish flight with a two-stage rocket to photograph them from above. I read that are about 1500- 2500 meters (5000-8000ft). Is this true?

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#### timbucktoo

##### Well-Known Member
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Those appear to be cumulus and your altitude is about right, sometimes even lower!

#### watheyak

##### Barnstormer
TRF Supporter
They usually occur where dew point matches temperature. Temperature decreases an average of 2° Celsius per 1000' of altitude. So if the temp was 20 and the dew point is 10 then the clouds would be at 5000'. There are many other variables but that should be close.

#### SaturnV

##### Well-Known Member
They usually occur where dew point matches temperature. Temperature decreases an average of 2° Celsius per 1000' of altitude. So if the temp was 20 and the dew point is 10 then the clouds would be at 5000'. There are many other variables but that should be close.
If I understood correctly at 30 degrees Celsius as is expected in the coming days at 2 degrees drop 1000 feet this means 10,000 feet? So I have to wait to drop temperatures if I want to reach them with a low-flying rocket to 5000 ft?

#### SaturnV

##### Well-Known Member
This is actually my final goal in amateur rocketry. Above do not really see any sense. First costs increase, second must to look for different place launch. In addition, 10 km and 20 km is practically the same and rather uninteresting. I watched suborbital flight to 253 kilometers. Extremely uninteresting. Besides the blackness of space and that the earth is round no more. And rocket 1000+ pounds, something I can not afford to do alone.So that once flew above the clouds began to do with models of planes.

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#### Flyfalcons

##### Well-Known Member
I really varies quite a bit - you can easily have puffy cumulus clouds at 1,000' well into the teens and 20's. You don't see them as much in the 30's plus unless they are a well-developed thunderstorm, in which case they can often top 40,000'+.

Your best bet is to find an aviation weather site that will get you reports at the airport closest to you. That will give you the bases of the clouds in the area.

#### SaturnV

##### Well-Known Member
I decided the problem. The launch is on Thursday

#### Igotnothing

##### Well-Known Member
In my experience in marine air the pictured fluffy clouds, at the bottom, are usually not more than 4000' above average ground level. In dessert air, seldom more than 8000' above average ground level. This seems to hold regardless of latitude or season, although there probably are a lot of outliers that I have not experienced. I have been to 17950', but the average valley level was around 8000' in the immediate vicinity. The mountain directly below was above 12,000' and the cloud marking the top of usable lift was still several hundred feet above me, but I could not legally go through our waiver to 18,000'. It was a class 3 hang gliding competition.

One reason for not experiencing the outliers may be that conditions on those days may not be conducive to safe flight under a fabric aircraft. It may be perfectly normal to fly a rocket in conditions that have cumulus clouds forming at above those altitudes.

Yes, cumulonimbus clouds may blow up to 40,000' at the top, but no aviator calls them "fluffy". The "nimbus" means something in Latin, but in aviation it means: "will kill you".

#### SaturnV

##### Well-Known Member
The problem turned out to be larger than expected. Experience taught me to respect the wind and wait for him to calm. Tomorrow there is very little wind but no clouds While waiting day with little wind and nice puffy clouds will sow the field with something and there will be no where to launch the rocket with an option to find it

#### dr wogz

##### Fly caster
I usually just photograph clouds from the comfort of a 737 or A320 as I fly from -20°C to +25°C in January..

#### SaturnV

##### Well-Known Member
Is it in this logic see a start of a real Saturn V why you do small, funny, low-flying chaff rockets?
As I flew to London with Airbus fell asleep after the first 10 minut&#1077;s.Quite different is video from the rocket. Your rocket. Made with your two hands

#### Screaminhelo

The small, cotton ball, cumulus clouds are often fairly low. We were at 4500 feet today and there were a few scattered below us. Just keep in mind that those clouds may also be indicating a rising column of air.

#### SaturnV

##### Well-Known Member
Anyway, I'm not ready with the rocket.Next Wednesday .. miracle! Clouds and light winds!

#### SCP

##### Well-Known Member
The small, cotton ball, cumulus clouds are often fairly low. We were at 4500 feet today and there were a few scattered below us. Just keep in mind that those clouds may also be indicating a rising column of air.

As a Hang Glider pilot, I can sure tell you that those clouds definitely DO indicate rising air! And powerful too, sometimes 600+ feet per minute lift, and I have heard of over 1000. As stated earlier, that's what forms the cumulus clouds anyway - a rising thermal bringing moisture with it.....which condenses when the air temperature at whatever altitude is at the dew point. We love to see those cumies and they are like our energy source.

#### Igotnothing

##### Well-Known Member
As a Hang Glider pilot, I can sure tell you that those clouds definitely DO indicate rising air! And powerful too, sometimes 600+ feet per minute lift, and I have heard of over 1000. As stated earlier, that's what forms the cumulus clouds anyway - a rising thermal bringing moisture with it.....which condenses when the air temperature at whatever altitude is at the dew point. We love to see those cumies and they are like our energy source.
I've been in sustained over 2000 fpm under my paraglider. Takes a bit to come to a place of peace while the vario is screaming, "You're gonna kill us all!" That particular thermal was dry (Ryegrass Pass, central WA state), and never formed a cumie. It was also very smooth. Since that was my first cross country, desert air flight, I was thinking that kind of ridiculous lift was "normal".

Back to rocket stuff - SCP knows this, but maybe someone else reading doesn't - if your rocket descends into one of these thermals under a too-large parachute it will go up, and might end up a couple of counties down wind.

#### SCP

##### Well-Known Member
Igotnothin - Holy crap 2000 fpm steady and smooth? I can't imagine that! Maybe its my lack of skill and experience still, or maybe we just don't see that in the Northeast....hmm. I haven't gone XC yet, still mostly scratching ridge lift, and small rowdy thermals......darn I can't wait to find a good one like the senior pilots constantly do here.

Oops sorry to get off topic.

#### SaturnV

##### Well-Known Member
Back to rocket stuff - SCP knows this, but maybe someone else reading doesn't - if your rocket descends into one of these thermals under a too-large parachute it will go up, and might end up a couple of counties down wind.
This I have experienced. The rocket first gently descending parachute, then began to rise and consequently lost it

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