East from Grossmont College, view of monsoonal thunderstorms on August 16th,
"The unity of all the sciences is found in geography. The
significance of geography is that it presents the earth as
the enduring home of the occupations of man. The world
without its relationship to human activity is less than a
world. Human industry and achievement, apart from their
roots in the earth, are not even a sentiment, hardly a name"
One requirement for cloud formation is a source of water
atmosphere (water vapor gas). Check out this loop of global
water vapor images for December.
Clouds and warm moist air billow upward from a heated sea.
In this NASA Space Shuttle photo of a section of the tropical Pacific,
clouds condense in the rising air mass created by contact between
the ocean and the atmosphere. From NOVA Online
One way that atmospheric data is collected is through a
automated surface observing instruments. This network is called
the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS).
The data from ASOS
can be accessed real-time from NOAA via the Internet. Data is
in a standardized template known as a station model.