Summer thunderstorms on the horizon?

This is how you interpret the weather correctly

Imagine the following scenario: You meticulously plan a cycling tour from start to finish. Everything seems perfect – anticipation goes through the roof. And then out of the blue an unwelcome surprise. The storm god completely thwarts your plans! Although you can plan many things, you cannot influence the weather. In order for you to not be surprised by a downpour, the Eurobike-cycling team explain to you, how to correctly ‘read’ the weather.

 

What clouds tell you…

If you are able to interpret the language of the clouds you have a clear advantage. For then rain and wind have no chance to spoil your cycling tour unexpectedly.

 

High clouds: 5 to 13 kilometres

  • Cirrus- or feathery clouds: thin, fuzzy clouds consisting of ice crystals, quite often announce a warm front with rain.
  • Cirrocumulus clouds: white, thin ice crystal-clouds, often promising a mighty thunderstorm.
  • Cirrostratus clouds: usually cover the entire sky and shroud the sun like a veil. 36 hours later you can expect rain.

Medium height clouds:  2 to 7 kilometres

  • Altocumulus- or fleecy clouds: white or grey wave-like clouds consisting of little droplets of water, indicating consistent weather conditions.
  • Altostratus clouds: clouds expanding over a wide reach and getting thicker, so that you are unable to see the sun. They bring heavy rain or snowfalls.

Low clouds: up to 2 kilometres

  • Stratocumuli: thick grey or white stratus clouds, where the sky partly filters through. They indicate improved weather conditions and cooling.
  • Stratus clouds: form a consistent grey layer and announce bad weather.

Clouds in all altitudes:

  • Nimbostratus clouds: typically grey rain- or snow clouds, which appear dark underneath.
  • Cumulus clouds: dense, radiant white water-clouds, dark underneath. They feature  clear boundaries. If they form around midday and dissolve in the evening, it remains sunny. However if they appear in the morning or in the evening, the weather often gets worse.
  • Cumulonimbus clouds: large, thick cumulus clouds hulking up. They are known as the classic thunderstorm clouds.

How to understand weather charts correctly

Again and again we are confronted with weather charts. No matter whether in newspapers, on the internet or as part of the news. A few words regarding weather charts will help you interpret them.

  • Air pressure: the weight of air exerted onto the surface ground. It is measured in pascal.
  • Isobars: these lines represent places with the same air pressure.
  • High: also known as an area of high pressure or anticyclone. Cold air falls and increases pressure onto the ground. The weather tends to get clearer.
  • Low: cold, heavy bodies of air encounter warm, light air at the weather front. This process creates overcast sky, wet and cold weather or wind. An area of low pressure by the way is also called a depression or cyclone.

Stay continuously informed via Weather-Apps

An informative weather-app which allows you to always keep an eye on latest current weather conditions is for instance the one on weather-forecast.com With the aid of this app you stay continuously informed on worldwide weather news. You receive ‘current user weather forecasts’ every two hours and a preview for the next 48 hours. That way your cycling tour is guaranteed not to be cancelled, but can be planned for a sunny day.

 

Wherever your holiday takes you – the Eurobike cycling specialists wish you sunny outlooks!

Robi on the bike
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