Cloud height measurement

I just realized that with a single camera I could calculate the cloud height on partly sunny days. Watch the shadow of the cloud move across the surface of the earth and determine the true speed of the cloud. At the same time watch the cloud itself move in the image and determine the angular speed. Those two parameters should give me the height of the cloud. Of course using two camera’s is easier and works without the shadow, but others have done that already :smiley: .


That’s a nice little related rates problem. I’m gonna give that to my math professor wife!


Cloud hight can also be estimated using surface temperature and dew point. ((Temp - dewpoint)/2.5)x1000. Using degrees C and meters.


interesting. I didn’t know that.

You guys need a nephoscope. I might have one in my attic.

tell me how it works. I looked up wikipedia Nephoscope - Wikipedia and the have a formula:
distance = (speed of light × duration of delay due to reflection) / 2
Which would be correct, but the instrument described doesn’t seem to work like that. Or I totally misunderstand what is going on.
Could you describe your instrument and how you are supposed to use it?

that would be great.

Hi… not very reliable method since air just above ground (and below cloud level) can have quite different characteristics.