Types Of Clouds

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by isaak01
Last updated 6 years ago

Weather and Climate

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Types Of Clouds

Fast Facts - ...Clouds are your weather signposts in the sky. - ...Clouds are divided into four basic groups depending upon their characteristics and the altitiudes where they occur.

Stratocumulus clouds are wide puffy clouds that form as stable air is lifted. They often form as a stratus layer breaks up or as cumulus clouds spresd out.

Cumulus clouds form in convective currents resulting from the heating of the earth’s surface. They usually have flat bottoms and dome-shaped tops. Widely spaced cumulus clouds that form in fairly clear skies are called fair weather cumulus and indicate a shallow layer of instability.

Stratus clouds are layered clouds that form in stable air near the surface due to coolling from below. They have a gray uniform appearance and generally cover a wide area.

Altocumulus clouds are gray or white, patchy clouds of uniform appearance that often form when altostratus clouds start to break up.

Cirrocumulus clouds are white patchy clouds that look like cotton. They form as a result of shallow convective currents at high altitudes.

Towering cumulous clouds look like large mounds of cotton with billowing cauliflower tops. Their color may vary from brilliant white at the top to gray near the bottom. Towering cumulus clouds indicate a fairly deep area of unstable air. They often develop into thunderstorms.

Cumulonimbus clouds, which are more commonly called thunderstorms, are large, vertically developed clouds that form in very unstable air. They are gray-white to black in color and contain large amounts of moisture.

Cirrostratus clouds also are thin, white clouds that often form in long bands or sheets against a deep blue background. Although they may be several thousands of feet thick, moisture content is low.

Cirrus clouds form in stable air at high altitudes. They are thin and wispy and usually form above 30,000 feet. White or light gray in color, they often exist in patches or narrow bands that cross the sky.

High Clouds

Types of Clouds

Middle Clouds

Low Clouds

Nimbostratus clouds are gray or black clouds that can be more than several thousand of feet thick contain large quantities of moisture, and produce wide spread areas of rain or snow.

Clouds with Vertical Development

Altostratus clouds are flat, dense clouds that cover a wide area. They are a uniform gray or gray-white in color.