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Basic Cloud Types. What type(s) of clouds are pictured here?. High Clouds:. Middle Clouds:. Low Clouds:. Clouds are classified by what vertical level their bases (or bottoms) form at:. Low Clouds:. Low clouds can be on the ground (fog) to ~6,000’ above the surface. 6,000 ft above ground.

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Basic cloud types l.jpg

Basic Cloud Types

What type(s) of clouds are pictured here?


Clouds are classified by what vertical level their bases or bottoms form at l.jpg

High Clouds:

Middle Clouds:

Low Clouds:

Clouds are classified by what vertical level their bases (or bottoms) form at:


Low clouds l.jpg

Low Clouds:

  • Low clouds can be on the ground (fog) to ~6,000’ above the surface.

6,000 ft above ground

  • Five low cloud types:

    • Cumulus

    • Stratus and Fog

    • Stratocumulus

    • Nimbostratus

    • Cumulonimbus

Lyndon State

Green Mountains


Slide4 l.jpg

Cumulus

Stratus: Layered or flat

looking and grayish

Stratus

Cumulus: Heaped or lumpy

looking, most commonly

portrayed type in art, film


Slide5 l.jpg

Stratocumulus

Fog: when a stratus cloud

touches the ground

Fog

Stratocumulus: looks both

lumpy and layered, flatter than

cumulus but more lumpy than

stratus


Slide6 l.jpg

Nimbostratus

Cumulonimbus: a cumulus

cloud that has precipitation

falling from it and

reaching the ground

Cumulonimbus

Nimbostratus: a stratus cloud

that's precipitating – rain

and/or snow is falling from

the cloud and reaching the

ground

*Nimbus = precipitating


Middle clouds l.jpg

Green Mountains

Middle Clouds:

  • Middle clouds can extend from ~6,000’ to ~20,000’ above

  • the surface.

~20,000 ft above ground

  • Two basic middle cloud types “Alto” prefix:

    • Altocumulus

    • Altostratus

6,000 ft above ground

Lyndon State


Slide8 l.jpg

Altocumulus

Altostratus: layered and flat,

but higher than stratus

Altostratus

Altocumulus: look like cotton

balls, about the size of your

fist or smaller if you extend

your arm and look towards

them


High clouds l.jpg

~20,000 ft above ground

~40,000 ft above ground

High Clouds:

  • High clouds can extend from ~20,000’ to 40,000’ above the surface.

  • Three basic high cloud types “cirro” prefix:

    • Cirrus

    • Cirrostratus

    • Cirrocumulus

6,000 ft above ground

Lyndon State


Slide10 l.jpg

Cirrus

Cirrostratus: wispy - especially

on the edges, flat and fairly

white, organized in sheets or

layers

Cirrostratus

Cirrus: appear wispy in pieces

or small patches, not organized

in sheets


Slide11 l.jpg

Cirrocumulus: fairly rare, look

like small cotton balls, about

the size of your pinky when

you extend your arm and look

at the cloud elements.

Cirrocumulus


Special clouds l.jpg

Contrail

Special Clouds

  • Contrail: short for “condensation trail” – forms when water from air plane

  • exhaust forms clouds behind the plane

Lenticular: type of mid-level cloud

Produced by airflow over terrain,

frequently mistaken for UFOs

Lenticular



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