Cloud types
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Cloud Types. Chapter 11, Section 3. Clouds are classified according to their height above and appearance (texture) from the ground. The following terms are used (and can be combined) to classify clouds. 1) Cirro-a high level cloud, means wispy (always used first, when combined)

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Cloud Types

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Cloud Types

Chapter 11, Section 3


Clouds are classified according to their height above and appearance (texture) from the ground.

  • The following terms are used (and can be combined) to classify clouds.

  • 1) Cirro-a high level cloud, means wispy (always used first, when combined)

  • 2) Alto- a mid level cloud (always used first, when combined)

  • 3) Stratus-means layer (used alone, as a low level cloud, or used second if it is a cirrostratus or altostratus)

  • 4) Nimbo-means precipitation is coming from that cloud (nimbus if it comes second in the combination, like cumulonimbus)

  • 5) Cumulo-means heap, or kind-of like cotton balls (cumulus if it comes second in the combination, like altocumulus)


Cirrus

  • Thin, wispy clouds. These clouds are formed by ice crystals because they are so high up.


Cirrostratus

  • Very thin sheets of clouds that cover large parts of the sky.


Cirrocumulus

  • Clouds that are very high up, but look a little puffy. They may look similar to fish scales.


Altocumulus

  • Mid-level cloud, kind of gray and puffy. Common on hot, humid summer days. Usually a sign that thunderstorms will follow later in the day.


Altostratus

  • Covers the entire (or most) of the sky. Can form before rain storms.


Stratus

  • Low-lying, gray clouds that cover all or nearly all of the sky.


Nimbostratus

  • Dark gray clouds that produce falling rain or snow.


Cumulus

  • Fair weather clouds, that look like floating cotton balls.


Cumulonimbus

  • Very tall, puffy, thunderstorm clouds. Produce rain, lightning, hail, and/or tornadoes.


There are a few more cloud types that are RARE, like contrails or lenticular clouds

  • If interested in those rare types, please do a google image search on your own…


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