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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

Cloud Types

Chapter 11, Section 3


Clouds are classified according to their height above and appearance texture from the ground
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
Cirrus

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


Cirrostratus
Cirrostratus

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


Cirrocumulus
Cirrocumulus

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


Altocumulus
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
Altostratus

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


Stratus
Stratus

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


Nimbostratus
Nimbostratus

  • Dark gray clouds that produce falling rain or snow.


Cumulus
Cumulus

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


Cumulonimbus
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
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…