Different Types of Clouds in the Weather World
How many different types of weather clouds are there? Homework and School help on CloudsHow many different types of clouds does the weather produce? Quite a few actually. Find out the various forms and types of clouds that are known in the weather world.
There are many cloud types that are known in the world but here, I'm going to list the most common types out there. The weather can produce all different typs of clouds.
So let's start by classifying the different types of clouds in weather terms. They can be broken down into four basic categories. You have your low-level clouds, mid-level clouds, high-level clouds, and then clouds that form with vertical development. The main cloud types can fit into one of the four categories.
These typically form at 6,000 feet and below. These types include Stratocumulus, Stratus, and Nimbostratus clouds.
Stratocumulus Image by Nicholas T.
Stratocumulus clouds are low hanging you may see them a lot on those gray weather days. I really don't particularly like this type of cloud because it's usually the culprit ruining my sunny weather days! haha. They have a sort of lumpy shape to them and not much precipitation falls from them.
Stratus Image by a4alien
Stratus Clouds hang very low to the ground, have a gray color, and will cover most of the sky. Usually the weather that from these clouds come in the form of light precipitation. These clouds can also look like fog.
Nimbotratus Image by k4dordy
Nimbostratus Clouds are also dark and gray and can cover the whole sky. Unlike the other stratus clouds in this low level layer, Nimobstratus clouds are associated with heavy precipitation either in the form of rain OR snow. These clouds form a uniform layer that basically has no form and you can't tell where the edge of the clouds begin or end.
Mid-level clouds can be broken into two groups, Altocumulus and Altostratus. These clouds form from 6,000-20,000 up in the atmosphere.
Altocumulus Image by Elsie esq.
Altocumulus Clouds can look like mobs of cotton balls floating in the sky and are white with a part of them being gray as well. They also typically happen in the morning or evening. Altocumulus clouds can also be a sign of thunderstorms later in the day so check the weather report to be prepared!
Altostratus Image by Elsie esq.
Altostratus Clouds are spread out thin across the sky and even though they may cover a lot of sky, you can still typically see the sun through these clouds albeit fuzzy or hazy. These clouds will also have a blue gray appearance and if they start to thicken, then precipitation is likely not too far behind so check the weather report with these as well.
High-level clouds are the least threatening and least imposing out of the different types of clouds as precipitation doesn't fall from them. They form high up in the atmosphere at around 18,000 feet and are made of ice crystals because of the cold temperatures that high in the atmosphere. The type of high-level clouds are Cirrus, Cirrocumulus, and Cirrostratus.
Cirrus Image by k4dordy
Cirrus Clouds are thin and whispy clouds and are the most common type of high level clouds. When you see Cirrus clouds, take it as a good sign as it usually means good weather for the day. They are made up entirely of ice crystals.
Cirrocumulus Image by Conveyor belt sushi
Cirrocumulus Clouds can also resemble cotton balls or a ripple pattern. Just like the rest of the high level clouds, they are made of ice crystals and sometimes they can be confused with Altocumulus clouds. The difference between the two is that Cirrocumulus clouds have no shading to them unlike Altocumulus clouds.
Cirrostratus Image by k4dordy
Cirrostratus Clouds are thin and typically cover the entire sky and are basically transparent. Again like all other high level clouds, these are made from ice crystals and can form halos around the sun. If you see these clouds, rain or snow may be soon on the way.
Clouds with vertical growth
These clouds can get very high into the atmosphere and are typical of thunderstorms, especially severe thunderstorms. They are formed by warm air rising from the surface and instead of spreading out across the sky, they rise high up into the sky up to 50,000 feet. These clouds include Cumulus and Cumulonimbus Clouds.
Cumulus Image by brownpau
Cumulus Clouds typically have a flat base and look like cotton balls. They are gray on the bottom and they can cause rain or snow, although this is not always the case.
Cumulonimbus Image by Nicholas_T
Cumulonimbus Clouds are the clouds that we usually associate with severe thunderstorms. They are the ones that can rise high up into the atmosphere and form an anvil like shape. It can be quite the sight if you are in an open area like a field (many places in the plains states). They can also be associated with snow or hail.
There are a few other different types of clouds that are not listed here, but I just wanted to give you the basic types of clouds.
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