Clouds Evan McCullar

The Type of Clouds

Stratus

  • They associate with fog and lead to a drizzly day.
  • They form at usually 6000 feet in elevation.
  • They appear very thin and flat.
  • They mean rain if it is warm and snow if it is cold.
  • If they are really close to the ground, it is considered fog.
It Looks Like a big gray blanket

Nimbostratus

If it is cold, these could lead to ice particles and snow in the air and sometimes evaporate before they reach the ground

These clouds lay low at about 6500 feet but a maximum of 10000 feet.

They are dark, widespread, and appear as a formless layer

Cumulus

  • Cumulus Clouds are low hanging and don't form higher than about 3800 feet
  • They mean little to no precipitation.
  • To identify one, it has a flat bottom and a very puffball looking shape.

Altostratus

The altostratus clouds are very thin and you can usually see the sun through them. They form between 6500-20000 feet. We get a lot of these clouds in Colorado Springs due to our altitude. It can mean light showers of rain in thicker parts of the cloud. If the rain is persistent, it changes classification into nimbostratus clouds.

Altocumulus

Altocumulus clouds form anywhere from 6500-20000 feet

They appear larger and darker than Cumulus clouds

They mean no precipitation

Cumulonimbus

These clouds can lead to very intense precipitation and thunder storms, they form between 6500-60000 feet. They are very large and tall in height. They can be associated with atmospheric instability and form from water vapor and strong winds.

Cirrocumulus

  • They form at very high altitude (16000-39000 feet)
  • Only precipitation is virga (evaporates before it hits the ground)
  • Can also indicate a storm in about 10 hours

Cirrus

The most common form of high-level clouds are thin and often wispy cirrus clouds. Typically found at heights greater than 20,000 feet, cirrus clouds are composed of ice crystals that originate from the freezing of super-cooled water droplets.

Credits:

Created with images by oneiric wanderings - "clouds" • judygva (back in town and trying to catch up) - "Clouds: Stratus, Cirrocumulus?, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge, Virginia, October 31, 2014" • k4dordy - "cirrus cirrostratus (14)" • k4dordy - "cirrus cirrostratus (3)" • Alexas_Fotos - "cumulus clouds sky white" • suzylagasa - "P1040516.JPG" • Nicholas_T - "Hover" • dsearls - "2014_01_19_sunset_27" • dsearls - "2014_10_03_sb-sunrise_023z" • Nicholas_T - "Sentinel" • Nicholas_T - "Vast" • Sangre-La.com - "jc2383.JPG" • sneetchbeach - "Altocumulus." • jano71 - "nuage cloud ענן wolk о́блако wolke 云 구름 nube غيمة" • Hans - "thundercloud storm weather" • spyffe - "Cumulonimbus clouds" • ikinitip - "cloud shape sky" • Nicholas_T - "Amassed (2)" • Nicholas_T - "Grand View Trail (Revisited) (4)" • k4dordy - "cirrus cirrostratus (9)" • mlipsky2013 - "cirrus clouds blue sky sky" • stux - "landscape mountains upper bavaria" • k4dordy - "cirrus cirrostratus (9)" • k4dordy - "cirrus cirrostratus (1)" • alana sise - "Cirrus Clouds"

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