Classification of Clouds

Cirrus clouds

-Associated with an incoming warm front

-wispy strands with a minimum altitude of 16500 ft.

-associated with stable environment

Altocumulus clouds

-located between 6,500 and 20,000 feet

-form by convection and indicate an unstable layer

-typically precede thunderstorms especially on a humid summer day

Altocumulus clouds
Nimbostratus clouds

-associated with widespread precipitation that can last for hours or days

-unstable cloud formation

-lie below the altitude 6,500 feet


-low lumpy clouds accompanied by light precipitation

-6500 feet or below, bigger in sky than altocumulus

-due to light preicipitation associated with unstable atmospheric conditions

Cumulonimbus clouds

-can easily reach 39,000 feet or higher

-fueled by vigorous connective updrafts and are unstable

-heavily associated with thunderstorms

Cumulonimbus clouds
Cirrostratus clouds

-create a visible halo effect around our sun

-composed a ice crystals and can be very thick - up to thousands of feet

-thicken as a warm front approaches

Fair weather cumulus clouds

-have a lifetime of 5-40 minutes

-harmless themselves but could indicate developing thunderstorms

-associated with unstable air columns

Billow clouds

-formed from instability of air flow in columns

-kelvin-helmholtz instability

Mammatus clouds

-rare example of clouds sinking in air

-generally appear after the worst of a thunderstorm

-do not indicate the forming of tornadoes like some falsely believe

Mammatus clouds
Orographic clouds

-form from air being forced up from earths topography

Pileus clouds

-smooth cloud attached to either a mounting or growing cumulus tower

-Latin for "skullcap"


-mid level clouds

-typically precede a thunderstorm or continuous rain or snowfall

Lenticular clouds

-often mistaken for a UFO due to their saucer-like shape

-form at right angles to wind direction

-form where moist, stable air flows over a mountain or tall topographic object

Polar stratospheric clouds

-extremely elevated, up to 82,000 feet

-best observed during civil twilight and are associated with ozone holes

-receive light from below the horizon and reflect it to the surface

Noctilucent clouds

-form in the upper atmosphere (up to 280,000 feet)

-composed of ice crystals

-recently discovered atmospheric phenomenon

Some cool photos

The end


Created with images by AdinaVoicu - "sunset sky sun"

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