The Different Types of Clouds By: Alyssa Crowl

Shelf Cloud (Arcus): Weather associated with these are thunderstorms. Very unstable. Generally less that 2,000m (6,600 ft)

Cumulus Cloud: Normal weather because they produce little precipitation however they can be influenced by other weather factors and can become cumulonimbus.

Stable, Altitude around 2,000m (6,600 ft)

Mamatus Clouds: Weather related with these clouds are severe thunderstorms. They are very unstable. Altitude is about 2,000m (6,000 ft).

These are groupings of drooping patches of clouds.

Cumulonimbus Clouds: weather caused by these are thunderstorms, rainstorms, and tornadoes. Instable. Altitude is 460-7,620-12,190m (1,500-25,000-65,000 ft)

They carry a lot of precipitation and they are tall, large clouds.

Stratus Clouds: weather associated is a light drizzle or small amounts of snow. Stable. Altitude is below 2,000m (6,600 ft)

These clouds are featureless, white sheets of clouds. Sometimes very hazy.

Stratocumulus Clouds: Weather associated is mostly fair weather but can sometimes cause rain or drizzle. These are stable clouds. Altitude is usually around 2,400m (6,500 ft)

Like cumulus clouds however they are more lumped together and much larger. They are large, dark, rounded masses with weak convective currents

Lenticular Clouds: Weather is mostly fair but they can sometimes give off rain. These are unstable clouds and the altitude goes up to 12,000m (40,000 ft)

They are lens-like saucer shaped. These clouds are sometimes offered as an explanation for UFO sightings.

Altocumulus Clouds: Weather associated with these clouds is fair weather. However these clouds frequently signal the development of thunderstorms later as it shows convection in the middle levels of the troposphere.

Unstable clouds with an altitude from 2,000-6,100m (6,500-20,000 ft)

Undulatus Asperatus: Weather associated with this cloud is fair weather but they sometimes form near storm clouds. Stable clouds. Altitude is around or higher than 2,000m (6,000 ft)

These clouds are wavy and sometimes dark but tend to dissipate without a storm forming.

Altostratus Clouds: weather associated with these clouds can signal a warm front or possible rain. Stable clouds. Altitude ranges from 2,400-6,100m (6,500-24,000 ft)

These are featureless and sometimes wispy clouds.

Nimbostratus Clouds: Weather associated has lot of precipitation so rain is almost always the case. Unstable clouds. Altitude is around 3,000m (10,000 ft)

These clouds are dark, widespread, formless layer

Cirrus Clouds: Weather associated is that sometimes small isolated cirrus have no significance, however a large number together indicate storms. Unstable clouds. Altitude is 5,500m-6,400m (18,000-21,000 ft)

These clouds look like thin, wispy, strands.

Cirrocumulus Clouds: Depending on the temperature and weather conditions these clouds can indicate ice or snow. Stable clouds. Altitude is 6,000-12,000m (20,000-40,000 ft)

Cirrostratus Clouds: These clouds indicate fair weather or signal the approach of a warm front. Stable clouds. Altitude is above 20,000m

These clouds are a white veil, extremely high, thin, hazy forms.

Noctilucent Clouds: The weather associated with these clouds is linked to climate change and they are indicators of atmospheric processes. Stable clouds. Altitude is 76,000-85,000m (250,000-280,000 ft)

These are the highest clouds in the atmosphere. They can only be seen in deep twilight and they are made of small ice crystals. They are featureless bands that are often colorless or pale blue.


Created with images by Anthony Quintano - "Shelf cloud moving over Race Point Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts" • Frank Boston - "Killer Clouds" • myyorgda - "emulsion" • Frank Boston - "Crazy Cloud" • judygva (back in town and trying to catch up) - "Clouds: Stratus, Cirrocumulus?, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge, Virginia, October 31, 2014" • Nicholas_T - "Downhill" • - "Lenticular clouds" • alana sise - "Altocumulus Clouds" • rocketjim54 - "Undulatus asperatus" • dsearls - "2014_01_19_sunset_68" • jimmy_tst - "Nimbostratus clouds over Paya Lebar" • skyseeker - "Radiation." • jingoba - "cirrocumulus cirrus clouds" • Dimitry B - "Cirrus clouds, El Calafate, Argentina" • Pawel Maryanov - "noctilucent clouds 2"

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