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Types of Clouds

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Lejla K.

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Types of Clouds

Types of Clouds
Clouds are classified on the basis of their form and height. There are 3 basic cloud forms: Cirrus, Cumulus, and Stratus. All other clouds are combinations or modifications of these basic forms.
Cloud Heights
The three levels of cloud heights are high, middle, and low.
High Clouds
Three types: Cirrus, Cirrostratus, Cirrocumulus.
Middle Clouds
Two Types: Altocumulus and Altostratus
3 Main Cloud Types
Cirrus
Derived from Latin
cirrus
, meaning "a curl of hair".
They are high, white and thin, and usually have a feathery appearance.
Cirrus Clouds
Cumulus Clouds
Stratus Clouds
The altitudes that each type of cloud occupies may change, due to seasonal and latitude variation.
Classifying Clouds by Height
High clouds are thin, white, and composed of ice crystals. This is due to low temperatures and small water vapor quantities at high altitudes. These clouds are NOT precipitation makers.
Cirrostratus
Usually veil the sun, giving the sky a hazy look.
High, thin and lack a specific shape.
Cirrocumulus
Consist of patched, fluffy masses.
Altitude: Above 6000 meters.
Altitude: 2000 to 6000 meters
These clouds may be accompanied by a light form of precipitation.
Altocumulus
Consist of large and dense rounded masses of clouds
Frequently appear on humid mornings due to their high moisture content.
Prefix:
alto
- from Latin
altus
, meaning "high"
Altostratus
Create a uniform white to grayish sheet covering the sky with the sun or moon as a visible bright spot.
Low Clouds
Three types: Stratus, Stratocumulus, and Nimbostratus
Altitude: Below 2000 meters
Stratus
Described as thick fog-like layers covering much or all of the sky.
Derived from Latin
stratum
, meaning "a layer".
Occasionally produce light precipitation.
Stratocumulus
They have scalloped bottoms that appear as long, parallel rolls or broken bounded patches.
Rarely produce precipitation
Nimbostratus
Derived from Latin
nimbus
, meaning"rainy cloud"
One of the main producers of precipitation.
Clouds of Vertical Development
These clouds do not fall into any of the three height categories. Their bases are in low height ranges, and they usually extend into the middle or high altitudes. Both clouds are associated with unstable air.
Two types: Cumulus and Cumulonimbus
Cumulus
Derived from Latin
cumulus
, meaning "a pile".
Consist of individual, rounded cloud masses with a flat base.
Usually present in fair weather conditions.
Cumulonimbus
They have great vertical range, due to powerful acceleration causing upward movement
Can produce rain showers or thunderstorms.
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