cloud types

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Author:
miedmonds
ID:
142961
Filename:
cloud types
Updated:
2012-03-23 09:18:18
Tags:
weather clouds meteorology
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Description:
Major cloud types, with jpgs and text definitions. Definitions are from U of Illinois site, images from Google
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  1. CUMULONIMBUS
    Tallest of all clouds, may extend to over 18,000 m (60,000 ft). Appear as mountains or high towers. Usually have large anvil-shaped tops of ice.
  2. STRATUS
    The lowest clouds, often appear as an overcast deck but can be scattered patches. Individual cloud elements have very ill-defined edges.
  3. NIMBOSTRATUS
    Very dark, low clouds associated with large areas of continuous precipitation. Although bases are usually low, their vertical extent often extends well into the middle cloud region.
  4. STRATOCUMULUS
    Low clouds with elements in tight clusters and very little vertical development. Relatively flat lacking the sharp edged, popcorn appearance of cumulus clouds.
  5. ALTOSTRATUS
    Mid-level clouds with uniform and diffuse coverage where it is difficult to detect individual elements or features. Grey or bluish in colour.
  6. ALTOCUMULUS
    Mid-level clouds whose distinct cloud elements are either a sheet or a patchy deck with waved bands, rolls, or rounded masses. Elements usually sharply outlined.
  7. CIRRUS
    High clouds composed of ice crystals in the form of delicate filaments, patches or bands.
  8. CIRROSTRATUS
    High clouds with ice particles forming a transparent cloud veil of fibrous or smooth texture, partially or totally covering sky.
  9. CIRROCUMULUS
    High ice clouds composed of small elements in form of separated patches, ripples, fish scales etc., more or less regularly arranged.
  10. CUMULUS HUMILIS
    Small heap clouds with flat bottoms and slightly rounded tops that extend through mid-level to high altitudes.
  11. CUMULUS CONGESTUS
    Heap clouds of both great vertical and horizontal extent, looking like a cauliflower. Bottoms sharp; tops rounded with sharp outline. Extend through mid-level to high altitudes.
  12. CUMULUS CASTELLANUS
    Heap clouds of great vertical extent, looking like a castle tower. Bottoms sharp; tops rounded with sharp outline.
  13. LENTICULAR
    Often saucer-shaped, they form in the crests of atmospheric waves, commonly occurring as air passes over high mountain peaks.
  14. NOCTILUCENT
    Ice clouds forming transparent cloud veil at altitudes above 80 km (50 miles), so thin stars can often shine through.
  15. NACREOUS
    Mother-of-Pearl clouds. A stratospheric ice cloud formed at altitudes of 15-30 km (10-20 miles). They are the polar stratospheric clouds associated with ozone destruction
    • STRATUS
    • The lowest clouds, often appear as an overcast deck but can be scattered patches. Individual cloud elements have very ill-defined edges.
    • NIMBOSTRATUS
    • Very dark, low clouds associated with large areas of continuous precipitation. Although bases are usually low, their vertical extent often extends well into the middle cloud region.
    • STRATOCUMULUS
    • Low clouds with elements in tight clusters and very little vertical development. Relatively flat lacking the sharp edged, popcorn appearance of cumulus clouds.
    • ALTOSTRATUS
    • Mid-level clouds with uniform and diffuse coverage where it is difficult to detect individual elements or features. Grey or bluish in colour.
    • ALTOCUMULUS
    • Mid-level clouds whose distinct cloud elements are either a sheet or a patchy deck with waved bands, rolls, or rounded masses. Elements usually sharply outlined.
    • CIRRUS
    • High clouds composed of ice crystals in the form of delicate filaments, patches or bands.
    • CIRROSTRATUS
    • High clouds with ice particles forming a transparent cloud veil of fibrous or smooth texture, partially or totally covering sky.
    • CIRROCUMULUS
    • High ice clouds composed of small elements in form of separated patches, ripples, fish scales etc., more or less regularly arranged.
    • CUMULUS HUMILIS
    • Small heap clouds with flat bottoms and slightly rounded tops that extend through mid-level to high altitudes.
    • CUMULUS CASTELLANUS
    • Heap clouds of great vertical extent, looking like a castle tower. Bottoms sharp; tops rounded with sharp outline.
    • CUMULONIMBUS
    • Tallest of all clouds, may extend to over 18,000 m (60,000 ft). Appear as mountains or high towers. Usually have large anvil-shaped tops of ice.

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