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Cloud Types

Learn about the ten basic cloud types.
a data set by NatureLover
created June 11, 2017
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FAMILY TREE
ImageNameHeightLevelDescription
CumulusBelow 6,000 feet.LowThese "fair-weather" clouds are common on sunny days. Individual puffs of cloud.
StratusBelow 6,000 feet.LowWhen earth-bound, these clouds are called fog or mist. Formed when a large air mass cools all at once.
CirrusAbove 18,000 feet.HighComposed entirely of ice crystals, these clouds look like streaks in the sky. The precipitation from these clouds evaporates before it reaches the ground because of the great height of these clouds.
Altostratus6,000 - 20,000 feet.MiddleThis type can cause ice accumulation on aircraft.
CirrocumulusAbove 18,000 feet.HighTransitional clouds between Cirrus and Cirrostratus, these clouds have a rippled appearance.
Altocumulus6,000 - 20,000 feet.Middle"Rows" of clouds.
Cumulonimbus700 - 50,000 feet.LowPlate or mushroom shaped clouds that carry heavy precipitation.
CirrostratusAbove 18,000 feet.HighThin, streaky clouds. Because of the hazy film they create, the sun can be seen to have a halo when these clouds are present.
Nimbostratus2,000 - 20,000MiddleDense and grey clouds that carry precipitation. Base has a ragged edge from the constant precipitation.
StratocumulusBelow 6,000 feet.LowPuffy like Cumulus clouds, these differ by being in a layer, rather than in individual puffs.
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