Unit 4: Clouds Types
Cirrus: Around 15,000-25,000 feet above the cirrus and rain will not form from these. Made of ice crystals. Usually very thin and white in appearance. Other types: Cirrocumulus & Cirrostratus.
Around 6,500-20,000 feet above the surface. Composed of generally water droplets, but if they are cold enough can also have ice crystals. Types: Altocumulus & Altostratus
Normally below 6,500 feet and are mostly composed of water droplets. May contain precipitation. Types: Stratus, Stratocumulus, & Nimbostratus.
- Stratus: Around 2,000 feet above the surface and are associated with rain. Can be difficult to detect, even in short-term forecasts. These can also cause temperatures to be lower during the day and not allow temperatures to drop as fast at night. Uniform, gray color.
Clouds with Vertical Growth:
These clouds can grow in height up to 39,000 feet and release energy through condensation of water vapor within the cloud.
- Cumulus: Most common cloud type. Around 5,000 feet above the surface. Most of the time they don’t produce rain. Only when the air is super cold above us, can they cause a little bit of rain. The gray bottom on clouds, even through there is a blue sky is actually a cloud shadow.
- Cumulonimbus: Storms can form from these types of clouds.
Cloud Sorting Game: https://scied.ucar.edu/cloud-sorting-game
Cloud Memory Game: https://scied.ucar.edu/clouds-memory-game