What clouds are made of Water drops Ice crystals www.google.com/waterdropshttp://weather.thefuntimesguide.com/2009/01/the_snowflake.php
How clouds form Small drops of water turn into a gas called water vapor Once the vapor reaches a certain altitude the cold air causes the water droplets to start to stick together.
How Clouds Are Named The height at which the cloud is located contributes to the naming. A clouds shape helps decide between the types of clouds.
Types of clouds Type 1: High Clouds Type 2: Mid Clouds Type 3: Low Clouds Type 4: Vertically Developed Clouds
High Clouds Cirrus Cirrocumulus Cirrostratus
Cirrus Look like feathers. First to appear when the skies are clear. Shape and movement of the cloud indicates the strength and speed of the high altitude winds. Don’t produce rain or snow at the Earth’s surface.
Cirrocumulus Look like cotton balls unrolled Can appear in rows or Individually Their rippling appearance helps with their identification.
Cirrostratus Thin blanket of clouds that covers the sky. The clouds are so thin that the moon and sun shine through. Form at about 4 miles above the ground Signals rain
Picture of High Clouds CirrostratusCirrus Cirrocumulus
Mid Clouds Altostratus Altocumulus
Altostratus Consists of both water droplets and ice crystals Cover large amounts of the sky “frost” the sky. Small amounts of precipitation Rain is possible
Altocumulus Can be white, grey or both. Looks like bubble (foam) in a hot tub Easy to mix up with high clouds because sometimes the shading is not visible.
Picture of Mid Clouds Altocumulus Altostratus
Low Clouds Stratus Stratocumulus Nimbostratus
Stratus Covers the sky like a blanket on a bed. Form horizontally Considered to be fog when low and close to the ground.
Stratocumulus Grey clouds with dark shading Puffy and tall Do not produce rain The clouds instead form after a rain storm
Nimbostratus Dark Grey Wet looking clouds Related to falling rain and snow Allow no sunlight to shine through
Picture of Low Clouds StratocumulusStratus Nimbostratus
Vertically Developed Clouds Cumulus Cumulonimbus
Cumulus Looks similar to cotton wool Have shapes sometimes Clumps of clouds are spaced out allowing the pretty blue sky to shine through. Looks like a rooster.
Cumulonimbus Tall Can move into the stratosphere Contains both water droplets and ice crystals Produce different weather conditions Vertical wind can reach high speeds
Picture of Vertically Developed CloudsView from Earth. View from satellite. Source: NOAA Source: NASA.