• Clouds is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen
crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in
the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body.
• The study of clouds, called nephology, signifies clouds into
various categories, some important and widely used
Altitude- 2000m above Abbreviation-Cu
• Have a noticeable development and clearly defined edges.
Described often as ‘puffy’ or ‘cotton-like’ in appearance.
• Often associated with instability, moisture & temperature
gradient. Usually present when the air is warm.
Altitude- 60,000 ft above Symbol- --
• Belongs to a class categorized by horizontal layering with
uniform base. Considered as ‘typical cloudy day’.
• Indicate prolonged cloudy weather with drizzle. Persist for
days in anti-cyclone weather.
Altitude- 20,000 ft above Symbol- Ci
• Characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving them their
name. Generally appear in white or grey color.
• Form due to outflow of tropical cyclones. Indicate weather
deteoriation. Can be long enough to stretch continents.
Altitude- 500 to 13,000 ft Abbreviation- Cb
• Very tall and dense and flat surface on top. Involved
in thunderstorms and other inclement weather.
• Result of atmospheric instability. Creates lighting and
other severe weather conditions. Some form a single
cell (or) cloud.
Altitude- 20,000 ft above Abbreviation- Cc
• Result of parcel environment instability or
• Consists of small amount of liquid water droplets in
super cooled state. Ice crystals also a predominant
component. Short-lived and have large tuft.
Altitude- 6,500 to 20,000 ft Abbreviation- Ac
• Usually white or grey. Often occurs in sheets or patches
with wavy rounded masses or rolls.
• Signal upcoming thunderstorms. Found in warm and cold
fronts of depression.
• used as warning cloud by aviation industry along with
cumulus and cumulonimbus.
Altitude- 8000 ft above Abbreviation- Sc
• Characterized by large dark, rounded mass usually in
groups, lines or waves. Found in subtropical and polar
• Signified as ‘dull weather’. They indicate storms and
Altitude- 6,500– to 20,000 ft. Abbreviation- As
• Characterized generally as uniform gray to bluish-gray.
Formed by a rising large air mass that condenses into
cloud and spread across the horizon.
• Can be composed of either water droplets or ice crystals.