Cumulus, Stratus, and Cirrus There are three main cloud types. Aug 04, · The main classification for clouds is based on their height above ground and they are categorized as high-level, mid-level and low-level.. Clouds are also identified by their appearance and can be named by combining the root terms cirro, alto, strato, nimbus or cumulus.
The many variations, however, can be grouped into one of 10 basic types depending on their general shape and height in the sky. Thus, the 10 types are:. Whether you're interested in cloud watching or are just curious to know what clouds are overhead, read on to find out how to recognize them and what type of weather you can expect from makn. Cumulus clouds are the clouds you learned to draw at an early age and that serve as the symbol of all clouds much like the snowflake symbolizes winter.
Their tops are rounded, puffy, and a brilliant white when sunlit, while their bottoms are flat and relatively dark. Cumulus clouds develop on clear, sunny days when the sun heats the ground directly below diurnal convection. This is where they get their nickname of "fair weather" clouds. They appear in the late morning, grow, and then disappear toward evening. Stratus clouds hang low in the sky as a flat, featureless, uniform layer of grayish cloud.
They resemble fog that hugs the horizon instead of the ground. Stratus clouds are seen on dreary, overcast days and are associated with light mist or drizzle. If you took an imaginary knife and spread cumulus clouds together across the sky but not into a smooth layer like stratusyou'd get stratocumulus—these are low, puffy, grayish or whitish clouds that occur in patches with blue sky visible in between.
When viewed from underneath, stratocumulus have a dark, honeycomb appearance. You're likely to see stratocumulus on mostly cloudy days. They form when there's weak convection in the atmosphere. Altocumulus clouds are the most common clouds in the middle atmosphere. You'll recognize them as white or gray what are the steps involved in induction programme that dot the sky in large, rounded masses or clouds that are aligned in parallel bands.
They look like the wool of sheep or scales of mackerel fish—hence their nicknames "sheep backs" and "mackerel skies. Altocumulus and stratocumulus are often mistaken. Besides altocumulus being higher up in the sky, another way to tell them cclouds is by the size of their individual cliuds mounds.
Place your hand up to the sky and in the direction of the cloud; if the mound is the size of your thumb, it's altocumulus. If it's closer to fist-size, it's probably stratocumulus. Altocumulus are often spotted on warm threee humid mornings, especially during summer. They can signal thunderstorms to come later in the day. You may also see them out ahead of cold frontsin which case they signal how to get a car loan with horrible credit onset of cooler temperatures.
Nimbostratus clouds cover the sky in a dark gray layer. They can extend from the low and middle layers of the atmosphere and are thick enough to blot out the sun. Nimbostratus are the quintessential rain cloud. You'll thdee them whenever steady rain or snow tbe falling or is forecast to fall over a widespread area.
Altostratus appear as gray or qhat sheets of cloud that partially or totally cover the sky at mid-levels. Even though they cover the sky, you can typically still see the sun as a dimly lit disk behind them, but not enough light shines through to cast shadows on the ground.
Altostratus tend to form ahead of a warm or occluded front. They can also occur together with cumulus at a cold front. Like their name suggests which is Latin for "curl of hair"cirrus are thin, white, wispy strands of clouds that streak across the sky.
Because cirrus clouds appear above 20, feet 6, m —an altitude where low temperatures and low water vapor exist—they are made up of tiny ice crystals rather than water droplets. Cirrus typically occur in fair weather. They can also form out ahead of warm fronts and large-scale storms like nor'easters and tropical cyclones, so seeing them can also indicate storms may be coming.
Cirrocumulus clouds are small, white patches of clouds often arranged in rows that live at high altitudes and are qhat of ice crystals. Called "cloudlets," the individual cloud mounds of cirrocumulus are much smaller than that of altocumulus and stratocumulus and often look like grains. Cirrocumulus clouds are rare and relatively short-lived, but you'll see them in winter or when it's cold but fair. Cirrostratus clouds are transparent, whitish clouds that veil or cover nearly the entire sky.
A dead giveaway to distinguishing cirrostratus is to look for a "halo" a ring or circle of light around the sun or moon. The halo is formed by the how far is stone mountain from atlanta of the light on the ice crystals in the clouds, similarly to how sundogs form but in an entire circle rather than just on either side of the sun. Cirrostratus indicate that a large amount of moisture is present in the upper atmosphere.
They're also generally associated thdee approaching warm fronts. Cumulonimbus clouds are one aare the few clouds that span the low, middle, and high layers.
They resemble the cumulus clouds from which they grow, except they rise into towers with bulging upper portions that look like cauliflower. Cumulonimbus cloud tops are usually always flattened in the shape of an anvil or plume.
Their bottoms are often hazy and dark. Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds, so if you see one you can be sure there's a nearby threat of severe weather short but heavy periods of rainfall, hailand possibly even tornadoes. Share Flipboard Email. Tiffany Means. Meteorology Expert. Thus, the 10 types are: Low-level clouds cumulus, stratus, stratocumulus that lie below 6, feet 1, m Middle clouds altocumulus, nimbostratus, altostratus that form between 6, and 20, feet —6, m High-level clouds cirrus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus that form above how to play hedbanz for kids, feet 6, m Cumulonimbus, which tower across the low, middle, and upper atmosphere Whether you're interested in cloud watching or are just curious to know what clouds are overhead, read on to find out how to recognize them and what type of weather you can expect from each.
Also learn what weather's coming based on the cloud type
The three main types of high clouds are cirrus, cirrostratus, and cirrocumulus. Cirrus clouds over a field cirrostratus cirrocumulus Floyd County IN. It covers basic information about clouds including definitions, frequently asked questions regarding clouds, and describes the three main types of clouds: cumulus, cirrus, and stratus. The three main types of high clouds are cirrus, cirrostratus, and cirrocumulus. Cirrus clouds are wispy, feathery, and composed entirely of ice crystals. They often are the first sign of an approaching warm front or upper-level jet streak. Unlike cirrus, cirrostratus clouds form more of a widespread, veil-like layer (similar to what stratus.
When you were a kid, did you ever look up at the clouds and imagine a dog or a weird looking man smiling back at you? Maybe you saw balloons or a bowl of jello? Who knows? The point is that the sky is always there and if we take the time to look up, we can see things we never noticed before… especially if we know a little bit about the 3 main types of clouds!
A child even knows as he looks up and sees the sky changing to darker shades of gray that a storm is brewing. Clouds help reveal to us what is going on in the weather around us. Happy learning! This slideshow would be appropriate for students ranging from 3rd grade all the way up. It covers basic information about clouds including definitions, frequently asked questions regarding clouds, and describes the three main types of clouds: cumulus, cirrus, and stratus.
This is a great hands-on science activity that if used appropriately can reinforce what the 3 main types of clouds look like and what type of weather can be expected from them. The materials list is short: handful of cotton balls, black or gray marker, white glue, printed PDF, and a sheet of construction paper. Download Cotton Ball Activity Sheet here or click on image. First, cut out the 3 descriptive columns for each cloud. Now, it is time to start constructing your cloud poster.
I like to have my kids lay the descriptive sheets on their paper first and then glue them into place. Next, it is time to create your cotton ball clouds. For the cumulus clouds, you will take cotton balls and glue them together in a heap.
In the middle will be the stratus clouds. You will pull 2 cotton balls apart spreading them out like a blanket. Use a black or gray marker to darken their appearance. Have fun with it! This informational chart is a perfect tool to use if your student is writing a compare and contrast piece. This table provides a general overview of the three main types of clouds. Just click on the image to download a free copy. It allows them to practice their sentence structure and ability to describe.
I advise you to accompany this sheet with the Clouds chart or the slideshow available above. This field study is just fun. It forces you to pay attention to the sky and look at the clues that nature gives us to what the weather will hold. This field study is a booklet.
It is meant for your student to use for at least 5 days. When the student has ample days to investigate the clouds in the sky, they become acutely aware of how ever-changing it is. They are more apt to notice how different clouds can look from one another. It also gives them the opportunity to identify clouds more readily. Print out the document for a 5-day study.
Cut the paper vertically down the middle and staple into place. Educational and kid-friendly. This video is less than 5 minutes, but provides a wealth of information about clouds. I appreciated being able to see the clouds moving visually on-screen. I appreciated her abilities to connect the dots. The National Weather Service website provides a free download of this cloud poster that features 27 different clouds.
It ranks them in terms of altitude and shape. Click here or on the image to download. Check it out! Happy learning. Weather Wiz Kids does a stellar job at providing information about clouds that is useful and interesting.
They also provide you with multiple lesson plans and experiments that you can do at home. I have never found a site that covers the amount of information they do about clouds in a kid friendly manner. If you click on the link or the image to the left it will direct you their page.
Fun Learning for Kids offers a free downloadable Recording Lab Sheet to accompany a fun hands-on experiment that demonstrates how a cloud will rain. I love this experiment because it is conducive for many ages. My younger children loved watching the older ones set up the experiment. We discussed what we thought would happen and our findings. The Recording lab sheet was accessible to all. If you are looking for other hands-on science experiments to demonstrate clouds, then this might be the one for you.
Gift of Curiosity website explains how to perform two other cloud experiments using relatively easy to come by materials. I appreciate the fact that in this experiment you can actually see the condensation taking place right before your eyes.
Condensation is sometimes hard for kids to grasp without a concrete image to connect it to. Give it a try and see what you think! Skip to content 3 Main Types of Clouds. Let's Learn About Clouds Cloud Field Study. Great additions to your science exploration All about Clouds Video. What are clouds made of? National Weather Service Cloud Poster. Weather Wiz Kids. Try these other FREE resources! In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis