Everything you need to know about clouds – the continuing story!
August 13, 2018.
1. Cirrus. Cirrus clouds are wispy and hair-like, and when viewed from below, they appear to have little to no structure. Inside, cirrus clouds are comprised almost entirely of ice crystals.
2. Cirrocumulus. Cirrocumulus clouds are similar to a well-worn basic sheet: thin and white. These clouds also have super-cooled water droplets within them. Technically, each individual cloud is referred to as cirrocumulus, but the term can also be used to refer to the entire sheet. If the term is used that way, each individual cloud is a cloudlet.
3. Cirrostratus. Cirrostratus clouds are a white-ish veil that totally or partially covers the sky. They often produce the halo effect you see above.
4. Altocumulus. Altocumulus clouds come in several forms, though they mostly look like rounded masses. They can appear as a sheet or a layer, like the above image.
5. Altostratus. This cloud sheet completely covers the sky, but will have sections thin enough that reveal the sun, “as through ground glass or frosted glass,” according to the WMO. Unlike cirrostratus clouds, there is no halo produced.
6. Nimbostratus. While they don’t have many distinct features, nimbostratus clouds are a gray cloud layer. They’re thicker than altostratus clouds, and their bases often produce rain or snow.
7. Stratocumulus. Characterized by dark, rounded masses, stratoculumus clouds appear either as a uniform sheet or layer, or they have a corrugated base.
8. Stratus. Stratus clouds are gray layers, sometimes with variances in their luminescence. If the sun is out, its brightness can help you to see the outline of the clouds. The bases of stratus clouds will produce light snow or drizzle.
9. Cumulus. Quintessential clouds, cumulus clouds are detached and dense. The parts lit by sunlight are bright white while their bases tend to be a uniform dark color.
10. Cumulonimbus. Cumulonimbus clouds are heavy and dense, with often tall, vertical towers. They’re referred to as thunderheads if they’re observed during a storm. They’re capable of producing lightning and tornadoes.
Hope you can come back tomorrow for Part Three: Cloud Species!