Cloud Types - Different Types of Clouds

Cloud Types - Different Types of Clouds
There are various types of Clouds. These clouds give a lot of information about the weather and atmosphere to the discerning eye. Here are some details about the different types of clouds.Clouds are a natural phenomena which is useful as well as adding beauty to the atmosphere. Along with the usefulness, there are different types of clouds which are created depending on the atmosphere they were created in. Here are some of the major cloud types

Clouds can be broadly divided into High level, medium level, low level, vertically developed, storm and other cloud types. The classification system of clouds uses Latin words to describe their appearance. Clouds which have 'cir' as a prefix are the higher level clouds, whereas the clouds having 'alto' as a prefix are the lower lower clouds.

Of the high level clouds, the Cirrus clouds form above six thousand meters (6000 m) in the troposphere. The water at this altitude tends to freeze, and therefore the clouds are made up of ice crystals. These clouds are transparent and wisp like. While single or isolated cirrus clouds are an indication of stable weather, a number of the cirrus clouds can be a forewarning of an approaching storm.

There are several variations of the cirrus clouds. The cirrus castellanus is a series of dense clouds which are connected to a thinner base.The cinnus duplicatus are sheets of cirrus clouds on different layers of the atmosphere. These clouds may be connected at more points than one. The cirrus fibratus has appears like a tail and is long, fibrous and curved. It has no tufts of curls at the ends.The cirrus floccus has a rounded appearance at the top with a ragged end.

The cirrus intortus has filaments which are tangled and irregularly curved.Cirrus radiatius clouds are a large area of cirrus which display horizontal banding.The cirrus spissatius is a thicker cloud and apears greyish.The cirrus uncinus is more similar to the cirrus fibratus, but it is more curled at the ends. The cirrus vertebratus is curved in horizontal strips and therefore appears like a rib cage. The cirrus with mammatus has bubble like protusions on the underside.

Mid level clouds appear at about six thousand to twenty thousand feet (6,000 - 20,000 ft). These clouds are primarily composed of water droplets, while they may be composed of ice crystals if the temperature is sufficiently cold. The major types of mid level clouds are Altostratus, altostratus duplicatus, altostratus lenticularis, altostratus mammatus, altotstratus mammatus, altostratus opacus, altostratus praecipitatio, altostratus radiatus, altostratus translucidus, and altostratus undulatus. The altostratus undulatus has significant undulations within it. These clouds also have a uniform gray sheet or layer along them. These clouds are dangerous to aircrafts as they can cause ice accretion on them.

Low level clouds are lumpy clouds with a layer and can produce rains or a drizzle. The different types of these clouds are known as Stratocumulus clouds. The various types are stratocumulus castellanus,stratocumulus duplicatus stratocumulus floccus,stratocumulus lacunosus,stratocumulus lenticularis,stratocumulus mammatus,stratocumulus opacus,stratocumulus perlucidus,stratocumulus praecipitatio,stratocumulus radiatus, stratocumulus translucidus and stratocumulus undulatus.

From the low level clouds, Stratus clouds are layer like clouds which are associated with the widespread precipitation of ocean air. These clouds can produce drizzle. The various types of Stratus clouds are stratus fractus,stratus lenticularis,stratus nebulosus, stratus opacus,stratus praecipitatio,stratus translucidus,stratus undulatus.

The Cumulus clouds are called fair weather clouds, though they can sometimes cause turbulent weather. The main types of cumulus clouds are arcus (including roll and shelf clouds), cumulus congestus, cumulus fractus, cumulus humilis, cumulus mediocris, cumulus praecipitatio, cumulus radiatus, orographic, pannus, pileus, tuba, velum.

Other clouds, like the Nacreous cloud, is a thin cloud seen mostly between sunrise and sunset at twelve to eighteen miles. The Noctilucent cloud is seen between sunset and sunrise at thirty two to thirty five miles.

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