Clouds are described by virtually every adjective in the book, indigenous pretty to ugly to ominous and also breathtaking. Did you recognize that different clouds room precursors come specific varieties of weather? It"s really! Making note of the cloud species can provide you insight into unavoidable weather conditions. Let"s learn an ext about the different cloud types and what kind of weather you deserve to expect from each.

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Cumulus clouds are more than likely the most well-known of the cloud types. They generally kind from convection, v air parcels climbing vertically into the environment (called updrafts) and also condensing into the puffy, cotton-like clouds that us all know and love. Typically, cumulus clouds are connected with pleasant weather wherein you can lie back on the grass and admire the sky.


Above: fair weather cumulus clouds end a field (Courtesy Wikipedia)


If updrafts come to be stronger, those look at innocuous cumulus clouds may grow taller into what we call cumulonimbus clouds. These room the awe-inspiring and ominous clouds mainly observed during the summer months and also can it is in indicative of developing thunderstorms, consisting of lightning, hail, hefty rain and even tornadoes. The the strongest thunderstorms deserve to even produce cumulonimbus clouds the tower as much as 60,000 feet!


Above: Textbook example of a towering cumulonimbus cloud (Courtesy Wikipedia)


Personally, stratus clouds room my least-favorite and also I"m certain that likely goes for most people. This clouds, i m sorry look favor a great of gray blanketing the sky, room generally linked with wet conditions. They typically form when warm air is lifted end cold air, which permits the water vapor to condense quite uniformly, transforming the sky right into a gray and dreary scene. In fact, stratus clouds can last for days and bring cool temperatures, persistent rain, drizzle, or also snow.


Above: great of stratus clouds (Courtesy Wikipedia)


Now on to my favorite type of cloud, cirrus clouds! Ever an alert those high, thin and wispy clouds that usually make because that beautiful sunsets? Yep, those room cirrus. Castle develop really high up in the atmosphere and are actually comprised of tiny ice cream crystals. We deserve to see cirrus clouds in a selection of scenarios including outflow from huge scale storms, favor nor"easters, tropical cyclones and also even thunderstorm complexes. They also form out ahead of heat fronts and also can it is in indicative the upcoming precipitation. While cirrus clouds might filter sunshine and also make for a beautiful day, don’t be fooled…they can represent impending storms!


Above: Cirrus clouds ~ above a beautiful job (Courtesy


Now we reach the clouds the are periodically at the center of controversy, contrails. No, they space not formed as a result of chemistry emitted right into the atmosphere, but mainly since of the water vapor released by the exhaust of one aircraft. As soon as the aircraft releases the warm water vapor at together a high altitude, it i do not care trapped in a really cold environment where it almost immediately condenses and forms a cloud. Relying on how dried the upper environment is, the contrail cloud may stick about for mere secs or spread out out and become cirrus clouds because that hours. However, this clouds space not connected with any kind of weather.

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Above: Contrails native the engines the a British prayer Boeing 747 (Courtesy


The lenticular cloud is one of the an ext unusual cloud types and is more common come those living out west, especially in the Rocky Mountains. This cloud resembles a lens and also is generally positioned over a high hill or mountain. As the wind blows against the mountains, that is required upward and moisture condenses, developing a cloud that stays stationary until the uplift or moisture feed ends. Although these clouds might produce precipitation if thick enough, they are greatly an indicator that air turbulence downstream. However, as result of their distinct shape, numerous times they have been mistaken because that UFO sightings!


Above: Lenticular cloud end Mount Hood in Oregon (Courtesy Wiki Commons)


Finally, we have mammatus clouds. These nearly look like tiny pouches or balloon of cloud hanging native the over cloud deck. Despite their development is quiet not totally known, they space generally linked with significant weather and usually prolong from cumulonimbus clouds. Thus, you should constantly be alarm for more powerful thunderstorms if you ever before see mammatus clouds! together clouds likewise inform pilots of stormy flying conditions and they space instructed to avoid the area.


Above: Mammatus Clouds in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Hopefully you deserve to appreciate those beautiful, puffy masses of water in the skies whether you space an avid weather enthusiast or simply curious once weather threatens. No only can clouds make great photographs, however they can also provide insight right into approaching weather, so save an eye come the sky!

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