Types of Clouds.


Plymouth State College Clouds Page: Great Clouds Pics/Notes

- There are two types of clouds. Stratiform or stratus clouds indicate stability. Stratus means layered. Cumuliform or cumulus clouds are "puffy" and indicate instability.

- Precipitating stratiform clouds produce rain or snow, while precipitating cumuliform clouds produce showers.

- The prefix cirro- means high clouds. Cirrus clouds are high, wispy ice clouds.

- The prefix alto- means mid-level clouds,

- The prefix nimbo- or the suffix -nimbus means precipitating, such as nimbostratus or cumulonimbus.

- Stratocumulus are layered cumulus clouds.

- Virga is rain that evaporates before hitting the ground.

- Mamma are pouch-like clouds that often indicate severe weather.

- Clouds are often used to forecast the weather because they often form because of synoptic-scale conditions.

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