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Free images related to Weather - Clouds

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  Did you know....

that clouds are classified by their height (low, middle and high)  and their appearance.  They usually have two parts to their name with the first part referring to height and the second part being a description.  Adding the prefix "cirro" indicates that the cloud base is at a high level.  Adding "alto" means that the cloud is at mid level.  Low clouds don't get a prefix.

Example:  Low clouds are either Cumulus or Stratus.  If a Cumulus cloud is higher, we add the prefix "alto" and call it Altocumulus.  If a Stratus cloud is high, we add the prefix "cirro" and call it a Cirrostratus cloud.  If any cloud produces rain or snow, the word "nimbo" gets added to the beginning or "nimbus" is added to the end.  That's all there is to it !

  Did you know....

since water vapor needs a surface on which to condense, air has to be just a little bit dirty for clouds to form.  Even the cleanest of air has microscopic particles of dust, smoke or salt for water droplets to cling onto. 

Cumulus -1.JPG (3853753 bytes)

Cumulus Clouds

In Latin they mean "heap, a pile, or an accumulation.  

 To me they look like billowy cotton balls with flat bases.  Often seen on sunny days, they signal fair weather.  They are about as tall as they are wide. These are the clouds that are fun to watch since they often change shape and can resemble anything you can imagine.

If a Cumulus cloud becomes dark, this is an indication that rain will soon follow.  It would now be called a Cumulonimbus cloud.

Stratus Clouds -6.JPG (5899714 bytes)

Stratus Clouds

In Latin they mean  "spread out, flatten, or covered with a layer"  They are flat and straight and look as though they had been stretched across the sky. Stratus clouds are much wider than they are tall.  

Nimbostratus clouds (rainy layers)  are the grey overcast clouds of your typical rainy weather.

Nimbostratus -1.JPG (4468153 bytes)

Nimbus Clouds

Nimbus means "rainy cloud".  Nimbus clouds can be either cumulus (puffy) or stratus (flat).

General Cloud Classification Chart

(Note the use of colour to demonstrate how the names are  a complication 
of height & appearance descriptions.)

Cloud Height Cloud Group Cloud Type

20,000 feet +
(6,000 meters +)

Formed primarily from ice crystals & are thin & white although sun can colour appearance.


Cirrus (thin & wispy)
Cirrostratus (thin sheets that cover large part of sky)
Cirrocumulus (small round puffs)

Note:  Only high clouds are wispy and have become synonymous with the term Cirrus.


(Known as a vertical clouds since they may start below 6,500 feet, they can grow to reach middle or high range.



Lower level clouds are made up of water droplets, but those at higher altitudes have ice crystals.  These types of clouds bring lightning & thunder.


6,500 to 20,000 feet
(2,000 to 6,000 meters)

Formed mainly of water droplets, but can be ice crystals if temp. is cold enough.


Altostratus (can cover entire sky & form before rain storm)
Altocumulus (gray & puffy indicate thunderstorm)

(Known as a vertical cloud)


Look like floating cotton with a flat base.  Are not tall. When first formed, have distinct edges.


6,500 feet & lower
(2,000 meters)

Usually water droplets, but can be ice and snow in cold temps.

(no prefix)

Stratus (low-lying clouds.  Gray clouds that cover entire sky.)
Nimbostratus (dark, gray clouds that produce ralling rain or snow)


The following images have been grouped according to three basic shapes:

Cumulus Clouds - Heaped and puffy
Stratus Clouds - Layered, flat & smooth
Cirrus Clouds - Wispy & high up
Some images contain more than one type of cloud.


Information Source:


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The Weather

"Sunshine is delicious,
 rain is refreshing, 
wind braces us up, 
snow is exhilarating; 
there is really 
no such thing 
as bad weather, 
only different kinds 
of good weather."  

~ John Ruskin ~










Whether the 
weather be fine,
Whether the 
weather be not,
Whether the 
weather be cold,
Whether the 
weather be hot,
We'll weather 
the weather,
Whatever the whether,
Whether we 
like it or not.

~ Author Unknown ~









Out of the bosom 
of the air,
Out of the 
cloud-folds of her
garments shaken,
Over the woodlands
brown & bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

Silent - and soft - 
and  slow
Descends the snow.

~ Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow ~










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