Cumulus

Science / Weather / Cumulus: One of the three basic cloud forms (the others are cirrus and stratus). It is also one of the two low cloud types. A cloud that develops in a vertical direction from the base (bottom) up. They have flat bases and dome- or cauliflower-shaped upper surfaces. The base of the cloud is often no more than 3,000 feet above the ground, but the top often varies in height. Small, separate cumulus are associated with fair weather (cumulus humilis). With additional heating from the earth's surface, they can grow vertically throughout the day. The top of such a cloud can easily reach 20,000 or more into the troposphere. Under certain atmospheric conditions, these clouds can develop into larger clouds, known as towering cumulus (cumulus congestus), and may produce a rain shower. Further development may create a cumulonimbus.

Cumulus Humilis

Science / Weather / Cumulus Humilis: Cumulus clouds with little or no vertical development characterized by a generally flat appearance. Their growth is usually limited by a temperature inversion, which is marked by the unusually uniform MORE

Stratocumulus

Science / Weather / Stratocumulus: A low cloud composed of layers or patches of cloud elements. It can form from cumulus clouds becoming more stratiformed and often appears as regularly arranged elements that may be tessellated, rounde MORE

Cirrocumulus

Science / Weather / Cirrocumulus: A cirriform cloud with vertical development, appearing as a thin sheet of small white puffs which give it a rippled effect. It often creates a 'mackerel sky', since the ripples may look like fish scal MORE

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