Kw-logo-smaller

What Are Clouds?

This is the only type of cloud that makes a ring around the sun or the moon.
Cirrostratus
These are rare clouds.
Cirrocumulus
Don't they look good enough to eat?
Cumulus

When water on land or in the ocean evaporates - turns from a liquid to water vapor - it rises. The water vapor cools and turns back into a liquid in the shape of tiny droplets. The result is clouds, unless it's on the ground - then we call it fog. When enough droplets get together they fall to the ground as rain or if it's very cold, they freeze and fall down as snow, sleet or hail.

Clouds play an important role in the energy balance of Earth. They cool the earth by reflecting sunlight back out to space. How else do you think astronauts see where they are going? More importantly, clouds replenish our water supply. It's a never-ending cycle but one that keeps the earth balanced.

You can tell a lot by looking at a cloud's shape, size and texture. Clouds are put into categories according to their shape, how high they are in the sky, their size, how fast and in what direction they are moving, etc. The three different types of clouds are high clouds (because they are high in the sky), medium clouds and low clouds (just over 10,000 feet high or 3 km.)

High Clouds

Cirrus (Ci): The ice-crystal cloud is a feathery white cloud that is the highest in the sky. It has a wispy looking tail that streaks across the sky and is called a fallstreak.
Cirrostratus (Cs): A milky sheet of ice-crystal cloud that spreads across the sky. It's easy to name because it's the only cloud type that creates a ring or halo around the sun or moon. There's an old proverb that goes, "A ring around the sun or moon brings rain or snow upon you soon."
Cirrocumulus (Cc): This very rare cloud type appears in clusters of small, white, roundish patches.

Low clouds

Cumulus (Cu): The fair weather cloud. Each cloud looks like a cauliflower.
Stratocumulus (Sc): A layer of cloud that can sometimes block the sun. It looks like a thick white blanket of stretched out cotton.
Stratus (St): A fog that isn't that far above the ground. In the morning, wind can push very low fog into stratus clouds. This can be a hazard for hikers.

Rain Clouds

Nimbostratus (Ns): The dark, rain carrying cloud of bad weather. It is to blame for most of the winter rains and some of the summer ones. It covers the sky and blocks the sun. You have to fly in a plane through the cloud to realize how deep and solid this cloud can be.
Cumulonimbus (Cb): The cloud that produces showers and thunderstorms. The rain comes and goes with these clouds. Big Cb clouds have lumps that look like cows' udders, called mamma. In the US if you see a mamma this might mean a possible tornado.

To continue, click here.

Related Stories:
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

Glitch1

Glitch1 wrote:

no
commented: Fri Jan 04, 2013

there are 1 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

F991758294468

How Would You Get Around in a Flood?

  • By boat.
  • On a log.
  • By jet ski.
  • Float on some Tupperware.

related stories

Micro_egypt-article
Egypt's a country most kids learn about in school – but imagine having the opportunity to actuall...
Australia has been hit by yet another natural disaster as floods swamped parts of the south east ...
More than 200 schools have been closed in Australia because of deadly bushfires. Weather experts ...

Random in the forums

shae508
shae508 posted in Say Anything:
"FireWolfRain" wrote: @S508 Sorry, I was typing up a NEW ROLEPLAY! Yeah, I'm going to be roleplaying again! I'm going to make a roleplay called 'BROKEN SOULS' Yeah. how I feel.  NUMB BY LINKIN PARK! Don't you love that song? Yeah. I love the song,  especially the nightcore and dupstep version.  Ooh! Linkin park! I love them! And bumb is one of my favorite songs! And mat I join?
reply less than a minute
totori
totori posted in Food:
Mint choco and green tea! (Lol, both green colored ice creams!)
reply 1 minute
totori
totori posted in Food:
Obviously mashed potatoes!  ;)
reply 2 minutes
LAZY778
LAZY778 posted in Say Anything:
Hello.
reply 3 minutes
totori
totori posted in Food:
ATE: Korean cookies       DRINK: Water.
reply 4 minutes

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

Big_icon_(7)

Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

Big_icon_(4)

You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

Big_icon_(6)

The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

Big_icon_(5)

Tic Tac Toe is back!