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Geography: Types of Clouds

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High Clouds (mean height 6 to 13 km):

  1. Cirrus: do not give precipitation.
  2. Cirro-cumulus: Thin, white patch; sheet or layer of cloud;
  3. Cirro-stratus: mainly formed of ice-crystals.

Middle Clouds (mean height 2 to 6 km.):

  1. Alto-cumulus: composed of super-cooled liquid droplets.
  2. Alto-stratus: precipitation may fall either as fine drizzle or snow.
  3. Nimbo-stratus: it is a rain, snow or sleet cloud; never accompanied by lightening, thunder or hail.


Low Clouds (mean height 0 to 2 km.):

  1. Strato-cumulus
  2. Stratus: difficult to differentiate between high fog and stratus.
  3. Cumulus: they dissipate at night.
  4. Cumulo-nimbus: These clouds are associated with heavy rainfall, thunder, lightning and hail; have flat top and a flat base; it obstructs the sun.