Different Forms of Clouds

Clouds are the giant or small patched, mass of accumulated liquid droplets, seen as the suspension in atmosphere. Clouds are formed from the evaporated water which rises in the atmosphere, and in less pressure it turns into ice crystals becoming clouds. The study of clouds is called Nephrology, a branch of meteorology under cloud physics.



The first and popular classification of the clouds was proposed by Luke Howard (1802) who used Latin names for the nomenclature. The classification has become the basis for international system for the study of clouds.

The main terms for the forms of the cloud include:

  • Stratus(strato) - form: flat, layered, sheet like, whitish coloured

  • Cirrus (cirro): wisps, patches, curled

  • Cumulus (cumulo) - form: in heaps, densed

  • Nimbo - form: rain bearing clouds, Nimbus = cloud in latin



[caption id="" width="643" align="aligncenter"]File:Cloud types en.svg Clouds Classification , image from Commons[/caption]

Cirro- is used for the cloud seen in high-leveled clouds, as cirro- form clouds are generally considered as high clouds. Alto- is added for the mid-leveled clouds.

Clouds can be of low-level, mid-level, high-level, and multi-level from the surface with ranges of different altitudes in polar, temperate, and tropical regions. The above mentioned Latin prefixes and terms are the basis to describe the different clouds. The clouds are further classified according to their stability or stability from air mass conditions. And, further more from their unique visiblilties observed.



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