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Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy

Three main types of clouds

a hot day in summer
Stratus clouds

Like flat sheets - can occur at any altitude.

a hot day in summer
Cirrus clouds

High altitude, thin, wispy clouds. More ice than water, due to high altitudes. 

a hot day in summer
Cumulus clouds

Big, lumpy, fluffy clouds. Can occur at any altitude. 

Cloud pictures courtesy of 

Mix 'n Match names

If you add one of these prefixes to your cloud name, it tells you more about that cloud. For example:


Add   'Cirro'   =   high altitude clouds

Add   'Alto'   =   mid level clouds

Add   'Strato'   =   low level clouds


And add 'Nimbus'   =  really tall. 

List of cloud names

The full list of cloud names are:


Cirrus, Cirrocumulus, Cirrostratus, Altocumulus, Altostratus, Stratocumulus, Stratus, Cumulus, Nimbostratus, Towering Cumulus, Cumulonimbus, Lenticular, Contrails, Noctilucent night clouds, Fog, Kelvin-Helmholtz, Nacreous

Cloud identification diagram.

types of precipitation | heavy rain

Source: Wikipedia

Measuring cloud cover

measuring cloud cover | oktas

Cloud cover is measured in eighths or oktas and uses this scale seen here on the right. It is done very simply by estimating if the whole sky was divided into eighths, how many would be covered by cloud. Have a look out of the window now and estimate what the cloud cover is today.

measuring cloud cover | oktas

Source: Wikipedia

What is fog?

A cloud that fell down.  Fog is a low lying cloud, so low in fact, that it touches the ground. 

Shapes in clouds

shapes in clouds

Yes, we think this photo must be a fake too. But it is still a lot of fun spotting shapes in the clouds. And even better when you spot something. 

Cloud height chart

cloud types | cloud height chart

As you can see from this cloud height chart, the sun's energy is that much stronger at the equator driving the high level clouds to much higher heights. As a result, the classification of what makes a high level cloud varies, depending on your latitiude. 

Can you identify these clouds?

How many different types of clouds are there? And what are the names of the different clouds?  Here we have pictures of clouds to help you understand the different types of clouds there are and there is a comprehensive list of all the cloud names. Then there are facts and information about clouds. By reading this web page, you will know all about clouds and the different types of clouds.


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