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Cloud Types

Know how to define clouds so you can become even more valuable!

Fig. 1 - Cloud poster of all popular formations from NOAA and the NWS.

High Clouds

Cirrocumulus (Cc) Ice clouds.  Precipatation likely within 15 to 20 hours if wind Northeast to South. Early summer A.M. often afternoon thunder showers.  Other winds overcast.
Cirrostratus (Cs) Ice clouds.  Precipatation likely within 15 to 25 hours if winds steady from the Northeast, East to South, or sooner if winds Southeast to South.  Other winds bring overcast sky.
Cirrus (Ci) Ice clouds.  Good weather if winds from the West, Northwest to North.  Precipatation likely within 20 to 30 hours if winds steady from Northeast, East to South.

Middle Clouds

Altocumulus (Ac) Water and ice clouds.   Some precipatation likely within 15 to 20 hours if wind is steady Northeast to South.  Other wind bring overcast sky.
Altostratus (As) Precipatation likely in 10 to 15 hours if winds steady Northeast to South.  Sun appears to be behind frosted glass.  Other wind bring overcast sky.

Low Clouds

Nimbostratus (Nb) Rain or snow clouds.  Precipation of long duration if winds Northeast to South, or shorter duration if winds are from the Southwest, West to North.
Stratus (St) Winds from Northeast to South may bring heavy precipatation.  Other winds bring only light drizzle or an overcast sky.
Stratocumulus (Sc) Immediate threatener of bad weather from a sprinkle to heavy precipatation.  If at head of a coldfront, gusty winds or thunder shower.
Cumulus (Cu) Fair weather clouds broken up by strong winds.  No precipatation unless winds steady Northeast to South, then cumulus fractus of bad weather.

Clouds with Vertical Development

Cumulus (Cu) Precipatation of long duration if winds from the Northeast to South, shorter duration with other winds.
Cumulonimbus (Cb) Precipatation likely and soon coming usually from the Southwest West to North.  Distant clouds often show an anvil-shaped cirroform cap.

Other Sources

Cloud Identification Guide

Providing ground truth reports

Sunday, March 26, 2017 15:52->


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