Have you ever looked up at the sky and saw animals or figures in the clouds? Do you know what kinds of clouds you were looking at? Or, if you’ve ever been in an airplane and seen the clouds way up there, do you know what kind those are? This blog post will show you the various different types of clouds, what they mean for weather predictions, and their position in the atmosphere.

Most people know the 3 main types of clouds: cirrus (pronounced: sear-us), cumulus, and stratus. They each have distinct shapes and can help us predict the weather.

The chart above was created to show you the different kinds of combinations of clouds, what type they are, and their latin meaning.

Here in Tacoma, WA our winters are often filled with grey days, rain and sometimes snow! That dark cloud cover could be nimbostratus clouds creating a grey blanket over our skies. What kinds of clouds do you think are most prominent during our winters? What about during our summers?

One special kind of cloud formation is called cumulonimbus.

This type of cloud has a wide range of height, from as low at 10,000ft to as high as over 40,000 feet! This cloud type usually means a big storm is headed your way.

Below is a great visual of where the different clouds are in relation to things we are familiar with. Do you have a favorite type of cloud to look at? What type of clouds do you see when you look outside right now?

The website below is a wonderful resource of the different types of clouds with images: