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7 Most Spectacular Cloud Formations

A cloud is a mass of floating water droplets or ice crystals. Clouds are classified as low, middle and high clouds. High clouds form above 26,000 ft, are thin and composed of almost only ice crystals. High clouds appear white, but near sunset and sunshine un-scattered sunlight components red, orange and yellow are reflected. Middle clouds form between 6,500 and 23,000 ft, in the middle latitudes. Middle clouds are composed of water droplets and ice crystals when the temperature is low enough. Low clouds form below 6,500 ft., and are almost always composed of water droplets. Among these clouds, some of them put up a show on our skies. Here are top 7 most beautiful cloud formations:

 

7 | Pileus

pileus cloud formation

Pilei are one of the most spectacular clouds. They are an altostratus kind of cloud, and therefore middle clouds. A Pileus cloud can appear above a Cumulus or Cumulonimbus cloud, looking like a hood on top of the parent cloud.

 

6| Mammatus

Mammatus cloud formation

Mammati are associated with severe thunderstorms. Mammatus looks like pouches hanging underneath another type of cloud. The name comes from the Latin “mamma” which means “breast”, and it refers to the resemblance between the shape of the Mammatus, and the breast of a woman.

 

5| Undulatus

Undulatus cloud formation

Undulati are a type of low altocumulus cloud, and therefore are middle clouds. Their uniqueness lies in the undulation displayed in the shape of each cloud. Undulati appear especially over the southern plains of the United States, and are also called billow clouds, wind row clouds, and wave clouds.

 

4| Cumulonimbus

Cumulonimbus cloud formation

Cumulonimbi are low clouds. They are thunderstorm clouds, and can occur as an isolated cloud. A Cumulonimbus can have it base at 2000 ft above surface, and its top in the Tropopause at over 39,000 ft.

 

3| Cumulus

Cumulus cloud formation

Cumuli are low clouds. They have a variety of shapes, and look like floating cotton. Cumuli clouds are white to light grey, have a towered-shaped top, and are fair weather clouds.

 

2| Altocumulus

altocumulus cloud formation

Altocumuli are middle clouds. They are larger than Cirrus, are grey, puffy masses, and have one part darker than the other. Altocumuli clouds can predict thunderstorms.

 

1| Cirrus

Cirrus cloud formation

Cirri are high clouds. They are the most common type of high cloud, look like a feathery white patch, and move across the sky from west to east.

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