4 Types of Clouds, Examples and Processes

4 Types of Clouds, Examples and Process of Occurrence – Does Sinaumed’s really pay attention to the weather every day? Sinaumed’s can pay attention to various types of clouds if they want to detect the weather, although they are not completely accurate. Cloud types are distinguished by their height which can be used to predict the weather with several other supporting factors.

Sinaumed’s needs to know that the definition of a cloud is a collection of water or ice droplets in the atmosphere. So it’s not something like cotton in the sky.

These water droplets can form clouds due to the process of condensing water vapor in the air due to low temperatures in the atmosphere. There are several types of clouds that produce rain or snow, or simply move through the sky and then dissipate over time.

Generally, clouds are distinguished by their location and size in the atmosphere, so these types can be observed and grouped by their shape, altitude, and resulting precipitation.

Sinaumed’s needs to know and understand the types of clouds in order to be able to predict weather conditions that will occur in the near future, for example under certain conditions if Sinaumed’s wants to travel outside the house. The following is an explanation of the types of clouds, starting from the process by which they occur to examples of the types that occur on the surface of the earth:


Clouds are a collection of water particles in the atmosphere that appear very large with a certain temperature pressure. These water particles can be in the form of liquid water drops or ice crystals that gather and seem to form certain lumps. These water droplets come from the condensation of very large amounts of water vapor in the air.

Sinaumed’s needs to know that clouds also have visible mass and can be attracted by gravity, just like the mass of matter in space. The cloud mass is then known as a star and a nebula.

The nuclei of condensation in clouds in the atmosphere are solid or liquid particles which can be in the form of smoke, sulfur dioxide, dust, sea salt (NaCl) or other microscopic objects which are hygroscopic in nature, and have a size of 0.001 10 micrometers.

If Sinaumed’s pays attention to the sky, the clouds from a distance are white, or some are grayish and even almost dark if it’s going to rain. These symptoms will then distinguish the types of clouds because each has its characteristics and symptoms in the intensity of the water and temperature they carry.


In 1984, the presence of clouds in the sky was first classified by the International Weather Commission. The institute divides clouds into four main types, namely high clouds, medium clouds, low clouds and vertical development clouds.

The grouping is based on the height of the existence of clouds which indeed affect the charge and appearance of the earth’s surface. The following are the types of clouds that Sinaumed’s needs to know in order to understand examples of cloud shapes that can appear in the sky:

1. Low Clouds (Located at an altitude of Less than 2 Km from Ground Level)

Stratocumulus Clouds

Stratocumulus is a type of cloud that has the lowest position compared to the existence of other clouds. Sinaumed’s could see the stratpcumulus clouds from the ground very clearly.

In practice this type of cloud can produce rain, but it is not heavy and usually only of short duration or short-lasting rain. The shape of stratocumulus clouds in the atmosphere is round with clumps of water particles that appear to gather or can also separate regularly in the sky with a more grayish color.

Stratus Cloud

Stratus clouds are a type of cloud that forms a thin, wide layer of white over a grayish sky. If Sinaumed’s finds these stratus clouds, they can indicate clear weather because they have stable high air pressure in the atmosphere, so very hot weather often appears.

Stratus clouds can bring light rain like a light drizzle. The shape of this type of cloud is very regular in the sky, although there are some stratus clouds that are broken and irregular in shape. In practice, stratus clouds are also thick in volume and can partially block sunlight so they are more shady.

Nimbostratus Clouds

Nimbostratus clouds are a type of cloud that is thicker in shape and tends to be more irregular, with a more grayish white color. The texture of this type of cloud is thicker and can cover even the hot sun and often produces rain and snow under certain very low pressure conditions in some areas.

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Whereas in the tropics, nimbostratus clouds can produce high or heavy rainfall for a long duration. Meanwhile, in subtropical to cold climates, nimbostratus clouds can produce thick snow.

2. Medium Cloud Type (Located at an altitude of 2 to 6 Km from the Ground Level)

Altocumulus clouds

Altocumulus clouds are a type of small spheres like cotton and spread across the sky with a large number of lumps. The shape between one altocumulus cloud and another appears to be related to each other with a mixture of white to grayish in one area.

This type of cloud is spread very regularly in the sky and can cover most of the surface of the sky in one particular area. The appearance of altocumulus clouds can also be a sign of heavy rain and even accompanied by lightning with a duration that is not too long.

Altostratus Clouds

Altostratus clouds are one of the types that contain the most water droplets in their clumps. This Altostratus cloud can bring light rain more than drizzle and virga or types of rain that don’t reach the ground.

The form of Altostratus clouds is in the form of thin sheets of water particles and forms white mixed with grayish cloud lines. Altostratus clouds can cover most of the surface of the sky even if it’s only a thin cloud and some parts of the sky can still be translucent if the sun is very hot during the day.

The formation of altostratus clouds generally occurs at dusk or in the middle of the night, then will slowly disappear during the day if the weather shows the sun is very hot. This type of cloud is usually located in a fairly large area, although it is not too thick in shape.

3. High Cloud Type (Located at an altitude of 6 to 12 Km from the ground)

Cirrus clouds

Cirrus clouds are a type that indicates the weather will be good and sunny. Cirrus clouds have a very fine water particle structure like cotton fibers and even resemble the shape of fine bird feathers.

Under certain conditions, some are shaped like curved ribbons in the sky, then seem to be linked to several points on the horizon. Cirrus clouds can usually block the light of the sun or moon, so they can cause a natural phenomenon called a halo.

Halo is a natural phenomenon that occurs because ice grains in cirrus clouds manage to refract sunlight by forming a circle resembling a ring around the sun according to the spread of light.

That is why cirrus clouds contain ice crystals which make it very rare to produce rain.

Cirrostratus clouds

Cirrostratus clouds are a type of cloud that is slightly gray in color and has a very fine texture in the atmosphere. The shape of cirrostratus clouds often resembles a slightly curly, irregular webbing. This type of cloud has thin fibers that resemble a veil and can partially cover the contents of the sky.

This type of cloud contains quite a lot of ice crystals because it is located quite high compared to other types of clouds. Under certain conditions, cirrostratus clouds can thicken and create halo phenomena, although they are not as clear as cirrus clouds because of their different altitudes.

Cirrocumulus clouds

Cirrocumulus clouds are a type that has a disjointed shape resembling waves of curly fleece or very thin fish scales in the sky. The orderly arrangement of the clouds makes this type of woman known as the waves of mackerel in the sky by sailors.

Cirrocumulus clouds also store lots of ice crystals and very cold or low temperature water droplets or particles because of their very high position. That is why this type of cloud has the potential to produce snow under certain conditions.

4. Clouds with Vertical Development (Located at an altitude of more than 450 M from Ground Level)

Cumulus Clouds

Cumulus clouds are a type of cloud that is quite thick and has an elongated shape like a building. This type of cloud can occur due to unstable air pressure in the atmosphere. The content of water droplets in cumulus clouds are ice grains that are very cold or have a low temperature because of their altitude.

The part of the cumulus cloud that is exposed to sunlight will look sparkling and tend to be pure white. This type of cloud over time can in a continuous state become a darker and thicker cumulonimbus cloud.

If Sinaumed’s has ever been on an airplane, then this type of cloud will really look like a towering building in a certain arena. The thick lump looks as if it looks like this cloud shape is very sturdy, but it can still change under certain circumstances.

Cumulonimbus clouds

Cumulonimbus clouds are a type of cloud that is the result of the development of cumulus clouds with a higher shape like a dome.

At first glance, this type of cloud is greedy like a cumulonimbus cloud, but the color is more grayish and even tends to be dark and is very closely related to producing heavy rain accompanied by wind and lightning.

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Cumulonimbus clouds are also often referred to as dangerous clouds because they contain a lot of electrical charge in them.

That is why this type of cloud is also highly avoided on airplane flights because it is considered dangerous for aircraft. This is also because these clouds are very thick and heavy, which means they have quite heavy water droplets.


After knowing the types of clouds above, Sinaumed’s needs to know how these clouds can appear and form in the atmosphere. The cloud is certainly not formed instantly, but there is a process of its formation through several accompanying stages.

These stages can be a single unit to produce clouds and eliminate them. Following is the process of cloud formation that sinaumedia needs to know in order to understand the stages of cloud formation in certain weather:

  • Initially, the air will rise and expand adiabatically because the air pressure above is less than the pressure below the sky or atmosphere. Based on LIPI’s statement that the air will move upward and experience adiabatic cooling, causing the relative humidity (RH) to increase. But before the occurrence of RH up to 100 then at around 78 condensation, the cloud will have started its condensation core to become larger and active in the air. This change in RH occurs due to the addition of water vapor in the air by the process of evaporation or a decrease in saturated vapor pressure through very low cooling.
  • These water particles, called aerosols, then function as water traps and will form drops or water dots that gather more and more
  • These drops or drops of water then begin to gather and grow into clouds as the RH approaches 100 because the water vapor has become a larger core. Smaller and less active nuclei actually don’t really play a big role, so the volume of water drops in a cloud becomes much smaller than the number of condensation nuclei.
  • After that this aerosol is lifted into the atmosphere at a certain height depending on the strength of the pressure that carries it and if a large amount is in the air which is lifted to a higher layer, then the aerosol will experience cooling at a low temperature and then experience a condensation process at a certain altitude.
  • This collection of water points resulting from water vapor in the air from condensation is what our senses will see as clouds. So the more air that has condensed in the atmosphere, the bigger the clouds that will appear.

Sinaumed’s needs to know that the water drops in each cloud that are formed usually have a radius of 5° 20 mm. A drop of water or a drop of this size will fall at a speed of 0.01° 5 cm/second to the surface of the earth.

While the velocity of the upward air flow or evaporation which then undergoes a much greater condensation process so that the cloud drops will not fall to the earth if the mass is not stable.

So the difference between cloud drops and raindrops is in their mass size which can be more stable under pressure so they can eventually fall to the earth’s surface. Some of the water drops in a cloud are usually still in liquid form and some can be in the form of solid or ice crystals if they are in the cloud’s freezing core.

If there is no freezing core, the water drops in the clouds remain liquid until the temperature reaches -40°C, even lower than that temperature.

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Well, that’s an explanation of the types of clouds , starting from the process of their occurrence to examples of the types that occur on the surface of the earth. Can Sinaumed’s predict the weather with the explanation above?

Cloud characteristics may be recognized by Sinaumed’s to predict whether it will rain or not, but in practice the process of cloud formation can be very short or very slow above the atmosphere, depending on several factors.

One of them is the temperature pressure that occurs under and above the sky. So, it is possible that the appearance of certain types of clouds does not cause any symptoms, and can even cause the opposite symptoms.

That’s why if sinaumedia still doesn’t recognize clouds enough to predict the weather, then they can read sinaumedia’s collection of books at www.sinaumedia.com. Sinaumed’s will get a lot of references about the weather, ranging from elementary school thematic textbooks to theoretical study books that use the broader science of weather.

Recognizing the symptoms of the appearance of clouds does not only function to predict the weather, it can even warn of disasters that might occur, such as hurricanes, storms, volcanic eruptions, and so on.

The following is a recommendation for sinaumedia books that Sinaumed’s can read to understand more broadly about cloud types and other weather science: happy learning. #Friends Without Limits.