The four types of clouds are stratus, cirrus, cumulus and nimbus. Luke Howard gave clouds these names in his essay, "On the modifications of clouds."Know More
Stratus, which means 'something spread' in Latin, refers to continuously extensive clouds that appear like a blanket. White, wispy and hair-like clouds that seem spread out in various directions refer to cirrus. Cumulus, which means 'heap' in Latin, are easily identifiable by their fluffy white appearance with a horizontal base. The combination of cirrus, cumulus and stratus is nimbus, or the rain clouds.
Howard used the names of cirrus, cumulus, nimbus and stratus for creating various cloud combination names, which contain two or more of the four key types. Some examples are cumulostratus, cirrostratus and cirrocumulus.Learn more about Clouds
Cumulonimbus clouds are the tallest clouds in the sky, reaching well into the troposphere. Although the bottom of a cumulonimbus cloud contains water, the top of the cloud reaches so high that it contains ice crystals.Full Answer >
Weather satellites are used in measuring daily cloud cover. Technological advancements have made it possible to launch satellites in space to observe and collect cloud data from beyond the Earth's atmosphere. A low-tech alternative is to use a spherical mirror, or "sky mirror," to gauge cloud coverage.Full Answer >
Hail is typically associated with cumulonimbus clouds. The formation of hail is caused by the supercooling of uplifted liquid below freezing temperatures during severe thunderstorms.Full Answer >
In 2008, a group of researchers at Montana State University reported the development of a tool called the Infrared Cloud Imager (ICI), which was designed to collect data on cloud cover. For the novice meteorologist, NASA suggests a few low-tech methods of observing cloud cover, including a spherical sky mirror and a measuring system developed for the naked eye.Full Answer >