What Kind of Cloudy Is It?

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Clouds are little drops of water or ice hanging in the atmosphere. A ceilometer measures the height of clouds.

Cloud Descriptive Name Height Description
Cirrus Mare's tails 4 miles + thin, feathery
Cirrocumulus Mackerel sky 4 miles + small patches of white
Cirrostratus Bedsheet clouds 4 miles + thin, white sheets
Stratus* High fogs 0-1 mile low, gray blanket
Cumulus Cauliflowers 1/4-4 miles flat-bottomed, white puffy
Cumulonimbus* Thunderheads 1/4-4 miles mountains of heavy, dark clouds
*Indicates rain or snow clouds


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