Cloud Types & Photos

common cloud types and heightsThere are ten main cloud types, or genera, which are further divided into 27 sub-types according to their height, shape, colour and associated weather.

Clouds are generally white but may appear to be grey or dark grey according to their depth and shading from higher cloud.

Cloud Names

The names of clouds are usually combinations of the following prefixes or suffixes:

Low Clouds

Low clouds comprise Stratocumulus, Stratus, Cumulus and Cumulonimbus, and occur from the surface to a height of 2.5 km.

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Middle Clouds

Middle clouds comprise Altocumulus, Altostratus and Nimbostratus, and occur between 2.5 km and 6 km above the surface.

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High Clouds

High clouds comprise Cirrus, Cirrocumulus and Cirrostratus, and occur higher than 6 km above the surface.

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