You Asked 4 It: What are the different types of clouds? | KOB 4

You Asked 4 It: What are the different types of clouds?

Eddie Garcia
June 21, 2019 03:04 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Have you ever heard of an altocumulus lenticularis cloud, a shelf cloud, how about a cumulonimbus cloud?

Those may sound like funny names, but they are actually some of the types clouds we often see here in New Mexico and even then, that's just scratching the surface of Karsynn Bowles question.

What are the different kinds of clouds and how are they made?

Karsynn, You Asked 4 It – here is your answer.

Some are beautiful, others look common and some look downright scary, but whatever their form, clouds are an essential part of our planet's weather cycle.

There are many different types but here are some of the main ones:

The highest clouds in the atmosphere are often made of ice crystals, such as: cirrocumulus, cirrus, and cirrostratus. some can look light, feathery and wispy. The threatening-looking cumulonimbus cloud can also grow to be very high.

Mid-level clouds include: altocumulus and altostratus – these can look like a thick cloud blanket but can also appear broken up with a lot of blue sky in between.

The lowest clouds in the atmosphere are stratus, cumulus, and stratocumulus.

One of the most dangerous clouds is the cumulonimbus cloud which can produce: severe thunderstorms, hail, flooding, lightning, high wind and tornadoes. In fact, did you know a that a funnel cloud can only be called a tornado once it touches the ground?

As for how clouds form – that requires moisture already in the air to condense but, only under the right conditions.

KOB 4 went to Dr. Oscar Martinez with the Air Force Research Lab to help make a cloud in an instant.

Watch the video above to see the experiment!


Eddie Garcia

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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