Clouds – How to Distinguish the Different Types of Clouds?

When we prepare notes of Dream UPSC – we always keep one important thing in mind. Our study materials should help our readers learn faster! (See Major Ocean Currents: How to learn faster?) Now, after a break, we have come up with another easy-to-understand article from Geography – about Clouds. In this article, we are going to discuss Clouds – different types of clouds, the shape of clouds, altitude of clouds and so on.

What is a cloud?

  • A cloud is an accumulation or grouping of tiny water droplets and ice crystals that are suspended in the earth atmosphere.
  • They are masses that consist of huge density and volume and hence it is visible to naked eyes.
  • There are different types of Clouds. They differ each other in size, shape, or colour.
  • They play different roles in the climate system like being the bright objects in the visible part of the solar spectrum, they efficiently reflect light to space and thereby helps in the cooling of the planet.
  • Clouds are formed when the air becomes saturated or filled, with water vapour. The warm air holds more water vapour than cold air.
  • Being made of the moist air and it becomes cloudy when the moist air is slightly cooled, with further cooling the water vapour and ice crystals of these clouds grew bigger and fall to earth as precipitation such as rain, drizzle, snowfall, sleet, or hail.

What are the different types of cloud?

Clouds are classified primarily based on – their shape and their altitude.

1. Classification of clouds – based on their shape:
Based on shape, clouds are classified into three. They are:

  • Cirrus
  • Cumulus
  • Stratus

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