NCERT Notes: Types Of Clouds [Geography Notes For UPSC]

NCERT notes on important topics for the UPSC civil services exam. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like banking PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on. This article talks about Clouds.

  • Cloud is a mass of minuscule water drops or minute crystals of ice formed by the condensation of water vapour in free air at significant altitudes.
  • According to their altitude, stretch, density, and transparency or opaqueness clouds are classified under four types:
    • Cirrus
    • Cumulus
    • Stratus
    • Nimbus

What are Cirrus clouds?

  • Cirrus clouds are formed at high altitudes of 8,000 – 12,000m.
  • They are detached thin clouds.
  • They have a feathery appearance.
  • They are always white in colour.

What are Cumulus clouds?

  • Cumulus clouds are generally formed at a height of 4,000 – 7,000 m.
  • They look like cotton wool.
  • They exist in patches and can be seen dispersed here and there.
  • They have a flat base.

What are Stratus Clouds?

  • Stratus clouds are layered clouds covering big portions of the sky.
  • These clouds are usually formed due to the mixing of air masses with various temperatures or due to loss of heat.

What are Nimbus Clouds?

  • Nimbus clouds form at middle levels or very near to the surface of the earth.
  • They are usually found in black or dark gray colour.
  • These are very dense and opaque to the rays of the sun.
  • Occasionally, the clouds are so low that they seem to touch the ground.
  • These clouds are shapeless masses of thick vapour.
  • A combination of these four types can give rise to the following types of clouds:
    • High clouds
      • Cirrus
      • Cirrostratus
      • Cirrocumulus
    • Middle clouds
      • Altostratus
      • Altocumulus
    • Low clouds
      • Stratocumulus
      • Nimbostratus
    • Clouds with extensive vertical development
      • Cumulus
      • Cumulonimbus

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