How many cloud types can you name? Matt Hinkin explains the names

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Earlier this summer we had a WATE viewer who wanted to know what some of these clouds are about.

These clouds look different in all levels of the atmosphere. She let me know she wanted to hear about that, so that is what this Weather School is about. 

Notice the cumulus clouds — those are the puffy clouds — sometimes called marshmallow clouds, popcorn clouds or cotton swab clouds.

They’re mostly white, but sometimes gray, depending on the level of the sun. 

What about altostratus? Keep in mind the word alto means mid, so they’re in the middle layer of the atmosphere. alto-stratus, alto means middle, stratus means stratified or stretched, so stratched clouds in the middle of the atmosphere.  

What about cirrocumulus clouds? They are way up high — cirrus means way up high, cumulus means puffy clouds.

We talked about altostratus, what about cirrostratus? Cirrus means way up high in the sky, stratus means also stretched out.

A big thunderstorm — that is a stratonimbus clouds or stratus cloud that is what we call a raincloud basically.

Cumulonimbus clouds are the ones that cause showers and thunderstorms and are something called Cb clouds, but cumulonimbus is the name of the thunderstorm cloud.


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