Do clouds have different names?
Clouds – beautiful floating shapes in the sky, sometimes white at other times dark and gloomy. Different kinds of clouds are named according to their shapes. The clouds that look like great sheets pulled across the sky covering a large portion of the visible sky are called ‘stratus clouds,’ Strato means sheet like. These types of clouds are nearer to the ground as compared to other types.
When a stratus cloud is dark and gives a steady rainfall, it is called a ‘nimbostratus’ cloud. ‘Nimbus’ means rain, so nimbostratus means rain-sheet.
Those clouds which look like cotton balls or scoops of ice-cream piled up are named ‘cumulus’ clouds. These clouds have a flat I base and have an appearance of rising domes. They are also described as having cauliflower structure.
Cumulus clouds can rise high and grow dark and heavy with rain. They are then called ‘cumulonimbus’ clouds which means ‘pile of rain.’
‘Stratocumulus’ clouds are a mixture of stratus and cumulus clouds. They cover much of the sky and are also piled up.
The highest clouds above us are ‘cirrus’ clouds. They are white and thin and are composed of ice-crystals. ‘Cirrus’ means curl of hair. When these clouds are piled together, they are called cirrocumulus clouds.