Types of Clouds for Kids

Types of Clouds for Kids
••• Anna_Brothankova/iStock/GettyImages

Clouds are made up of very light water droplets or ice crystals. These particles can float in the air. When warm air rises, swells and cools, it forms clouds. Many water droplets formed together scatter reflect sunlight and you see a white could, but with a dark or gray cloud, the sunlight is scattered in all directions instead of reflected. The different types of clouds are cumulus, cirrus, stratus and nimbus.

Cirrus Clouds

Cirrus clouds are the thin, wispy clouds seen high in the sky. They look as if someone took a cloud, stretched it, pulling pieces off, like a cotton ball when it is pulled apart. They are thin because they are made of ice crystals instead of water droplets. A blue sky and a few cirrus clouds high in the sky, usually means it is going to be a nice day.

Cumulus Clouds

Cumulus clouds are the puffy clouds that are usually scattered throughout the sky. In Latin, the word cumulus means pile. Just like when we say “accumulate,” it means things pile up. This type of cloud is formed when warm air rises carrying water vapor with it by evaporation. Cumulus clouds can be white or gray. White fluffy clouds means no rain, but when they form into dark or gray clouds, it is going to rain.

Stratus Clouds

Stratus clouds look like a huge thick blanket covering the sky. These clouds are a sure sign of rain if it is warm and snow if it is cold. If stratus clouds are near the ground, they form fog. These clouds form when the weather has been cold and warmer moist air blows in. The amount of moisture in the air and the difference between warm and cold air determine how thick the cloud or fog is.

Nimbus Clouds

The word nimbus means a cloud that already has rain or snow falling from it. These clouds are dark and seen during a thunderstorm along with thunder and lightning. They can be a combination of two clouds, like a cumulonimbus, which means a puffy black cloud with rain falling out or it, or a stratonimbus, which is a dark blanket with rain falling out of it.

Related Articles

What Are Some Interesting Facts about Stratus Clouds?
What Type of Clouds Are Rain Clouds?
What Is the Difference Between Cumulus Clouds & Cirrus...
What Makes Rain Clouds Dark?
Rain Clouds Vs. Snow Clouds
How Does Fog Form?
Three Different Types of Clouds
How to Explain Thunder to a Child
What Kind of Cloud Types Have Precipitation?
How to Describe Weather to Preschoolers
Volcanoes & Their Types of Eruptions
What Are the Types of Volcanic Activity That Do Not...
Description of the Different Types of Clouds
Warning Signs of Storms
What Does a Ring Around the Sun Mean?
Examples of Condensation in Everyday Life
What Are Rain Clouds?
Kinds of Precipitation
How to Make a Rainbow in a Bottle
Four Types of Rain

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!