How Clouds Are Formed


Sunny Beach



The sun warms the ground

The warm ground warms the air.

The warm air rises.




Clouds in the sky



As the air rises, it cools.

Water vapour is formed which condenses to form clouds and tiny water droplets.

If the water droplets join to form bigger droplets they form as rain.


Cloud formation diagram


Types of Cloud

Clouds of water vapour form different shapes which have different names.


Cirrus Clouds




Cirrus clouds are thin, wispy and form high in the sky above 18,000 feet. They are made of ice crystals because it is very cold high up.





Stratus Clouds





Stratus clouds are thick blankets of cloud which produce light rainfall.




Cumulus Clouds





Cumulus Clouds are fluffy ‘cauliflower’ clouds that form low in the sky below 6,000 feet.




Cumulonimbus Clouds



Cumulonimbus clouds are thick fluffy clouds that form low in the sky and can rise high into the sky 50,000 feet. They have a flat anvil-shaped top and can mean thunderstorms






Clouds are useful because they bring rain and snow, help to stop heat escaping to space and provide shade.


Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2015). Clouds. Available: Last accessedWednesday, July 20, 2016

Weather Pages

What is?    Weather

Measuring Weather