By: Meteorologist Courtney Steimann
Updated: Feb 26th 2019

Courtney's Cloud Corner: Cumulus Clouds

Many things to say about these clouds, but boring are not one of them.  This clouds looks as if cotton candy or cotton balls have been lifted up in the sky. It can put our imagination to the test and transform into different animals or shapes. Need an excuse to go outside? These clouds provide great entertainment for all. They can also form Cumulonimbus clouds. These clouds are called Cumulus Clouds.

Cumulus Clouds are low level clouds that are formed during diurnal convection. For when the surface is heated from the sun during the day, Cumulus clouds can be created. They are formed when warm air from the surface rises, cools, and the water vapor condenses into a beautiful cloud. They are usually small “puffy” clouds that are brilliantly white.  As these clouds grow in size, the base can appear darker than the rest. This is because of light from the sun is scattered when it passes the water droplets within the cloud.  If there is enough moisture and heat to help the convection, Cumulus clouds may grow into Cumulonimbus clouds and produce rainfall. Of course Cumulus clouds can be seen in higher levels in the atmosphere. Altocumulus clouds are mid-level clouds, and cirrocumulus clouds are high level clouds. Although, no matter what the altitude is, the cumulus clouds will always remain pleasing to the eyes.