Clouds come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. Today we’ll be learning about Cumulus clouds.

Today it’s about Cumulus from the low cloud group.

Being one of the most common and distinctive types of cloud all fluffy and looking like a cauliflower. All these clouds form as a result of convection (it’s the way the air floats upwards and also being warmer than the air surrounding it). Its height of base (the lowest altitude of the visible part of the cloud) is 1200ft to 6500ft. As before it’s a fluffy looking cauliflower shape.


These can produce rain and snow showers. They can be spotted in fair weather conditions and are usually detached from each other with the upmost tops of these clouds being brilliant white in colour when lit by the sun, but the base can be quite dark.

As air is heated on the surface it then lifts upwards and as it does it begins to cool and it’s the water vapour that condenses that form these clouds. If the conditions are right these can grow in size and height and form into Cumulonimbus which can produce showers.

During daylight hours sea breezes bring in moist air which is then warmed by the surface and Cumulus form overland, during the night however the total opposite occur as the sea is warmer than the land surface, so they form over it.

They are broken down into four categories:

  • Cumulus humilis: they indicate fair weather and are wider than they are high.
  • Cumulus mediocris: virtually the same height and width and can be seen amongst other types of cumulus.
  • Cumulus congestus: very narrow but much taller and resemble chimneys, these can produce a shower.
  • Cumulus fractus: these are the bits and pieces of cumulus that have broken up or dissipating.

Dean Lanick

Dean Lanick

Dean started UK Southwest Storm Chasers back on the 24th of October 2013, mainly just as an informational page for friends and family. His main interest weather wise is Thunderstorms and Tornadoes and away from weather related, he has two dogs called Bella and Nora. He hopes the site helps to bolster the community-like feeling throughout SWUK that sometimes feels lost in these hectic modern times.

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