Types of Clouds Worksheets
There are many different types of clouds lingering in the skies above and knowing more about them can help you predict what kind of weather is on its way. These cloud worksheets and this post should help you begin teaching your children about the different types of clouds.
The types of clouds are classified by their shape and their altitude in the sky. They’re made up of tiny water droplets or ice particles that are floating in the sky at different heights. As the sun heats these water and ice particles, they turn into an invisible gas called water vapor, also known as evaporation.
Temperatures cool at higher altitudes and so does the water vapor as it rises. Eventually, it becomes cool enough to become water again and it forms a cloud.
Clouds are warmer than the air around them so they are able to float because warm air is lighter than cool air. The clouds are warmer because as the water vapor cools and turns back into water droplets, it releases a small amount of heat. The main types of clouds live in the lowest part of the atmosphere, closest to the ground. This area is called the troposphere. The stratosphere is in the middle, just above the troposphere. After the stratosphere comes the mesosphere, the thermosphere, and finally the exosphere as you go further up in the sky.
Different types of clouds appear to be different shapes, and even colors, from each other. You can read this fun cloud book to your kids as well. There are ten different types of clouds in the sky, here’s what you need to know about them.
FREE TYPES OF CLOUD WORKSHEETS
Types of Clouds – Use With Different Types Of Clouds Worksheets
These are the balls of cotton you see on clear, usually sunny, days. They have rounded, puffy tops with flat, sometimes dark, bottoms, and they are bright white when lit by the sun. They usually indicate good weather, but beware, they can quickly turn into a thunderstorm under the right conditions.
StratusThese clouds usually sit low in the sky, hiding the clouds above them. They are flat and grey, sometimes bringing a slight drizzle. Fog is simply stratus clouds which have come down to ground level. When you walk through fog, you’re actually in a stratus cloud.
Stratocumulus is a sort of combination of a cumulus cloud and a stratus cloud. As stratus clouds break apart, they start to form cumulus clouds. And as cumulus clouds cling together, they become stratus clouds. The time in between the formation of a cumulus cloud or a stratus cloud is called a stratocumulus cloud. These clouds are low, puffy, and either grey or white and they will have patches of blue sky between them. From underneath, they look a little like a honeycomb. They are most commonly found on cloudy, overcast days.
The altostratus clouds lay in the middle of the low water-based clouds and the higher ice-based clouds. These clouds are usually lighter and thinner than stratus clouds and if you look at them carefully, you may be able to see the suns rays shining through them. These clouds tend to turn the sky into a grey or bluish-grey color and look more like a sheet covering the sky instead of cotton ball style clouds. They tend to form just before a warm or cold front.
These clouds are the highest in the sky and made entirely of ice. They appear wispy in the sky, much like their name suggests, which is Latin for “curl of hair.” They are thin and white and usually streak across the sky. Cirrus clouds live above 20,000 feet (or about 6,100 miles) above the ground. They are usually fair-weather clouds but they can also form just before a warm front or a large ice storm. Seeing them in the sky can mean that a big storm is coming.
Cirrocumulus clouds are cumulus clouds at cirrus cloud level. They often look like fish scales and arrange themselves in rows. Like cirrus clouds, they are also made of ice crystals. These clouds are rare and don’t stick around for long. You’ll only find them in winter weather when it’s cold, but bright.
These clouds cover the sky in thin wispy layers, but unlike their mid-level and low-level counterparts, they can create beautiful optical effects and they are often distinguished by haloes in the sky. The sun shines through their thin layers, almost transparent, layers. These clouds will let you know there is a lot of moisture in the upper atmosphere and they usually come with a warm front.
Nimbostratus clouds are named appropriately as “Nimbus” is Latin for a rain cloud. These clouds bring long-lasting rain or snowstorms that have a light to moderate intensity. They are low and mid-level thick clouds that cover the sun’s rays. They cover the sky in a dark grey sheet. If rain or snow is in the forecast, you’ll see these clouds, often looking like one gigantic cloud, covering the sky. Cumulonimbus
These are the most intense clouds in the sky and they come around when heavy rain or hail is expected.
Cumulonimbus clouds are the only ones that can produce thunder and lightning so they’re easy to recognize. These clouds grow big and tall through all layers of the sky. They may look puffy at the bottom, but they grow tall and can look more like cauliflower at the top. The bottom of these clouds are almost always dark.
Fun Cloud Crafts To Check Out
- Cloud Dough – Super fluffy and fun 2 ingredient recipe!
- Cloud In A Jar – Get an up-close look of how clouds form!
- Rain Cloud Paper Craft– Unleash your children’s creative side with this fun paper craft!
- Weather Graphing Sheets – Observe and graph the daily weather!