Clouds

Clouds Sarah Stano One day in the park my son pointed to the clouds and asked me why some are bigger than others are. He has always been fond of clouds. He always wonders why some clouds are dark and others are white and fluffy. Why some clouds are so up high and others are so low that you could reach up and grab them out of the sky. Therefore, I did some research to find out what makes clouds different from one another. The World Meteorological Organization completed the most recent classification of clouds in 1956. They list 10 basic kinds of clouds that are separated into class according to their outer shape and inner structure. In addition, clouds are also separated according to arrangement and transparency. There is a height classification, which are high, middle, and low altitudes. The different heights of clouds are divided according to altitude. First, we have the high clouds that range in altitude from 16,500 to 45,000 feet. In this group, we have the cirrus, cirrocumulus, and cirrostratus clouds. A cirrus cloud appears in delicate, fluffy feathers that do not touch each other, and are usually white with no shading. Cirrocumulus clouds appear like very small round balls. The cirrocumulus clouds sometimes form a pattern of a buttermilk sky. The cirrostratus clouds sometimes form tangled webs or thin whitish sheets. A large ring or halo can be seen around the sun or moon when the cirrostratus covers the sky. The middle layer of clouds range in altitude from 6,500 to 23,000 feet. The altocumulus, altostratus, and nimbostratus clouds are in the middle division. The altocumulus clouds are more rounded and puffier than the cirrocumulus clouds. When people stare at the altocumulus clouds, they usually see a shape of an animal. Altostratus clouds cover the sky with a grayish veil through which the sun or moon may shine as a spot of pale light. The nimbostratus clouds are the clouds that we can ident…

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