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Cumulus clouds

Cumulus clouds

Puffy clouds, cotton wool balls. cumulus clouds are seed clouds often morphing into other clouds. Cumulus can form as singular fluffy clouds or very long lines stretching many hundreds of miles. When they do this it produces a cloud sheet.


Puffy, fluffy, cauliflower shapes. an have a flat bottom, tops are bright white when illuminated by the sun.

What's in a name?

Cumulus - heaped.

How was it made?

Cumulus are formed because of convection. Warm air heated on the surface of the earth rises and as it cools the water vapour condenses to form these fluffy clouds. If the conditions are right then they will continue to grow until they become cumulonimbus clouds. In coastal areas, the clouds form over the land which is quicker to warm and then at night, the process is reversed as the land cools more quickly and the moisture gathers over the lake or sea.

What weather will you have if these are overhead?

Rain and snow are the worst you can expect from these clouds. Most likely it's a lovely day and you can lay down on the grass and watch them form and grow.

How high is it?

The base is anywhere from 400 m (1,200ft) at the base although this can form up to 2,400m (8,000 ft)
The top can reach several hundred metres or feet

The outcome for you.

If it's sunny and they are not too numerous then it's likely that they will herald a lovey day but watch for them growing too big in the afternoon.

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