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Characteristics of 6 Types Clouds That Make Rain

by Widiya

Rain is one of the stages found in the hydrological or water cycle. Rain can be likened to the return of water in the atmosphere to the surface of the Earth. And the process continues to occur continuously to balance the ecosystem on Earth. As we know there is rain falling to the Earth due to the role of clouds. Clouds are one component that is also in the hydrological cycle that is formed from a collection of points of water vapor or condensation processes that occur in the atmosphere.

Further reading:

Briefly, the process of cloud formation starts from the evaporation of water that is on the surface of the Earth. The water comes from rivers, seas, lakes, and so on. The water vapor that evaporates due to the warming up of sunlight finally gathers into one in the atmosphere. Because in the atmosphere the air temperature is lower and high pressure, then the points of water vapor experience condensation until it slowly turns solid. This solid is better known as the cloud.

There are times when the clouds gather together until eventually, they become large, wide and the more mass they become. As a result of the gravitational force, the cloud drops close to the surface of the Earth where the air temperature is higher. If that’s the case, the clouds will change to return to Earth in the form of rain. And so it goes so that nature gains balance in a natural way. Then the question arises whether all clouds can turn into the rain? Not all clouds can cause rain, only certain clouds. What are clouds? Here are the types of clouds that cause rain:

  1. Cumulonimbus Clouds (Cu – Ni)

This cloud is included in the cloud which is at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters. Cumulonimbus clouds are famous as clouds that cause heavy rain followed by lightning and thunder. If the cumulonimbus cloud appears there is also a cirrostratus cloud located above it. Sometimes the appearance of these two clouds can also cause hurricanes or tornadoes.

The characteristics of the cumulonimbus cloud are:

  • Cumulonimbus clouds are at an altitude between 2,000 – 16,000 meters.
  • Has a white to dark color, as a sign of the emergence of rain and lightning and thunder.
  • Cumulonimbus clouds are closely related to storms, tornadoes, heavy rain and lightning.
  • Very thick so it can cover the sun.
  • In subtropical to cold areas can cause snow.
  • For most pilots, it will always avoid this cloud because it contains a very large electric charge.
  1. Nimbostratus Clouds (Ni – St)

Nimbostratus clouds belong to a low cloud with an altitude of less than 3 km. This cloud has an erratic shape, usually in the form of abstract and irregular rags in grayish white. Usually, the spread of Nimbostratus clouds is quite extensive and this cloud results in the drizzle.

The characteristics of nimbostratus clouds include:

  • Nimbostratus clouds are dark white and tend to be grayish and the distribution is quite wide in the sky.
  • Located at an altitude between 600 – 3,000 meters above the surface of the Earth.
  • Especially in Indonesia, nimbostratus clouds only cause drizzle.
  • The shape is not fixed with ragged edges.
  1. Stratocumulus Clouds

These clouds belong to low clouds and are less than 2 km from the ground. Because it is located close to the Earth, it is not surprising if we can see this cloud very clearly. Stratocumulus clouds can produce rain that is not too heavy compared to the rain produced by clouds of cumulonimbus. The shape of this cloud is round and mutually gathered or separated regularly in grayish color.

Characteristics of Stratocumulus clouds:

  • Located at an altitude below 2,000 meters.
  • Can produce rain but in small amounts.
  • Stratocumulus clouds can move quicker than other cumulus clouds and develop horizontally.
  • Consists of very cold grains of water to ice crystals when winter arrives.
  • Can cause turbulence and unstable air layer convection.
  1. Stratus Clouds

This cloud is a thin but wide layer in the sky with white to a grayish color. Stratus clouds are a sign of the stability of the air pressure in the atmosphere. This cloud will always appear when the weather is very hot but suddenly there is light rain or drizzle. Stratus clouds if seen in the sky will look very regular but sometimes these clouds can also be irregular in shape and can also be thick in shape so they can cover the sun.

Characteristics of Stratus Cloud:

  • Located at low altitude.
  • The development of Stratus clouds is not vertical but follows the flow of wind.
  • Can develop into a nimbostratus.
  1. Altocumulus Clouds

The altocumulus clouds are small spheres similar to cotton that are widespread in the sky. These clouds are spread very regularly and can cover most of the sky surface. Colors from altocumulus clouds are white to gray. This cloud can also cause heavy rain followed by lightning and lightning.

The altocumulus cloud has characteristics:

  • These clouds are at an altitude of 2,000 to 7,000 meters above sea level.
  • Can be seen easily if we are in a height like a mountain.
  • It is small like a lot of cotton balls holding together in large numbers.
  1. Cloud of Altostratus

These clouds contain many points of water vapor, so it is not surprising if altostratus clouds can produce light intensity rain to virga or rain that does not reach the ground. When viewed, the shape of the altostratus cloud is like a thin sheet that forms a gray path. These clouds spread almost to cover the surface of the sky but sunlight can still penetrate between these clouds. Altostratus clouds can be found at dusk or at night. And it will disappear during the daytime when the sun shines very hot.

The characteristics of the altostratus cloud are:

  • Altostratus clouds are formed at an altitude of 2,000 to 7,000 meters.
  • If gathered in large quantities, this cloud can produce light rain.
  • It has a bluish gray and covers almost the entire sky.
  • Formed in the afternoon and evening.

Those are some types of clouds that cause rain. Hopefully, the information above can be useful.

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