Second Grade Science
By: Christy Gibson
• A cloud is composed of tiny water
droplets (or ice crystals) that are
suspended in the air.
• If the droplets become large
enough, they may be visible as a
cloud or fog.
• The process behind cloud
formation is called condensation.
• Clouds are referred to as either
low, mid, or high-level clouds.
• This classification depends on
where they are in the
Types of Clouds
• Three main types:
– Stratus
– Cirrus
– Cumulus
• Variations/Combinations
of the three:
Types of Clouds
• Stratus clouds are grayish clouds that often
cover the entire sky.
• They look like fog that does not touch the
• People often confuse it for fog.
• When a thick fog "lifts," or moves up, the
result is a low stratus cloud.
• Usually no precipitation falls from stratus
Stratus Clouds
Low lying Stratus
Types of Clouds
• Nimbostratus clouds form a dark gray, "wet"
looking cloudy layer.
• This type of cloud is often associated with
falling rain or snow that is falling continuously.
• They often produce precipitation that is
usually light to moderate.
Nimbostratus Clouds
Types of Clouds
• Altocumulus clouds are middle level clouds
that are made of water droplets.
• They appear as gray, puffy masses, and
sometimes roll out in parallel waves or bands.
• If you see these clouds on a warm, humid
summer morning it probably means
thunderstorms may happen later in the
Altocumulus Clouds
Types of Clouds
• Altostratus clouds are gray or blue-gray
middle level clouds.
• These clouds usually fill up the entire sky.
• In areas of the cloud that are thinner, the sun
may be dimly visible as a round disk.
• Altostratus clouds often form ahead of storms
that will have precipitation that falls
Altostratus Clouds
Types of Clouds
• Cirrus clouds are thin, wispy clouds that get
blown by high winds into long streamers.
• They are considered "high clouds" and form
above 20,000 feet.
• Cirrus clouds usually move across the sky from
west to east.
• When you see them, it normally means fair to
pleasant weather.
Cirrus Clouds
Types of Clouds
• Cirrostratus clouds are thin and sheet like
• They often cover the entire sky.
• They are so thin that you can see the sun and
moon through them.
Cirrostratus Clouds
Types of Clouds
• Cirrocumulus clouds look like small, rounded
white puffs or blobs.
• The small waves, or ripples in the
cirrocumulus sometimes resemble the scales
of a fish.
• If the sky is filled with cirrocumulus clouds it is
sometimes referred to as a "mackerel sky."
Cirrocumulus clouds
Types of Clouds
Cumulus clouds are puffy clouds.
They sometimes look like pieces of floating cotton.
The bottom of each cloud is often flat.
The bottom may be only 330 feet above the ground.
The top of the cloud has rounded or billowing towers.
They grow upward.
They can turn into a giant cumulonimbus.
– A giant cumulonimbus is a thunderstorm cloud.
– These types of cumulonimbus clouds are typically grayish black.
– Lightning, thunder, and even violent tornadoes are associated
with the cumulonimbus.
Cumulus clouds

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