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You are here: Home Hiking Information Weather Clouds


There are four basic types of clouds:  cirrus, cumulus, nimbus and stratus.

Cirrus clouds are high elevation clouds that consist of ice crystals and are about 20,000 feet aboveground.  Cirrus clouds are thin and sometimes called "mares' tails".  These clouds often indicate a change in the weather.


Cirrus Clouds
Cirrus clouds are thin and at high elevation

Cumulus clouds are puffy clouds and are typically present during fair weather.  However, these clouds can form towers or strong vertical development. When towers form, watch out for thunderstorms.


Cumulus Clouds
Cumulus clouds are light and fluffy

Nimbus clouds are dark -- any cloud that brings precipitation is a nimbus cloud.  Expect rain when you see nimbus clouds.


Nimbus Clouds
Nimbus clouds are dark rain clouds

Stratus clouds are low clouds.  Stratus clouds could bring rain or snow.


Stratus Clouds

Stratus clouds are close to the ground



Weather Fronts

Weather and Water

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