© Royal Meteorological Society 1
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUDS
· Clouds are very common, with 50% of Earth
covered in cloud at any one time.
· Only 1 2% will be raining.
· They are classified by height and nature:
- Low clouds: base 0 2 km
- Medium clouds: base 2 7 km
- High clouds: base above 5 km
Over Planet Earth as a whole, rain is the most common type of precipitation.
Other common types are snow, sleet and hail.
Clouds are classified into ten main types depending on height and nature as
we see later in this talk. Clouds composed of ice crystals are, by definition,
high clouds. The height ranges given on the slide are for middle latitudes.
The figures for low latitudes are, respectively, 0-2km, 2-8km and 6-18km.
The figures for high latitudes are 0-2km, 2-4km and 3-8km.
© Royal Meteorological Society 2
WHAT ARE CLOUDS MADE OF?