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Atmospheric Moisture

Vertically Developed Clouds

Cumulus-type clouds are those that primarily exhibit vertical development. Two of the more common types are the cumulus and cumulonimbus.

Cumulus cloudFigure 7.26 Cumulus clouds
(Click image to enlarge)

Cumulus clouds appear as small, cotton ball-like clouds that generally form by convection. Cumulus are also called "fair-weather" clouds as pleasant conditions usually prevail while they are around.

Cumulonimbus cloudFigure 7.27 Cumulonimbus cloud
(Source NOAA. Click image to enlarge)

Cumulonimbus clouds form during very unstable conditions. They are the tallest clouds, and can reach to the stratosphere. Cumulonimbus clouds are associated with thunderstorms capable of generating locally high winds, hail, lightning, and torrential down pours. 


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For Citation: Ritter, Michael E. The Physical Environment: an Introduction to Physical Geography.
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