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Stratus
Abbreviation Cu
Family C (humilis, mediocris, etc.) or D (congestus, pyrocumulus, etc.)
Genus Cumulus
Occurrence Worldwide
Altitude 600-9000m
Formation weak to moderate convection, sometimes enhanced by atmospheric instability
Precipitation Some varieties can produce showers and storms
Potential Hazards Moderate turbulence at cloud level; may develop into cumulonimbus cumulogenitus

Cumulus (Cu; Latin for heap) is a common genus of cloud which is formed by the rising of pockets of warm air and which has the appearance of a heap of cloud rising from a horizontal base. The cumulus cloud is commonly described as looking like a cotton ball or as "fluffy". Most of the time, cumulus clouds have a solid white colour, but some "towering" cumulus clouds can become dark. Cumulus congestus clouds can develop into cumulonimbus calvus clouds and thence into cumulonimbus incus clouds; each of these is capable of generating storms and showers.

Cumulus clouds were first described by Luke Howard in 1802 as "convex or conical heaps, increasing upwards from a horizontal base - wool bag clouds".

SubtypesEdit

Cumulus arcus
Cumulus castellanus
Cumulus congestus
Cumulus fractus
Cumulus humilis
Cumulus mediocris
Cumulus pannus
Cumulus praecipitatio
Cumulus radiatus
Cumulus tuba
Cumulus velum
Orographic cumulus
Pyrocumulus

Associated Formations Edit

Arcus

Pileus

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