Teaching Resource

Types of Clouds – Individual Posters

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4 pages (PDF)|Suitable for Grades: 1 - 4

A set of 4 posters highlighting the different types of clouds.

Use these posters to assist your students in identifying the different names and features of clouds.

Information on the posters includes:

Cumulus Clouds

  • Cumulus clouds are puffy and look like cotton wool balls. They are flat on the bottom.
  • They are low-level clouds and usually occur in fair weather, although they may lead to storms.
  • Cumulus clouds form when large bubbles of warm air rise rapidly. The word cumulus means ‘hump’.

Stratus Clouds

  • Stratus clouds are grey in colour and look like blankets in the sky.
  • They are low-level clouds and are essentially above-ground fog.
  • Stratus clouds form when a mass of warm air is pushed up over a mass of cooler air or a mountain. On clear days, when the earth cools quickly, a stratus cloud or fog forms closer to the ground. The word stratus means ‘layer’.

Cirrus Clouds

  • Cirrus clouds are thin and wispy and look like stretched cotton. You can see through them.
  • They are high-level clouds that are made of ice crystals.
  • Cirrus clouds usually mean nice weather, however, they can occur just before a change of weather.
  • When the ends of cirrus clouds are curled, this is a sign that the wind is going to change directions. The word cirrus means ‘curl of hair’.

Nimbus Clouds

  • Nimbus clouds are darker than other clouds and often mean a thunderstorm is brewing.
  • The word ‘nimbus’ means a cloud that already has rain or snow falling. Nimbus is often added to other cloud names.
  • Nimbostratus is also used, which means a stratus cloud with rain.

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