TMart's Cloud ID Gallery

I have been photographically documenting clouds for over two decades.  The variation and structure amaze me and I hope with these images, you can appreciate some of the beauty of  the natural world.  Clouds are frequently classified based on the elevation of the condensation level or cloud base.  In this case High, Middle and Low altitude clouds.    Below is a selection of my personal collection of cloud images with an effort to display individual examples.  Frequently clouds appear in more complex combinations.   Take some time to scroll through  the gallery and enjoy the sky above.  

High Altitude Clouds   Condensation level above 6,000 m

Contrail Clouds

Contrails are clouds made of ice crystals  that typically form around the condensation nuclei produced by high altitude jet airplanes.

Cirrus Clouds

Cirrus clouds are made of ice crystals .   Often  blown by high altitude winds, they take on a wispy  or curly appearance much like blown hair.

Cirrocumulus Clouds

Cirrocumulus clouds are among the highest altitude of the common types of clouds.   They are made of ice crystals and often have a puffy or ribbed texture.   sometimes they appear as fish scales.   They may be identified as the smallest cumulo-form clouds (smaller than a finger held at arms length.)

Cirrostratus Clouds

Cirrostratus clouds are also ice clouds.  They appear as other cirrus clouds and they cover a larger portion of the sky.  They may be identified by clearly seeing the sun or moon and often circumscribed by a ring or accompanied by other colorful atmospheric phenomenon.

Middle Altitude Clouds    Condensation level between 2,000 and 6,000m

Altocumulus Clouds

Altocumulus are middle altitude small "puffy" clouds that typically cover a large portion of the sky.  They often show dramatic colors at sunrise or sunset.  

Altostratus Clouds

Altostratus clouds form a high blanket of white / grey clouds that cover the sky.  They are often identified by seeing other clouds below or by being able to see the general location of the Sun, but not seeing it directly. 

Low Altitude Clouds    Condensation level below 2,000 m

Convective Clouds

Cumulus Clouds

Cumulus clouds are formed through convection.  These heaped or "puffy" vertically growing clouds almost always have a distinct flat bottom. 

Cumulonimbus Clouds

Cumulonimbus are the tallest clouds. Although they are classified as a low cloud with a low condensation level, these clouds may reach as high as 12,000 m .  These clouds produce thunderstorms, with significant precipitation, hail, lightning and Thunder. 

Stratiform Clouds

Stratocumulus Clouds

Stratocumulus clouds are flat layered clouds that show some aspects of clumping together.   They frequently may be seen after a rain. 

Stratus Clouds

Stratus clouds are flat layered clouds with little or no definition.  These sheet like layered clouds frequently cover the entire sky. 

Nimbostratus Clouds

Nimbostratus clouds are a stratus cloud that produces precipitation.   Keep in mind that this is not just rain, but most snow also comes from nimbostratus clouds. 

Fog Clouds

Fog is the lowest cloud with a condensation level that touches the Earth's surface.   Fog is often distinguished by the method through which it forms.   Four common types of fog include, Radiation fog (also known as ground fog), Steam fog, Advection fog, and Up-slope fog. 

Other Clouds

Besides the clouds documented above there are a wide variety of sub-types or special clouds including:  Wave clouds, Lenticular clouds, Mammatus clouds and many more