Clouds Types and Cloud Formation – notes & worksheet

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Clouds Types and Cloud Formation – NOTES & WORKSHEET

Can you walk through a cloud? Yes you can! Just take a walk when

it is foggy.
A fog is one kind of cloud. A fog is a cloud that is touching the ground.

Most clouds do not touch the ground. We have to look up into the

sky to see them.
Clouds come in many shapes and sizes. There kinds of clouds you

often see are cumulus [KYOO myuh lus], stratus [STRAT us],

and cirrus [Sir us].
CUMULUS CLOUDS are white and fluffy. They look like large puffs of

cotton, (Figure A.). Cumulus clouds form mostly on warm summer days

and usually mean the weather will be fair. In hot weather, a cumulus cloud

may grow extra big and turn dark. It becomes a thunderhead (Figure B).

A thunderhead is a storm cloud. It brings heavy rain with thunder and


STRATUS CLOUDS are low in the sky. They spread over a large area like a giant gray blanket (Figure C). Stratus clouds are rain clouds.
CIRRUS CLOUDS are streaky. They look like thin feathers (Figure D).

Cirrus clouds are very high in the sky where it is very cold. They are made

up of tiny ice crystals. Cirrus clouds tell us that it may rain or snow within a

day or two.

Study the pictures of the clouds below. Then answer the questions under the pictures.

Figure A - Cumulus Clouds Figure B - Thunderhead

  1. What kind of weather do cumulus clouds 2. What kind of weather does a thunder head bring? bring?

________________________________ ____________________________

Figure C – Stratus Clouds Figure DCirrus Clouds

  1. What kind of weather do stratus clouds 4. What do cirrus clouds tell us will happen? bring?


Complete the sentences with the choices below. Two of these may be used twice. One may be used three times.

Ice droplets of water cirrus

Cumulus stratus fog

sizes and shapes condensed water vapor

  1. A cloud is made up of billions of tiny ______________________.

  1. The water that makes up clouds comes from _____________________.

  1. A cloud that is touching the ground is called a __________________.

  1. Clouds come in many _________________.

  1. Three common kinds of clouds are ______________ , _________________ , and __________________ clouds.

  1. Gray clouds that spread over a large area are called _________________.

  1. Feathery – looking clouds are called ________________ clouds.

  1. Clouds that look like puffs of cotton are called _________________ clouds.

  1. A thunderhead builds up from a ________________ cloud.

  1. Cirrus clouds are made up of crystals of ____________________.


Match the two lists. Write the correct letter on the line next to each number.

  1. _____ cumulus a) low, gray rain clouds

  2. _____ stratus b) cloud that touches the ground

  3. _____ cirrus c) storm cloud

  4. _____ thunderhead d) fair-weather clouds


Look at these pictures of clouds. Then answer the questions. Answer with the proper lines.
Which picture . . .

  1. shows stratus clouds? _____

  2. shows cirrus clouds? _____

  3. shows cumulus clouds? _____

Which kind of cloud . . .

  1. is the highest in the sky? _____

  2. is lowest in the sky? _____

  3. is made up of ice crystals? _____

  4. means fair weather? _____

  5. means possible rain or snow? _____

  6. means rain? _____

  7. may become a thunderhead? _____


Write T on the line next to the number if the sentence is true. Write F if the sentence is false.

  1. _____ Clouds are made up of water vapor.

  2. _____ There is only one kind of cloud.

  3. _____ A fog is a cloud.

  4. _____ Stratus clouds are low clouds.

  5. _____ Cumulus clouds mean fair weather.

  6. _____ Stratus clouds are made of ice crystals.

  7. _____ Cirrus clouds are the highest clouds.

  8. _____ A thunderbird builds up from cirrus clouds.

  9. _____ Stratus clouds are rain clouds.

  10. _____ The sizes and shapes of clouds are always changing.


We often hear on the weather report that “the fog will burn away.” What does this mean?

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