Cloud classification and types count

Balance

Senior Member.
Sorry for my ignorance but I was recently driven to look up how many cloud types there are. This was invoked by a post (I believe from Max Bliss FB but can no longer find it) that was claiming NASA are "normalising" us to accept chemtrails by adding/classifying new cloud types.

The poster (who I believe was Max) stated they were taught in school there were nine cloud types. Due to my ignorance (either they didn't teach me in school or I was daydreaming when they did) I stopped reading and googled cloud types to find there are ten listed, divided by three region layers. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/clouds/cloud-names-classifications

So my first questions is: Has there been one cloud type addition since Max's schooldays?
 

Jason

Senior Member
Sorry for my ignorance but I was recently driven to look up how many cloud types there are. This was invoked by a post (I believe from Max Bliss FB but can no longer find it) that was claiming NASA are "normalising" us to accept chemtrails by adding/classifying new cloud types.

The poster (who I believe was Max) stated they were taught in school there were nine cloud types. Due to my ignorance (either they didn't teach me in school or I was daydreaming when they did) I stopped reading and googled cloud types to find there are ten listed, divided by three region layers. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/clouds/cloud-names-classifications

So my first questions is: Has there been one cloud type addition since Max's schooldays?

There's 3 classifications Cirrus (high), Alto (middle) and Stratus (low), and each of this are broken up into subsets. Its funny because I only remember learning about three different types of clouds back in the 3rd or 4th grade and didn't realize there were so many types. Then there are special clouds that are formed from contrails or lenticulars. Some charts show 8, other show 9, and some show 10. I think it depends on how detailed they are;


Cloud Chart
Cloud GroupCloud HeightCloud Types

High Clouds = CirrusAbove 18,000 feet
Cirrus
Cirrostratus
Cirrocumulus

Middle Clouds = Alto6,500 feet to 18,000 feet
Altostratus
Altocumulus

Low Clouds = StratusUp to 6,500 feet
Stratus
Stratocumulus
Nimbostratus

Clouds with Vertical Growth

Cumulus
Cumulonimbus

Special Clouds

Mammatus
Lenticular
Fog
Contrails
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Clouds exist in a continuum, so while you can say some particular clouds are one type or another, sometimes they lay between the types, and then there are also lots of sub-types, like cirrus fractus, or cirrus-vertebratus.

The definitions have been improved over the years, since the basic distinctions were first made by Luke Howard, in 1802.
https://archive.org/stream/essayonmodifica00howagoog#page/n4/mode/2up

But which cloud types did he claim had been added?
 

Balance

Senior Member.
Hmm, confusion reigns. I was hoping it was more clear cut than this as I've come across another believer making the same claim - they were taught nine types.

But which cloud types did he claim had been added?

Such detail was not specified hence my "research" stopped at finding ten cloud types. There was no more detail to investigate and why I'm hung up on the actual count number only.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Hmm, confusion reigns. I was hoping it was more clear cut than this as I've come across another believer making the same claim - they were taught nine types.



Such detail was not specified hence my "research" stopped at finding ten cloud types. There was no more detail to investigate and why I'm hung up on the actual count number only.
Undulatus Asperatus

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undulatus_asperatus

Purely anecdotal but in 1983 I sat an 'O' Level in Seamanship and Meteorolgy with Cambridge been the exam board. I will scan my notes but we had 20 clouds to identify.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Undulatus Asperatus is not a new type of cloud, it's just a particular sub-type of altocumulus or stratocumulus.

We have major classifications, Alto, stratus, cumulus, and the combined types like altocumulus

We have the sub-types Altocumulus undulatus and stratocumulus undulatus:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altocumulus_undulatus_cloud
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratocumulus_cloud

Now we have an additional sub-sub classification of Altocumulus Undulatus Asperatus that denotes a specific type of altocumulus undulatus.
 

Balance

Senior Member.
Undulatus Asperatus

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undulatus_asperatus

Purely anecdotal but in 1983 I sat an 'O' Level in Seamanship and Meteorolgy with Cambridge been the exam board. I will scan my notes but we had 20 clouds to identify.

Yes, I've seen this new cloud type proposed but it's more a variant than a main group/type, if that makes sense? As I've come across two people claiming they were taught in school of only nine, I'm trying to ascertain if they're deluding themselves and just copy-catting or if there has been an official addition since 70's or 80's?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The "standard" cloud types are very broad. This chart (like the one above) just shows one typical version of each cloud. But within each type there are many sub types - sometimes hundreds, depending on who you ask.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Another good counter example is lenticular clouds. That's not one of the standard cloud types taught in school, but it's a very particular cloud, documented for hundreds of years.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Yes, I've seen this new cloud type proposed but it's more a variant than a main group/type, if that makes sense? As I've come across two people claiming they were taught in school of only nine, I'm trying to ascertain if they're deluding themselves and just copy-catting or if there has been an official addition since 70's or 80's?

This is the one Max and his acolytes go on about. They have little understanding of the varying sub-divisions etc. Lets be fair it is all confusing

I only got a C btw so my meteorigical knowledge is confined to opening the window to seeing if it raining ;-)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
These PDF (attached) from the Met Office is a good overview of the history of the names, and current usage. Key point:
There is no new genus of clouds, just a new variety which can be applies to existing genera and species.

Really it's even lower than that, it's more like a new supplementary feature to a cloud - like you can have a cirrus uncinus cloud with virga.
 

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Balance

Senior Member.
Ok, my ignorance showing true. I was hoping there was an official/standardised grouping I could go by. For instance, I recognise that atmospheric layers are clearly divided into three and that those layers affect cloud formation accordingly. Obviously there's overlaps and the whole weather thing being so dynamic making it a more complex science but I always prefer the KISS approach on account of having a simple mind :oops:
 

Balance

Senior Member.
These PDF (attached) from the Met Office is a good overview of the history of the names, and current usage. Key point:
There is no new genus of clouds, just a new variety which can be applies to existing genera and species.

Really it's even lower than that, it's more like a new supplementary feature to a cloud - like you can have a cirrus uncinus cloud with virga.

These pdf's appear to also show ten main groups. (I used the term "type" instead, my bad).

I'm checking this (below) now ...

There is. It's the International Cloud Atlas. Here's the 1987 version which is copyright free.
https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/wmo_407_en-v2-pdf.4000/
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
1980s- I learned 4 types. cumulous cirrus nimbus and stratus. although I only call clouds by 3 because I cant remember what nimbus is.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
;)
Simple: In this context, it's a rain cloud.

However, the word "nimbus" can also mean "halo"...although I don't think it's used much in modern theology.
huh. thanks. I thought those were just cumulous with xtra water ; ) in my defense it was quite some time ago I learned 'clouds'
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
Hmm, confusion reigns. I was hoping it was more clear cut than this as I've come across another believer making the same claim - they were taught nine types.

We should remember that they will take claims made by each other and repeat/adopt them as if proven fact. In other words, your example doesn't prove that two people got the same education on the subject. One could easily just be parroting the other.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Basic, pre-college science (earth science, natural science) textbooks most often describe only the top level genus of clouds....between 7 and 10 of them.
This is all that students are required to learn.....because of time, and because the major cloud types are all that are needed in relation to subjects like atmosphere, weather, and climate.
The science courses in pre-college education cover so many topics, it would not be practical to delve too deeply in any one subject, at the expense of another.
A simple online search is similar......most people only need/want a general overview or a memory "refresher".....there's usually no need for the average person to read/understand all the sub categories. It also depends on the wording used in the search box.

Here is a pre-college quiz, from a widely used science textbook publisher:
http://glencoe.mcgraw-hill.com/site...0/chapter2/section1/self-check_quiz-eng_.html

....see how you do.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
We should remember that they will take claims made by each other and repeat/adopt them as if proven fact. In other words, your example doesn't prove that two people got the same education on the subject. One could easily just be parroting the other.

True. The problem here was compounded by press reports that described asperatus as a "new cloud type". Of course that's quite reasonable for the lay press, and you would not expect them to say "a new minor variety or feature of clouds that can apply to overlapping genera". However the mistake then becomes:
  • There were nine types of cloud
  • There's a new type now
  • So there's an entirely new type of cloud, accounting for 10% of all clouds, that nobody has ever seen before, proving weather modificaion
When the reality is
  • Cloud nerds refined the classification system a little bit, in one minor sub-sub category, in part due to the vast increase in digital cloud photography, and the ability to adjust contrast easily, so you can actually see the shape of these cloud.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Max goes fully into this particular theory here, in the description of this excellent old training film
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Re: the bold part above

Actually....the NASA chart has 34 pictures with names under them. (one is a tornado)
However....these names are repeated several times, to show various examples, and the international symbols for each (indicating high, mid, and low types)....

1) Cirrus (4)
2) Cirrostratus (4)
3) Cirrocumulus (1)
4) Altostratus (2)
5) Altocumulus (7)
6) Cumulus (2)
7) Cumulonimbus (2)
8) Stratocumulus (2)
9) Stratus (2)
--) Cumulus & Stratocumulus (1, but a combo)
10) Mammatus (1)

~~~~~~and some descriptive types~~~~~~~
(tornado) (1)
Wall cloud (1)
Shelf cloud (1)
Wave cloud (1)

That's 34 pics if you include everything.
But notice there are still only 10 major types on the NASA chart.
(on the backside of the chart (I have 2 physical copies)....they list pics of the same 10, + "contrail".)

35019488.png
 
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hemi

Senior Member.
Max goes fully into this particular theory here, in the description of this excellent old training film
Would it be possible to bust this and Stupid's reply out into a new thread with the '1966 USAF Know Your Clouds Training Film (only 10 cloud types not 30)' in the title? Max's video is getting a lot of airplay around the facebook pages, and it'd be useful to have a top level Metabunk forum page to point people at (and to have all the SEO advantages that come from having it in the title).
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member

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Mackdog

Senior Member.
What category would the Kelvin Helmholtz clouds fall under? I came across these the other day when doing some reading on this site http://journals.ametsoc.org/action/doSearch?AllField=kelvin helmholtz clouds&filter=AllField

Those pdf's on that site should give a decent explanation about them but I think the research is ongoing and that they may not be fully understood yet.

I have never seen one in person but have maybe seen one or two pictures before, either on the internet or in a book somewhere.

kelvin helmholtz cloud.jpg kelvin helmholtz cloud2.jpg
 

Jason

Senior Member
What category would the Kelvin Helmholtz clouds fall under? I came across these the other day when doing some reading on this site http://journals.ametsoc.org/action/doSearch?AllField=kelvin helmholtz clouds&filter=AllField

Those pdf's on that site should give a decent explanation about them but I think the research is ongoing and that they may not be fully understood yet.

I have never seen one in person but have maybe seen one or two pictures before, either on the internet or in a book somewhere.

kelvin helmholtz cloud.jpg kelvin helmholtz cloud2.jpg
I think these are called rolling "wave" clouds if I'm not mistaken.
http://www.wunderground.com/news/kelvin-helmholtz-billow-wave-clouds-20130815
 
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derwoodii

Senior Member.
some Lenticular clouds from South East Texas FB post says taken this week 27th May

https://www.facebook.com/victorianstormchasers/posts/1158365600840692?pnref=story

11329963_1158365217507397_7945657672958570349_n (1).jpg 10408593_1158365220840730_1771668364538854171_n.jpg
 

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Nice! I got some okay lenticularis over chicagoland a week or so ago. I might add a pic later. Nothing like those babies though.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
I took my guests to London the last week. Amongst other sights, we went to the View at the top of the Shard, a new skyscraper built in 2012.
IMG_9066.jpg
At the exit from the elevator just below the View, there is a cloud guide painted on window panes:
IMG_9106.jpg IMG_9107.jpg IMG_9108.jpg
The other cloud types presented in the guide are Stratus, Cumulonimbus, Nimbostratus, Altocumulus and Altostratus.
 
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