There are ten main cloud types, which are further divided into 27 sub-types according to their height shape, colour and associated generally categorised by where they sit in the atmosphere: low—from the earth’s surface to 2.5km; middle—2.5 to names which describe their characteristics—such as cirrus (a hair), cumulus (a heap), stratus (a layer) and nimbus (rain-bearing) clouds are actually white in colour, but when viewed from the ground some appear grey or dark grey according to their depth and shading from higher different appearances of clouds—layers of cloud that look like sheets, and clumpy clouds that look like smoke plumes.

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