What is the lowest cloud?

On the lower floor in the troposphere, Cumulus (with some features of vertical structure), Cumulonimbus, Nimbostratus (with some features of vertical structure), Stratus, Stratocumulus are formed.


Separate, thick, white cloud composed of drops of water. Its upper part has the shape of a dome, and the base is located horizontally at a similar height in the range from 600 to 2500 meters. Cumulus are, therefore, a kind of clouds formed in the troposphere’s low floor. The more uplifted clouds are accompanied by slight rainfall. These clouds can transform quickly, and the typical lifetime of a small cumulus takes 10-30 minutes.


A dense cloud expanded vertically to a height of several or several kilometers, sometimes in the shape of a tower, with an upper surface smooth, ending with a dome, or in the form resembling a huge anvil or a mushroom. The base of this type of clouds is located at the height of 2-3 km, while the upper ceiling in the tropic zone may exceed 20 km. Composed at the bottom with drops of water, and at the top with ice crystals. These clouds are the most developed in the vertical direction, which is why the physical phenomena occurring in them are very violent: rain, hail, snow or storms.


A cloud in the form of a dark gray uniform layer, usually completely covering the sky. It is composed of drops of water and ice crystals. Its occurrence is accompanied by continuous rain or snow.

It is a cloud that gives the longest lasting rainfall. The lower base of the cloud occurs at a height of 200-500 m, and often under the base there are still jagged Stratus fractusna clouds of the order of 100-200 m, and even lower. The thickness of the cloud is very large and reaches up to 4-6 km. Often, it also connects with the higher Altostratus cloud. For these reasons, Nimbostratus always completely covers the solar shield. We then observe cloudy and rainy weather, and in winter heavy snowfalls. Sometimes there is also a rainfall, similar to hail, but only in cold seasons.


A cloud in the form of a uniform white or grayish layer, the base of which is located less than 600 meters above the ground. The occurrence of this type of clouds is sometimes accompanied by a drizzle or very fine rain. At night, these low clouds greatly limit the process of cooling the ground, and during the day limit the inflow of solar radiation. They cause, respectively, night warming and cooling during the day. The stratus cloud differs from the fog in that its base does not come into contact with the ground. These clouds most often form on the warm front. Thicker ones give a drizzle or so-called rainfall. ice posts, the size of particles corresponding to drizzle.


Cloud in the form of a gray layer or many flakes resembling the shape of a solid, which are usually flattened. It is composed of drops of cloud water. Sometimes it is accompanied by little rain or virga. It usually occurs below 2400 m. The layered structure is often associated with temperature inversion above the apex.

The term Stratocumulus was introduced by the German physicist and meteorologist Ludwig Kämtz in 1840 to designate a cloud that is not flat enough to be called a stratuze, but it is also not convective enough to be called a cumulus. Huge areas of stratocumulus are climatically located on the eastern parts of the oceans in moderate widths. The most famous example of such a cloud system are clouds near the California coast in the USA. The largest area of stratocumulus in the world is the Pacific coast in the region of Chile and Peru.