Common types of clouds in the troposphere

Clouds are given different names based on their shape and their height in the sky. Some clouds are near the ground. Others are almost as high as jet planes fly. Some are puffy like cotton. Others are grey and uniform.

The diagram below shows where different types of clouds are located in the sky. 

  • The highest clouds in the atmosphere are cirrocumulus, cirrus, and cirrostratus. Cumulonimbus clouds can also grow to be very high.
  • Mid-level clouds include altocumulus and altostratus.
  • The lowest clouds in the atmosphere are stratus, cumulus, and stratocumulus.