Nimbus clouds - rain clouds
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Nimbus clouds

cumulonimbus clouds
Cumulonimbus clouds

December 2016 - Nimbus clouds often mean that a thunder storm is brewing: there may soon be thunder and lightning. Get out of the swimming pool! Nimbus really just means a cloud that already has rain or snow falling out of it. Can you see the rain falling in the picture to the right?

Clouds don't have to be just one kind of cloud - they can be more than one type at the same time. So you often see the names of clouds combined: a cumulonimbus cloud is a cumulus cloud, a puffy thick cloud, with rain falling out of it, and a stratonimbus cloud is a stratus cloud, a gray blanket cloud, with rain falling out of it.

Learn by doing: a project with clouds
More about cumulus clouds
More about cirrus clouds
More about clouds

Bibliography and further reading about the atmosphere:

Learn by Doing - Clouds
More about clouds
More about thunderstorms
More about weather
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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