Cumulus Cloud Page
(all photographs by J. Gerencher)

Cumulus clouds are clouds that have significant vertical development.  They form near the Earth's surface and ascend through the atmosphere until they lose buoyancy.  Often an inversion (where the atmosphere fails to get significantly colder with increasing height) will form a cap, or "lid," for such a storm.

Cumulus clouds at Key West, FL
Early stage of cumulus cloud development.
Key West, Florida

Mature cumulus clouds at Crater Lake, OR.
Mature stage of cumulus development.
Crater Lake, Oregon.

Mature cumulus clouds, UT.
Mature stage of cumulus development.
This storm has reached an upper-level inversion,
forming an anvil-shape to the cloud.
Dinosaur National Monument, Utah.