Clouds in Florida

Clouds in Florida come in many different shapes, sizes and forms. Knowing the types of clouds can help you stay safe and aware of incoming weather conditions.

Cumulus Clouds

Cumulus clouds are the most common, and these are the fluffy white puffs that can be seen scattered across Florida’s sky on any given day. When Cumulus clouds become dark, they are Cumulonimbus clouds.

Cumulonimbus Clouds

These tall, dark clouds with flat bases signal the presence of moisture and instability in the atmosphere. Cumulonimbus clouds often bring with them powerful storms that can produce heavy rains, hail, lightning, and even tornadoes. Florida’s warm climate is ideal for the formation of these powerful storms, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on the sky when in this sunny state.

In Florida, cumulus clouds often build up in the morning and early afternoon as the land heats up, reaching their peak size and height in the afternoon. These clouds can contribute to the development of afternoon thunderstorms, which are a characteristic feature of the state’s weather.

Stratus Clouds

Stratus clouds are also common in Florida’s skies, more commonly in the winter month (dry season). They are seen as a uniform layer across the atmosphere that can create a gray or overcast sky. These clouds may be associated with light rain and drizzle, but can also lead to thunderstorms depending on the atmospheric conditions. Often, these storms develop quickly and without warning so it’s important to know what type of clouds indicate an impending storm.

Stratocumulus Clouds

Stratocumulus clouds are similar to stratus clouds but have a more textured appearance, with small breaks or rolls visible between cloud layers. They often occur in layers or patches and are typically found at low or mid-level altitudes.

Cirrus Clouds

Cirrus clouds are those high-altitude clouds that have a thin, wispy, feathery appearance. More common in Florida during the winter months and often produce beautiful displays at sunset across the horizon.

Two additional clouds that are less common in Florida are the Lenticular and Nimbostratus. Each of these clouds can indicate different atmospheric conditions.

About the author