Agricultural Trends

Cirrocumulus, cirrostratus or stratus cloud?


A look at the sky - this is how many farmers begin their day. Because even in our times of modern weather forecasts, determining cloud formations is a helpful tool for predicting the weather, at least for the remainder of the day.

Which cloud makes which weather? Many farmers rely on modern meteorological weather forecasts. After all, lots of agricultural activities, such as sowing, harvesting or plant-health measures depend on the weather. In the past, weather forecasts were much less accurate. Cloud science, i.e. the identification of cloud formations and the associated weather trends, was therefore widespread. Rightly so, because astonishingly quite a lot can be “read” from the numerous types of cloud.


Cumulus clouds are a sign of good weather. For glider pilots, cirrocoumulus clouds are welcome indicators of updraughts. In the early morning, however, they can also be a sign that thunderstorms are forming. Normally, however, cumulus clouds only form during the day when the sun has sufficiently warmed the ground.


All grey and hazy – this is what it looks like when deep stratus clouds have formed. They usually announce bad weather. A continuous layer of grey cloud with a rather uniform lower boundary, from which drizzle or small snow crystals can fall.



Cirrostratus clouds consist of ice crystals. They look like thin threads, veils or feathers. Cirrostratus clouds are to be found high up in the sky, between 5 and 13 kilometres up. The clouds lie like a white veil in front of the sun and rain follows after 36 hours at the latest.



Violent thunderstorms, as well as rain, hail or snow – when the cumulonimbus appears, you can expect a lot. A thundercloud has strong upwinds and downwinds. They are packed with water droplets and ice balls. The constant up and down causes the ice balls to rub against each other. An electric field of several hundred million volts builds up within the cloud and between the cloud and the earth, which finally discharges with an enormous and “lightning-fast” short circuit.


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