25 Unbelievable Cloud Formations

Unless you’re an avid cloud watcher, you may have never even give a second thought to the various types of clouds and the shapes and patterns they form high above your head. While you’ve no doubt seen some of these before, there is a good chance others will be completely new. In fact, some are so rare that you’ll probably never see them apart from lists such as this one. The cool part? Each cloud type has a different meaning. These are 25 Unbelievable Cloud Formations.


Pileus Clouds

pileus cloud

Also known as scarf or cap clouds, these high-flying clouds generally hover over the top of larger cumulonimbus clouds.


Actinoform Clouds

Actinoform cloud

Hard to see with the naked eye, this formation is best observed from space. In satellite images, they have a distinct leaf or wheel like pattern that sets them apart from the background.


Wave Clouds

wave cloud

These clouds are usually formed by waves of air that flow over a raised land feature such as a mountain range.


Pyrocumulus Cloud

Pyrocumulus cloud

Sometimes called fire clouds, these dense cumuliform clouds are associated with fires or volcanic activity.


Undulatus Asperatus


Nine years after first being submitted, this odd cloud formation was finally accepted by the International Cloud Atlas of the World Meteorological Organization in 2017. It was the first addition since 1951. What’s unique about these clouds is that they are undulate (or wave up and down), and quite honestly, they are kind of creepy and ominous. These clouds are typically low-lying and form in wave-like weather fronts. 

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