A bank of cumulus clouds block the Sun

A bank of cumulus clouds block the Sun

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Credit: ERICH SCHREMPP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cumulus cloud. A bank of cumulus cloud blocks the sun, forming a fan of sunbeams. Cumulus clouds occur at low altitudes, typically under 2000 metres. They form from water vapour in rising columns of air which condenses as it cools. They are shaped like a vertical heap with flat bottoms and cauliflower-like heads, and are between 500 and 1500 metres tall. Although they appear dark here, their tops are a brilliant white. Cumulus clouds often form at cold fronts where the advancing cool air forces warm air upwards. The rays of sunlight are visible as they reflect off atmospheric haze. Photographed in Illinois, USA.

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Keywords: atmospheric haze, climate, cloud, cloud types, clouds, cumulus, cumulus cloud, fair weather cloud, meteorology, sunbeam, sunbeams, type, weather

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