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Clouds That Make Rain
Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds that form if cumulus clouds continue to grow vertically. Their dark bases may be no more than 300 m (1000 ft) above the Earth's surface. Their tops may extend upward to over 12,000 m (39,000 ft). Tremendous amounts of energy are released by the condensation of water vapor within a cumulonimbus. Lightning, thunder, and even violent tornadoes are associated with cumulonimbus clouds.
(Up left: C.Calvin, Others: UCAR)
Nimbostratus clouds form a dark gray, "wet" looking cloudy layer associated with continuously falling rain or snow. They often produce precipitation that is usually light to moderate.