Cumulus Clouds (Low Cloud)
If you look in the photo above you can see the line of Cumulus clouds that appear in the background. These clouds were created by daytime heating and also an unstable atmosphere. The moisture for these clouds was rising from the Pacific Ocean. The darker cloud is the stronger of the cumulus clouds meaning that the majority of the moisture is being absorbed by that cloud. The clouds around this one are also starting to get more moisture from the ocean to build.
Above the cumulus clouds you will see the thin layer of white clouds known as cirrus clouds. With these clouds in place it indicates that there is moisture to higher levels which means the potential does exist for these clouds to further develop into Towering Cumulus clouds. The higher cloud is showing the most potential to reach the TCU status as it has a higher vertical profile as you can see in the photo.
Image Caption: Photo taken over the Western Pacific with a Navy helicopter in the background. Credit: Joshua Kelly