- Clouds made of ice crystals
- Clouds made of water droplets
- Clouds made of BOTH ice crystal and water droplets.
Interpretation rule 1: Clouds with sharp edges and predominantly made of water droplets.
Take a look at this picture of a growing and massive cumulus cloud. Edges are sharp, so mainly liquid water.
Interpretation rule 2: Clouds with soft, fibrous, and diffuse edges are generally made of ice crystals.
You don't need the cone to know the clouds are made of ice crystals in this picture. Wispy and diffuse edges.
You can also tell a lot about whether the atmosphere is turbulent or unstable by looking at clouds.
When the atmosphere is relatively stable and laminar (not a lot of vertical mixing), the clouds are layered. Like this:
By when it is bubbling up with turrets (like this cumulus), the atmosphere is roiled by thermals and mixing.
Or if the clouds look like waves breaking on a beach, looking out for a lot of mixing and turbulence:
And there some clouds you are better off not knowing about: