By definition, Cloud ceiling is The height above the ground or water of the base of the lowest layer of cloud below 6000 meters (20,000 feet) covering more than half the sky.

So does, Cloud Ceiling become Cloud base if it is covering less than half of the sky.

Thank you for your time.


They are not the same thing. Cloud base is simply the bottom "surface" level of the a cloud regardless of the sky coverage. Where cloud coverage constitutes a ceiling, then the cloud base would be the same as the ceiling, but regardless, the bottom margin of any cloud is its base.


Simply put, a cloud base is the bottom of a cloud layer of any size. A cloud ceiling is the height of the first cloud layer that constitutes at least a broken layer.

  • $\begingroup$ Or overcast.... $\endgroup$ Nov 29 '20 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall - How about at least a broken layer to include overcast? $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Nov 29 '20 at 18:29

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