Some ideas for rendering clouds.
Use spheres (or bell shapes), to render light on clouds.
1) Z buffer slice image and place particle systems
2) render each individual sphere as a particle mesh, with lighting dictated by lighting on spheres.
Need to know the shapes of clouds.
3) use coupled map lattices to simulate the thermodynamic flow of air and conversion to moisture.
Allows dynamically correct movement of clouds. Needs to know precise data to allow for correct display of weather.
4) grab shading layers from infrared satellite images. convert to shapes.
If knowledge of cloud height is known (by getting cloud temperature values). Then cloud layers can be separated. A cumulonimbus cloud would have a large range of temperature from low warm to high cold.
Alternatively, slice cloud heights depending on angle of view. Display cloud heights with knowledge of height of condensation layer.
Display cloud slices on a series of parallel textures perpendicular to the camera’s viewpoint.