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This little text is talking about types of clouds.

夏天,雷雨到来之前,在天空先会看到厚厚的积云。积云如果迅速地向上凸起,形成高大的云山,群峰争奇,耸入天顶,就变成了积雨云。

From zdic.net I see that 争 can mean: 4。 怎么,如何(多见于诗、词、曲):~不。~知。~奈

形成高大的云山,群峰争奇,
1. form big high cloud mountains, (whose) peaks are very (争, 怎么, 这么) strange

or it means:

  1. form big high cloud mountains, (whose) peaks compete (争) in strangeness (of form)

Or something else entirely?

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    exactly,cf。 bkrs:群峰 the peaks of a mountain range a group of mountain peaks many mountain peaks 争奇 竞相逞其奇特, like many mountain peaks vying with each other in adopting/creating strange shapes – user6065 Oct 3 '17 at 1:09
  • #2 - the peaks "compete for being more distinctive", implying they are all very distinctive already. – NS.X. Oct 3 '17 at 2:06
  • 形成 forming .... strange mountain ranges vying with each other in originality – user6065 Oct 3 '17 at 3:33
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積雲如果迅速地向上凸起,形成高大的雲山,群峰爭奇,聳入天頂,就變成了積雨雲。

If the cumulus bulged quickly forming huge mountain clouds, the peaks fight for their exquisiteness way up to the sky's zenith, they then become the Cumulonimbus.

  • 'exquisity'?? In which dictionary did you find that word? -:) – Pedroski Oct 8 '17 at 22:32
  • My fault, it should we exquisiteness, thanks for reminding. – Ching-Ting Wu Oct 13 '17 at 4:36
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群means all , together 峰 means, peaks, here mountain peaks 争, means 争斗, compete, have a competition 奇, means 奇特, grotesquely amazing

So here is my translation. 形成高大的云山,群峰争奇, form big high cloud mountains whose peaks are taking an active part in the most grotesque-looking mountain peak competition. ( Everybody wants to be the winner.)

Hope you'll like my answer. Very anthropomorphic way to display the uniqueness and strangeness of clouds.

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