Predicting the Weather with Clouds
(This is a simple and quick explanation; I am not going into too much detail. Here is a great site about using clouds to predict the weather, or better yet, pick up a book from the library!)
1. Look at the sky! If you don’t see any clouds the weather is fine. If you see clouds, try and identify them.
2. Determine in which category the clouds fit. (These categories are high clouds, middle clouds, low clouds and clouds with vertical growth.)
3. Grab your book or go to this website to determine the shape and type of the cloud.
4. Now take a closer look!
- If you can see the moon or sun through them, they are high-altitude clouds. If they are thick then poor weather is on its way in a day or two. Want to know when the poor weather will arrive? Take a look at how fast or slow the clouds are moving–the faster the clouds, the sooner the poor weather. Want to know where the poor weather is headdr? Just look in what direction the clouds are pointing!
- If you cannot see the moon or sun through the clouds then they are middle- or low-altitude clouds. If they are middle altitude clouds they may cover the entire sky. If they are gray with a hint of blue or fluffy white with a hint of gray with a lot of contrast between light and dark then prepare for rain in a half a day or so.
- If they aren’t either of the above then you’re looking at low-altitude clouds. These clouds are really low and appear to touch mountains and tall buildings. If they look like a low, gray sheet get ready for rain quickly!
- If your clouds look like low, fluffy marshmallows in the sky then the weather is fine. However if they start to move vertically upward (e.g. anvil shapes moving upward in the sky), be prepared for a possible quick thunderstorm!
Have fun enjoying the clouds with your kids!
What a great lesson! Thanks so much – my kids have gotten pretty good at looking the clouds and distinguishing rain and snow clouds so this will be great to pass on!