Friday: Play!—Predicting the Weather by the Clouds

January 16th, 2009 in Friday: Play!, Nature

 clouds Pictures, Images and Photos


It is sometimes hard to think of things to do out in Nature when it is so cold. Although, the clouds are always there and during the winter months are always changing.

Check out a book about the different kinds of clouds from the library and every day go outside to try and predict the weather with your children by looking at the clouds.

There are many cloud science books for grade school and older children but I found one that is perfect for younger children.

Predicting the Weather with Clouds

(This is a very quick explanation, I am not going into too much detail so here is a great site to explain it or better yet pick up a book from the library!)

1. Determine what cateogiry the clouds are in (These categories are high clouds, middle clouds, low clouds and clouds with vertical growth.)

2. Grab your book or go to this website to determine what shape and type of cloud they are!

3. Look up at the sky! If there are no clouds in the sky the weather is fine. If there are clouds then after you have identified them, you need to take a closer look!

  • Can you see the moon or sun through them? Then they are high alitutude clouds, if they are thick there will be poor weather in a day or two. Want to know how fast the poor weather will come? Take a look at how fast or slow the clouds are moving. Want to know where the poor weather is header? Just look at what direction the clouds are pointing to!
  • If you cannot see the moon or sun through them then they are middle or low alitiude clouds. If they are middle alitude clouds they may cover the entire sky. If they are grey with a hint of blue tint or   fluffy white/grey clouds with a lot of contrast between light and darkfluffy white/grey clouds with a lot of contrast between light and dark then prepare for a rainy day in a half a day or so.
  • If they are not either of those then you are looking at low alitute clouds. They are low and seem to touch mountains and tall buildings. If it looks like a low gray sheet get ready for rain fast!
  • If your clouds look like low fluffy marshmellows in the sky then the whether is ok. However if they start to move up vertically (like anvil shapes moving upwards in the sky) be prepared for a possible quick thunderstorm!

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