Nimbostratus clouds: rain, rain go away! Altocumulus clouds: warm with a risk of storms, altostratus clouds: expect light rain, sources, cumulonimbus clouds: severe storms, stratus clouds: fog, and cirrostratus clouds: moisture moving in too are a few more items to think about.
You might be thinking “How can clouds help predict weather?”
Altostratus clouds: expect light rain, nimbostratus clouds: rain, rain go away! Altocumulus clouds: warm with a risk of storms, cumulonimbus clouds: severe storms, sources, cirrostratus clouds: moisture moving in, and stratus clouds: fog in addition important too.
Being able to predict the weather by observing cloud formations is a skill that is somewhat lost on us modern humans. Most of us can easily look at a cloud and see the unicorn or ice cream cones, but very few of us can look at clouds and see the approaching cold front. Fortunately, being able to predict the weather is easier than one may think.
What do clouds tell us about the weather?
Each cloud type gives us useful information about what’s happening in the atmosphere and helps us predict the upcoming weather. Some clouds are indicators that predict rain and storms approaching, while others are useful indicators of fair weather ahead. You’ll also notice that each layer includes a cumulus form and a stratus form.
A frequent query we ran across in our research was “Can we predict the approach of rain from the clouds?”.
Cumulonimbus clouds also have the greatest vertical depth of any cloud and frequently extend all the way through the lower, middle & even upper levels of the sky in a single cloud. As stated above, if you want to predict the approach of rain, it’s not enough to simply identify rain clouds in the sky.
How to predict the approach of a weather system?
If Cirrus clouds gradually become thicker and more pervasive, followed by gradually increasing altocumulus or altostratus clouds, you’re probably observing the approach of a weather system. More on this in the next section on how to predict rain. The two main types of clouds that produce rain are known as Nimbostratus clouds & Cumulonimbus clouds.