When I was little, my grandmother could always predict a coming storm hours before we saw the weather alert on television or heard the announcement on a radio.
Back before we had all of the weather technology we have now, our forefathers depended on the sky to tell them to predict the weather.
First, it’s important to know that clouds are made up in the troposphere, which is where weather is formed. These clouds are often known as “thunderheads” as they usually mean stormy weather is on the way. If you can recognize these basic cloud types, you’re on your way to using clouds to predict the weather. The mixing of cloudsa€”like these cumulus cloudsa€”is setting the globe on a path to warmer temperatures, scientists say. Atmospheric scientists have long asked how high atmospheric temperatures will rise if greenhouse gases double. While estimates have gone up and down, carbon dioxide concentrations have increased to a level about 40 percent higher than the preindustrial average in the last century, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels. In a new analysis released by the journal Nature, an international research team led by Sherwood reports that better cloud-cover physics narrow the spread of disagreement among the climate sensitivity estimates.
In the study, the researchers looked at ocean clouds, which at low altitudes reflect sunlight and lead to cooler global temperatures.
The finding matters, he adds, because a 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had widened its range of climate sensitivity estimates to embrace the low estimates for how high temperatures will rise by the year 2100.


For one thing, better estimates of ocean cloud cover explain only about half of the variation in climate sensitivity estimates.
The clouds are all formed differently, which is why there are many different types of clouds. Interestingly, in cooler climates, these mean a cold, fair forecast, but in the tropics, it might mean a hurricane is coming.
They are similar to cirro-cumulus, but if they are out when it’s hot and humid, it usually means a pop up thunderstorm may not be far behind. They can have an anvil shape at the top, and will sometimes be lighter colored up top, but have darker bottoms. They usually don’t produce much in the way of weather, even though they seem depressing. The Nature study suggests that global warming will mix growing amounts of higher, drier air with ocean clouds over the course of the century, thinning out the clouds and reducing their cooling effect. She learned to study the clouds and she could tell us great accuracy whether it would rain, snow, or storm.
If you were in a survival situation, and had no access to a local weather forecast, or current meteorological tools, you could indeed predict if rain were on the way, or a storm was imminent just by watching the sky. Watch for the appearance of these clouds and then note the weather patterns to follow to get a better idea of what kind of events they tend to proceed in your area.
When you see these clouds, you are most often expecting a light drizzle or misty type snow.


Practice charting what kinds of clouds you see followed by the weather you see within 12-48 hours.
If we were planning an afternoon of fishing, my brother and I would always call grandma first to get the weather forecast. In winter months, these clouds often precede a severe snowstorm, but in other times of the year, it could mean heavy rain, thunderstorms, or even tornadoes. Before you know it, you may find yourself turning your eyes to the sky to look at the weather forecast before reaching for the television remote or checking a weather app on your phone. Here is a quick start guide to cloud watching to help you predict the weather using the old-fashioned forecasting methods. It’s also a fun family activity to see who can spot which types of clouds and who becomes better at weather predictions. They taught me a lot about preparedness and when I grew older, I asked her to teach me the art of weather forecasting by staring at the sky.



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