How to Predict and Forecast the weather condition by the Types of Clouds?
Clouds are the most reliable predictors of weather when you are out backpacking. Observing cloud formations is a skill that is somewhat lost on us modern humans. There are ten types of clouds that you should be able to recognize. Remember “the higher the clouds, the better the weather will be”.
Alto cumulus Clouds
Alto cumulus Clouds are fair weather clouds which usually occur after a storm. Such a cloud is a middle altitude cloud genus characterized by globular masses or rolls in layers or patches, form a grayish veil over the sun or moon. It is lighter in color than nimbostratus and darker than high cirrostratus. If they get darker and thicken, it is a sign that rain is on the way.
Such type of clouds appears like ripples of water on the surface of a lake. There are a sign of good weather and often dissipate to blue sky. If these clouds cover a lot of the sky like the scales of a fish, such covering is called a "mackerel sky" because the sky looks. Cirrocumulus is generally seen in the winter time and shows fair, but cold weather. Cirrostratus Clouds are made up of ice particles and form a halo around the sun. If Cirrus filled sky darkens and turns to Cirrostratus (sheet-like, high-level clouds composed of ice crystals) it is a sign of rain or snow, depending on temperature.
Cirrus Clouds are high altitude, composed of ice crystals, wispy clouds. Ice crystals are originated from the freezing of super cooled water droplets. Cirrus usually seen in fair weather and point in the direction of air movement at their elevation.
Cumulonimbus Clouds are low thunderclouds that bring hail, gusty wind, thunder and lightning, have a characteristic flat, anvil-like top. Lower stage of cumulonimbus clouds consist generally of water droplets while at higher elevations, where temperatures are well less than 0o Celsius, ice crystals dominate.
Such types of clouds are easily recognizable, white, large, fluffy, and usually called fair-weather clouds. They indicate fair-weather when they are widely separated. When they are large and many headed, they are able of bringing heavy rainfall.
Stratocumulus Clouds generally appear as a low, lumpy mass covering the entire sky and may produce light rain, but usually dissipate by the late afternoon or evening.
Stratus Clouds are low clouds that form a fog like layer and may produce drizzle form from strato cumulus spreading out under an inversion. If they form thickly at night and cover the morning sky, they will usually burn off and produce a fine day. Stratus clouds can persist for days in anticyclone conditions. It is common for a stratus to form on a weak warm front, rather than the usual nimbostratus.
Nimbostratus Clouds form low blankets of cloud and indicate rain or snow, lasting for several hours. However, when temperatures are cold enough, these clouds may also contain ice particles and snow.