Predicting the Weather

You're at the trailhead and ready for rain, but how handy should you keep your shell? Watch the clouds to predict precipitation.
By Kassondra Cloos,

Cirrostratus Clouds

Wispy cotton candy clouds that signify that wet weather is on the way within the next 24 hours.

Cirrocumulus Clouds

White streaks, like those that planes leave in their wake, may mean a tropical storm or hurricane is on the way in tropical climes.

Altostratus Clouds

Heavy-looking, dark clouds that block the sun and cover the whole sky typically indicate rain or snow is en route.

Altocumulus Clouds

These fluffy balls often dot the morning sky when afternoon thunderstorms are on the horizon.

Stratus and Nimbostratus Clouds

Low-hanging clouds that block visibility and sunlight and have little definition usually mean rain is coming in short order.

Cumulonimbus Clouds

Super fluffy, cotton-like balls, shaped into an anvil, are a harbinger for lightning, hail, and tornadoes.

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