Be Your Own Weatherman by Studying the Clouds
There is an old saying that sailors are known for that goes: “Red sky at night, sailors delight, Red Sky in the morning, sailors warning.” In the modern world today, people are used to finding out what the weather is by turning on the television or listening to the weather reports on the radio. The Internet has become another resource for people looking to find out what kind of day they are going to have. Supposedly, the meteorologists who produce these weather reports have access to all sorts of sophisticated equipment that helps them determine what the weather will be. Unfortunately, most weather reports are wrong more often than they are right. This is why some people think they could do a better job of predicting the weather if they looked out the window. That is not always a bad idea. It is possible for people to know what kind of weather is approaching if they look at the different types of clouds in the sky. There are certain things that you can look for when searching the clouds that will give you plenty of weather clues. The next time you are out in your Coleman tent, consider these tips.
1. High clouds that are called cirrus clouds are a sign that the weather patterns will be changing over the next 24 hours. Thin cirrus clouds are an indication of precipitation within the next 12 to 24 hours. Rows of small rounded, puffy clouds indicate that a much stronger storm, such as a hurricane, is approaching.
2. Alto clouds are at a medium height in the sky. They often cover the entire sky and indicate a strong and prolonged storm in the near future. When Alto clouds are very dark it is an indication of approaching thunderstorms.
3. Clouds that are very low are known as stratus clouds. These bring a lot of moisture in the air with them in the form of mist and light rains. There are a few types of stratus clouds that include stratocumulus and nimbostratus. The stratocumulus are a light gray and do not usually mean any rain is coming. The nimbostrati are bigger and darker gray and are a sign that precipitation is going to happen.
4. There are some clouds that go from a low height in the sky to a high height. When these types of vertical clouds are seen and they are white and clumpy, there is not much to worry about. If they flatten at the top and get darker it means that there are thunderstorms approaching.
If you use the descriptions of these clouds and pay attention to the sky when you are out backpacking or camping, you will be able to understand the approaching weather patterns as well as you could if you were watching the weather on the local news. People have been using these methods to figure out the weather for thousands of years and it is known to work. The sailor’s adage may not be perfect, but it is a sign that people can tell the weather by looking at the sky and making their own judgments.