Vox: How to be a cloud detective

"What different clouds mean, explained for kids.

Welcome to our first-ever week of programming for kids!

If you’re standing outside and you look up, you’ll likely see something familiar above you: clouds! They can be long and skinny, low and rumbly, white and fluffy, or anything in between. But what do these different shapes and colors tell us?

Every cloud is packed full of information, and knowing a bit about them can help you tell the difference between different types — and help you predict the weather.

For example, cumulus clouds are pretty easy to spot. They’re the classic cloud shape: big, fluffy, white cotton balls in the sky. These usually mean fair weather; when you see them, it’s a good day to be outside.

If you see a big blanket of clouds covering the sky, they might be altostratus — and they might mean that rain is coming.

Dr. Mayra Oyola from NASA’s jet propulsion lab helped me identify these and other clouds, both common and uncommon. She shared some tips for how we can all get better at decoding clouds..."

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