TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Clouds are just another tool we use to forecast, because believe it or not, each specific cloud type has a characteristic, and certain ones can give us a look at the weather ahead.
First, we'll start off with the clouds that are higher in the atmosphere.
The first is cirrostratus.
These are hard to see, but they are almost like a light fog across the sky.
Next is the cirrocumulus.
These look like scales, and are aligned in straight rows.
These are the ones that are very light and wispy looking.
Next are the middle-level clouds.
Altostratus is a lot like cirrostratus because it looks like a fog, but thicker.
Altocumulus are puffy and white, and you can usually see small breaks of blue sky between them.
Finally, the lower level clouds.
Stratus looks like one big thick rain cloud that hangs low over the horizon, and cumulus clouds are the ones we learned to draw in grade school.
Puffy and white, with lots of blue sky in between.
Now there is another type of cloud, which is called cumulonimbus, and that specifically brings us thunderstorms. It's the only cloud that can reach from higher places in the atmosphere all the way to lower atmosphere.
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