A blog post introducing 'What's This Cloud' as a complete cloud identification and cloudspotting guide

Earlier this year, we introduced the concept of What’s This Cloud. It was around that time the first parts of the website were being pieced together and our Instagram account was still a work in progress. Today, we’re officially launching the website as a complete cloud identification and cloudspotting guide.

In this post, you’ll learn about how the site has been organized and how it can be used to make your cloud identification and cloudspotting adventures more knowledgeable and enjoyable.

The What’s This Cloud Website

First, a page has been created for each of the ten cloud types. If you’re new to cloud identification, you might be best to learn about the ten cloud types: cirrus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus, altocumulus, altostratus, nimbostratus, cumulonimbus, cumulus, stratus, and stratocumulus.

Each cloud type page has a short description, several photographs, and a handful of facts and characteristics of each cloud. You’ll also find illustrations of the variations of each cloud which links you to that specific cloud’s page describing it in further detail. On the bottom of the page, you’ll learn about similar cloud types and how to differentiate one cloud type from the next in a side by side comparison.

If you’d like to go beyond the ten cloud types, introduce yourself to the different cloud species, cloud varieties, supplementary features, accessory clouds, and the remaining five miscellaneous clouds. Each of these pages provide a short description, several photographs, and cloud illustrations describing what cloud types are associated with each cloud species, variety, etc.

As you page through the site, you’ll notice all pages are linked to one another through their cloud illustrations and the occasional link in each cloud’s description. The website can also be navigated through the top menu as well as a footer that acts as a cloud directory. Knowing that you’ll want help identifying clouds out in the field, the website is also optimized for mobile devices so it can be used easily on the go. Consider it a pocket guide for cloud identification. ?

Finally, the following two content pieces have been created to tie the entire site together:

Cloud Identification Guide. We’ve created a comprehensive cloud identification guide which will help you learn everything you need to know about cloud identification and classification. It’s a document that walks you through the hobby of cloudspotting and gives you some instructions on how to best get started. Several cloud classification examples are provided at the bottom of the page as well.

Cloud Identification Chart. We’ve also created a cloud identification chart and poster that can be downloaded as a PDF and taken with you on the go. It’s a one-sheet infographic intended to be used to learn about not only the ten main cloud types, but help you visualize different cloud species, varieties, features, and accessories that can be attributed to each cloud type on one page.

The What’s This Cloud Instagram Account

The key to your cloud identification skills is practice. To improve your skills, we’ve set up an Instagram account where we post an array of cloud photos four to five times a week that describe how the cloud has been classified. Each photo includes associated cloud illustrations and a short description.

Additionally, every cloud that’s posted can be investigated further through our account’s URL, where a page has been set up that details how you can better identify each cloud, and links you to each cloud’s associated page on our site. Check out the site at https://linkin.bio/whatsthiscloud.

We also put together occasional pop quizzes as well as a weekly test in our ‘What’s This Cloud’ Wednesdays segment. And if you have a cloud photo of yours you’d like to feature on our account, submit it to us and we might choose to post it during our ‘Featured Fridays’ post.

We’re hopeful you’ll find this is a great place to practice your cloud identification skills in a friendly environment. Come join us! ?

Cloud Illustrations

Last but not least, you’ll notice a theme throughout the website and Instagram account: cloud illustrations. For every orange cloud icon that can be found on the cloud identification chart, a cloud illustration has been created.

As a visual learner, this is something that I had personally wished was available when I started learning about the different kinds of clouds and how to decipher one cloud from the next. I’m hopeful these will help you quickly pick up the differences from one cloud to the next and make cloud identification more understandable.

Got 5 Minutes? A Cloud Questionnaire

We hope to continue to build this site out to be as helpful as possible, and perhaps create other products relating to cloud identification and weather. I personally fell into the hobby of cloudspotting and cloud identification when I started chasing storms on a whim in eastern Colorado five years ago. Now, we want to hear more about how you’ve come to love weather and clouds in particular.

If you have 5 minutes to spare, we’d love to hear more about your cloudspotting experience. Filling out this 10 question survey would be extremely helpful for us. All questions are optional… any advice you offer is appreciated.

Fill out the survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/sxby4YmOxf6pSVax2

Of course you’re always welcome to send us an email or leave a comment below. For updates to our website, sign up for an email list through the form on the bottom of any page on our website if you’d prefer. Cheers, friends… thanks for reading!