Why does ‘What’s This Cloud’ exist?
To help you learn about cloud identification and classification. ⛅️
The long answer:
Story time! I’ve been looking up at the sky as long as I can remember. I’ve always been fascinated by weather: thunderstorms, heavy snow, different cloud shapes, hail, wind. As a kid, I’d film summer storms rolling through our neighborhood with my parents’ camcorder. I don’t know why I’ve always been obsessed with weather. 30 years later, I’ve stopped asking.
Five years ago, when I learned that there was a world of cloud classification that goes beyond just the typical cirrus, stratus, and cumulus cloud types, I was stoked. That excitement turned to frustration out of the seemingly lack of cloud identification resources for weather enthusiasts like myself simply looking to dive into a new hobby.
What’s This Cloud was created as a resource that I wish existed when I first started learning more about clouds. This site was created as a way to help those looking to get into the hobby of cloudspotting as well as my way to give back to the weather community. Through photography and illustrations on our website and various social media properties, we’ve created a guide and process that makes it fun, interactive, and easy for people young and old to identify and classify clouds.
Learn more about our mission and the team behind What’s This Cloud here.
Yeah, but why cloud identification?
Why, indeed! Whether you’re hiking, birdwatching, or taking a long road trip, recognizing cloud types while spending time outdoors is an added layer of being able to appreciate Mother Nature. You might find the more proficient you become at cloud identification, more you’ll enjoy enjoy weather.
Understanding cloud identification can also help you predict the kind of weather you can expect in the near future. Which can come in handy if you’re a private pilot preparing a preflight checklist, an elementary school teacher wondering if you should hold recess outside, or if you’re you’re sitting on the beach wondering if the dark cloud approaching is good or bad news.
How can I best use this website?
However you’d like! Use it as a full-blown course on cloud classification or as a quick reference for something you just spotted. We’ve create a cloud identification guide to help you learn everything you need to know about cloud identification and classification, where you can learn about the ten cloud types and tips to identify them, the latin translations behind cloud types, and other identification basics.
We’ve also created a cloud identification chart that can act as 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.
Finally, this site has a page for each of the ten different types of clouds, fifteen cloud species, nine cloud varieties, eleven supplementary features, four accessory clouds, and five other kinds of clouds. Each page includes a summary of identification tips, photos, and illustrations that will help you in your cloud classification knowledge.
How do I find out when new content and products is released?
We’re active on social media, specifically Instagram and Twitter. Outside of that, sign up for our newsletter through the form at the bottom of each page. You’ll receive emails only when we have something new and exciting to share with you!