Making Cloud Observations

The app tutorial provides the information you need to make a cloud observation. Required data includes reporting on overall cloud cover and surface conditions that can impact satellite observations. Optional (but very useful) data include cloud types, cloud opacity, sky conditions and visibility, then taking photos of what you see in the sky. Additional resources to learn more about clouds and how to make observations can be found below.

If you are interested in exploring more of the 50+ data collection protocols offered by the full GLOBE Program, check out the e-training page. You will need to complete an introductory module, plus a specific sphere introduction (Atmosphere is where you will find clouds) and at least one protocol-specific module. Each module consists of a PowerPoint presentation to review, plus an assessment test (you will need to be logged in to your GLOBE Observer account to take the test.) Further questions? Contact us.

Tips and Tricks Gallery



Simple Cloud Tutorial

PDF version of the in-app tutorial, providing information to make an observation.

GLOBE Clouds: Getting Started

[2:35] This short video describes how to use the GLOBE Observer app to observe clouds and includes helpful tips.


Contrail Formation Tutorial - Interactive

In this tutorial, you can explore the physics of contrail formation in the atmosphere and develop the ability to recognize the several types of contrails that form under varying atmospheric conditions. Practice classifying the type and abundance of contrails. (Requires Flash)

Cloud Type Practice - Interactive

This interactive web-based tool asks a series of questions to help you narrow down the type of cloud you are observing. It can be used both for practice and in the field to identify clouds. (Requires Flash)

Cloud Identification Key

Use this step-by-step key to identify each type of cloud you see.

Cloud Cover Estimation - Interactive

This interactive web-based tool allows you to calibrate your eye by practicing cloud cover estimation using images on the computer. (Requires Flash)