Clouds Training

The app tutorial provides the information you need to make a cloud observation, but if you'd like more information or more practice, check out the GLOBE Clouds  eTraining module for teachers. It explains what clouds are and how they form; why clouds are an important element of the Earth system; and explain why cloud observations are important for understanding our changing Earth system.  The tutorial also provides a step by step guide how to visualize cloud data on a map interface using GLOBE’s Visualization Site. 

Cloud Observation Resources


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

NOVA Cloud Lab - Practice your cloud classification skills by clicking cloud images in the NOVA Cloud Lab Gallery.  Select the cloud type from the drop down menu and click submit.  Were you correct?

Cloud Cover Practice - This interactive web-based tool allows you to calibrate your eye by practicing cloud cover estimation using images on the computer.

Contrail Formation Tutorial - 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.

Cloud Type Practice - 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.

GLOBE Cloud Chart - This printable photo chart illustrates each cloud type.

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

SciGirls Cloud Clues Activity (Visual Opacity) - This hands-on learning activity explores designing an experiment to categorize the opacity of different materials, extending the concept to real life and how the differing opacity of clouds can effect surface temperature.  


Did you Know?

Big Sky Cumulonimbus Cloud

During May, in years when El Niño is active in the Pacific, moisture flows across Northern Mexico and is lofted to great heights by heating over the Chihuahua Desert. This supercell sprang up just west of La Pryor, Texas, and was photographed by an observer on a bluff above the Rio Grande south of Quemado, Tx. The image on radar appeared to encompass an area some 100 miles wide from north to south.

Photo by Kay Cunninghan, a Texas rancher.