Camping Gear

How to Predict the Weather Like a Local

Posted On August 5, 2016 at 3:52 pm by / Comments Off on How to Predict the Weather Like a Local

While there are nifty smart phone apps that can tell you the current weather conditions–there are times when you are traveling/camping and your smart phone runs out of power. Even worse than running out of power is being out of cell phone tower range–this can happen when you are hiking/camping/geocaching/etc.

Friend, it’s high time to learn how to watch the skies! By learning the ancient art of sky watching, you’ll find yourself grabbing that rain coat or umbrella when you head out of your campsite for a mid-morning hike and be totally prepared for an upcoming down pour. And soon you’ll soon find yourself doing a much better job at predicting the weather than your local TV meteorologist.

High Clouds

High Clouds are found from from 16,500 to 40,000 ft. The three high cloud types are Cirrus, Cirrostratus, and Cirrocumulus.

Cirrus

Denali State Park in Alaska

Cirrus Clouds above Denali State Park in Alaska

These feather like clouds indicate a day of great weather.

Cirrostratus

Indiana_State_Parks_Spring_Sunset

Cirrostratus Clouds above Indiana State Parks

These sheet like clouds tend to fill up the whole horizon. And indicate a chance of rain or snow in about a half day to a day later.

Cirrocumulus

Cirrocumulus Clouds at Jester Park in Iowa

Cirrocumulus Clouds at Jester Park in Iowa

These larger feather like clouds tend to form clusters or group together. In most states these clouds mean fair to temperate weather.

Mid-Range Clouds

Mid-Range clouds are found from 6,500 to 23,000 ft. The three mid-range clouds are Altostratus, Altocumulus, and Nimbostratus.

Altostratus

Altostratus Clouds above Wildcat Mountain State Park in Western Wisconsin

Altostratus Clouds above Wildcat Mountain State Park in Western Wisconsin

These silver-lined clouds dominate the horizon, and indicate bad weather anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours in the future.

Altocumulus

Altocumulus Clouds

Altocumulus Clouds

When you see these fluffy clouds start prepping for a thunderstorm in a few hours.

Nimbostratus

Nimbostratus Clouds above Stephens State Forest in Iowa

Nimbostratus Clouds above Stephens State Forest in Iowa

The sky was the color of television tuned to a dead channel. And these are your standard bearing rain clouds.

Low Clouds

Low clouds may be found from near the Earth’s surface to 6,500 ft.  The four low cloud types are Cumulus, Stratus, Cumulonimbus, and Stratocumulus.

Cumulus

Hanging Rock State Park North Carolina

Cumulus Clouds above Hanging Rock State Park North Carolina

These fluffy cotton ball styled clouds indicate temperate weather, but watch for large clusters. Once these clouds start to group together, you might be in for some rain or snow in a few hours.

Stratus

Stratus Clouds above Half Moon Bay State Park in CA

Stratus Clouds above Half Moon Bay State Park in CA

These silver lined clouds block out the sun, and might bring rain or light snow anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

Cumulonimbus

Cumulonimbus Clouds

Cumulonimbus Clouds

These dense clouds are your typical storm clouds.

Prepare for a thunderstorm or
atmospheric instability.
Be on the look out for dangerous severe weather like tornados.

Stratocumulus

Stratocumulus Clouds above Fall River State Park in Kansas

Stratocumulus Clouds above Fall River State Park in Kansas

These fluffy white clouds dot the sky, and the good news is that they don’t bring rain or snow.

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