Welcome to Ask Professor Labcoat where Children’s Museum of Atlanta answers YOUR science questions!
Our friend Sophia wants to know what kind of clouds make it grey all day?
What better way to spend a warm spring day than lying on a blanket and watching the clouds go by?
We can see water vapor up in the cold parts of the sky forming different types of clouds. These could be feathery cirrus clouds, fluffy cumulus clouds making fun shapes, and wavy altocumulus clouds… unless the sky is one big grey and gloomy sheet from horizon to horizon.
These party-poopers are called stratus or nimbostratus clouds. As clouds go, they hang lower in the sky and do not clump together in pretty feathers or fluffballs like many of their higher-up cousins do. The water molecules are thickly packed but spread apart evenly enough to cover the sky so much that they can even block out some sunlight. What a bummer!
Clouds are one of the many tools used by scientists called meteorologists to predict the weather. Try it yourself! Head over to SciJinks to learn more about the different types of clouds and what they mean, then take a peek outside and make your own weather prediction!