Identifying storm clouds can be one way for you to determine what the weather is going to be. Storm clouds come in different forms and shapes, and you can easily know what type of storm cloud you are looking at just by observing a few things. Storm clouds often form when there is high pressure that surrounds a low pressure area. Because of this, there can be wind, lighting, sleet, hail, snow, heavy rains, thunder, etc. These storm clouds can bring storms that can last for hundreds of hours.
Here are a few tips on how you can identify storm clouds easily:
- Use a cloud chart. It will be easier for you to identify storm clouds if you have a cloud chart handy. A cloud chart has pictures and descriptions of the different types of clouds that you can see in the atmosphere. By comparing the pictures that you see on the cloud chart to the actual clouds that you are looking at, you can easily identify the type of storm clouds that you see on the horizon.
- Know where the storm clouds typically form. In most cases, you will see storm cloud formations in close proximity to large bodies of water or in mountainous areas. They are found in high altitudes. If you know where to spot these storm clouds, it will be easier for you to identify them.
- Observe the appearance of the clouds. Now that you know where you can spot storm clouds, the next step is to observe the type of clouds that you see. Storm clouds are typically very large and the entire cloud can be best seen from a distance. They can be mushroom-like or anvil-shaped. Another thing to observe is the color of the cloud. Storm clouds are said to have a dark color near the base. This can signal heavy downpour of rain.
- Growth of the cloud. Storm clouds are can grow and develop. Notice how the cloud grows. Most clouds extend horizontally but storm clouds do not do this. They typically extend in a vertical manner and can reach about 12,000 meters vertically.
- Observe the weather. Storm clouds have different outcomes. You can observe the weather conditions to help you identify storm clouds. Some storm clouds are typically accompanied by heavy rains, tornadoes, lighting, ice crystals, heavy winds or thunder. Be aware of this, so that you can take the necessary precautions.
These are some of the steps that you can use to help you identify storm clouds. Remember that storm clouds can sometimes mix with other types of clouds and this makes them a bit harder to identify. When you identify some storm clouds, it will be helpful if you take a small notebook with you to jot down some notes. You can also bring a camera so that you can take some snapshots of the clouds and observe them later. This will help you get better in identifying storm clouds.