STUDY: Read The Sky: Be Prepared For Storms


  • By: Cassie Costner
  • Posted on: June 11, 2013

For years now, telling the weather has been as simple as turning on the TV and listening to the newscast. Our seven-day forecast has been something that we have come to trust and rely on. But, as we have seen many times, the predictions aren’t always correct. A day that we expected to be sunny and bright can quickly turn into a dismally rainy afternoon.

Way before the technology came around to predict a week’s weather, people were looking ahead simply by looking up. Those methods still exist today, although many seem to have been forgotten. Learning how to examine the sky is a great tool in preparing for disastrous storms.

It’s all in the clouds

There are four major types of clouds. Although some of them may be obvious in what they symbolize is coming, knowing them by name can be a great tool to predicting the weather. The four types of clouds are:

Cumulus Clouds Cirrus Clouds Stratus Clouds Nimbus Clouds
Cumulus Clouds Cirrus Clouds Stratus Clouds Nimbus Clouds
 Of course blue skies is a good indication that rain will not show up anytime soon. But there are also clouds that can symbolize this just as much. Both the cirrus clouds and the cumulus clouds are signs that there won’t be any rainfall for a while.

Cirrus clouds are very wispy compared to the other types. A dense amount in a small section of the sky can be a signal for a weather change coming soon, but for the time being, these clouds offer no threat of a storm. Cumulus clouds are a low-level cloud, noted for their fluffy appearance. Similar to the cirrus, these are often signs of good weather. In some cases, they can evolve into storm clouds.

Unlike these, a nimbus cloud brings with it drizzly rain. This cloud has the appearance of one big blanket, draping over the sky, eliminating sunlight from the area. Nimbus clouds are always associated with coming rain. They are often darker and have greater height than most clouds, even though they are formed at lower altitudes.

Other signs

Even though clouds are the most important factor in determining the weather patterns, there are other things that can also give clues. Red skies during sunset, other than directly around where the sun is setting, indicate a high-pressure system is moving in. This means that the weather will be fairly dry. However, if the same red sky is seen in the morning, it shows that the dry air is past, and a storm is coming.

The direction of the wind can also be a great indication of what is coming your way. Most of the time, wind coming from the east is a sign of a storm coming while winds from the west usually mean you are free from a storm for a while.

Learning to predict the weather from the sky can be an easy way to plan your day. The weather channel might not always be completely reliable, learn your own methods to verify what they say. The way you do it may be better than even the most sophisticated methods out there.

Cassie writes on storm patterns. She also writes on the steps of storm damage recovery. With shows such as Storm Chasers, she has developed an interest in extreme storms and their affects.

Read more of this article and find other worthy stories at

*Fair Use Statement*
The content of this post/pages/video may contain copyrighted ( © ) material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, political, human rights, economic, democratic, freedom, liberty, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are a copyright owner who would like your material removed or credited, please contact us at the CONTACT link above.

Updated: March 4, 2014 — 6:44 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 20th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural Missouri, just a few miles from the Big Muddy. Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.