Of course to find out the likely answer you can simply look up the latest weather forecast and, whereas in the past forecasting was known for being a bit hit and miss, today it tends to be quite reliable. Consequently, people no longer need to deduce their own forecast from the state of the sky – the clouds.
It is hard to photograph clouds. The eye does a much better job of seeing the bigger picture. And the more sky you can see at once the better – for comparison and so you can judge the amount.
If you want to impress your friends with a bit of name dropping then here is what you need to know:
Cloud in sheets = stratus
Fluffy ones = cumulus
Prefix with cirro- if they are very high, so cirro-cumulus and cirro-stratus
Prefix with alto- for medium height, so alto-cumulus and alto-stratus.
Judging height is not easy. It helps when several layers are visible at once or if you can see any aircraft.
High wispy ticks = cirrus
Cirrus, followed by increasing cloud amounts and decreasing cloud height, usually means rain is on the way.
So that’s the basics. If you want to find out more, check out the gallery at the Cloud Appreciation Society. It is worth a look, just to admire the beautiful pictures.