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IQ Weather Homeschool Extra: The Skies Tell A Stormy Story

At IQ Weather, we like to teach you new and different ways to look at weather!

In our 24-lesson video- based course, we talk about clouds and how they are formed. Today I want to talk about visual clues you can use to tell whether or not the atmosphere is becoming more favorable for storm development…using the look of the sky!

If storms are in the forecast for a particular day, often the air has to become unstable before strong storms can form. When we say the air is unstable, we simply mean that the air is rising, which helps promote the formation of precipitation and storms.

If the air is stable, it means that there is little or no vertical motion.

The clouds that form in stable air are usually stratiform in nature…in other words…flat and fairly uniform. It is quite common to see a lot of stratocumulus clouds during the morning hours before a storms form. Stratocumulus clouds look like this:

As long as the air remains stable, the clouds will look that way....

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