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What Is Cloudspotting?

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Sea reaching the horizon. A small boat. Blue sky with big fluffy cumulus clouds.

Clouds have names.

This type of cloud is called cumulus.


Have you ever looked up at the sky and been amazed by clouds?

We all have, of course.


Watching clouds is called cloudspotting.


Cloudspotting means to look for interesting clouds.

Clouds appear in beautiful colors and shapes.

Tree tops, black against an orange and yellow sunset sky. The cloud covering glows orange and  looks like a sea of bubbles.

This type of cloud is called mammatus.

Panorama of the night sky. Flimsy, glowing blue clouds light up the center of the image.

Noctilucent clouds form ripples and appear at night.


Cloudspotters are people who love clouds.

By watching clouds you learn a lot about:

  • weather

  • temperature

  • wind

  • rainfall

Sky with large, fluffy white clouds in the background. The sunset are giving them a pink hue. Smaller, dark grey fluffy clouds floating in the foreground.

Cloudspotting is fun.

Anyone can do it for free anytime.

Blue sky with wispy white clouds. They are called cirrus clouds.

These clouds are called cirrus.


Taking photographs of clouds is easy.

You don’t need to travel to see them.

Clouds don’t disappear quickly.

You don’t have to focus your camera with precision.


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The Cloud Appreciation Society

The Cloud Appreciation Society is a group of cloudspotters from all over the world.

The Cloud Appreciation Society founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney says:

Enjoy watching clouds.

It is relaxing.

Everyone can have a fantastic view of them.

Life would be dull without them.

Clouds are for dreamers.

They are good for the soul.

Blue sky flecked with lots of small fluffy clouds.

This type of cloud is called floccus.


Lenticularis clouds get their name from the Latin word for a ‘lentil’.


You can become a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society too.

The Cloud Appreciation Society shows members' photos on its website.

As a member you can also suggest music inspired by clouds.

The Society might put it on the website.

And you can send them a poem you wrote about clouds.


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Members of the Cloud Appreciation Society can also:

  • Submit texts written about clouds they've spotted.

  • Ask for help in identifying the clouds.

Click here to see the society's photo gallery.

Towering above a field is a large, dark arcus cloud.

This cloud is called an arcus cloud.


The Cloud Appreciation Society’s members are from 120 countries.

First-time membership costs 29.50 British pounds for 1 year.

Each member gets:

  • a certificate

  • a badge

  • a Cloud Selector

  • a daily cloud photo

Click here for information about a becoming a member.


Watch how to use the cloud selector.


The Cloud Selector is a pair of paper identification wheels.

When you turn the wheel, it points to a cloud type with some text about it.

You can learn about 20 types of clouds from the Cloud Selector.


Do you want to find out more?

Visit the Cloud Appreciation Society's website:

The Cloud Appreciation Society has a shop on it's website.

They sell all kinds of things to do with clouds.

There are books about clouds too.

Click here to see the shop.


Do you like looking at photos of clouds?

Follow the Cloud Appreciation Society:

Instagram: @cloudappsoc

Twitter: @CloudAppSoc


Photos: Melissa Simpson via Cloud Appreciation Society on Instagram , Petra Boekhoff , Patricia Alexandre , Tobias Hämmer , Jiří Rotrekl

*Quotes are edited to Easy Read*


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