GLOBE Side Navigation


​​​​​​​Clouds

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Protocol

Observe and report which types of clouds are visible, how much of the sky is covered by clouds, and the opacity of clouds. Also report sky and surface conditions. Each observation is matched to satellite data of clouds taken about the same time and location. Cloud observations can be taken at any time! This Protocol is designed to be flexible and fit into your schedule, classifying, observing, and reporting cloud observations when it works for you. If you observe while a satellite is overhead, you can then receive an email from NASA comparing your observations to satellite data.

NASA Support Page for GLOBE Clouds and Satellite Comparison
Your cloud observations help NASA to better understand the different types of clouds and the effects they have on our Earth’s climate. NASA matches cloud observations to corresponding satellite data. Satellites only see the top of the clouds while you see the bottom. By putting these two vantage points together we get a much more complete picture of clouds in the atmosphere.

Find Satellite Overpass Times by accessing the NASA Cloud Satellite Portal.

Teachers Guide Supporting Protocols

Supporting Protocols

Protocols to help in completion of the main protocol

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Measure the current air temperature when an instrument shelter is not available. Current air temperature is measured using a thermometer held in the open air but in the shade for at least 3 minutes.
To determine the amount of moisture input to the local environment by measuring rain and snowfall and to measure the pH of precipitation.
Students measure the relative humidity using either a digital hygrometer or a sling psychrometer.

Teachers Guide Field Guides


Field Guides

Step-by-step instructions for collection data according to the protocols.

Teachers Guide Data Sheets


Data Sheets

Sheets to be filled out during data collection

Teacher Guide Learning Activities


Learning Activities

Activities to help students learn more about the instruments and protocols

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Students monitor clouds and weather to begin to understand the connections between the two.
Students draw a visualization and learn about all the design choices involved and how these choices affect what is communicated by the visualization.
Students practice estimating how much of the sky is covered by clouds.
Students use visualizations to explore the relation between elevation and temperature and begin learning how to make important patterns evident in visualizations.
Students begin to learn cloud types and their names.

Teachers Guide Resources


Resources

Additional documents or tools related to the protocol