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An Introduction to Weather Map Symbols and Terminology


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The Symbols Used for Cloud Species
Cloud Species Symbols

Each cloud type is given a symbol. This helps aviation experts and pilots to communicate easily.

NASA Ames Research Center
Aviation is one area where understanding cloud types can help a plane to have a smoother flight. Clouds give pilots an indication of air motion, stability and moisture. These cloud types are reported using universal symbols that all aviators can understand. Often, the cloud symbols are also used on weather maps and cloud posters in educational settings as well. Can you learn them all? Go to the full cloud symbols chart to get individual pictures of what each cloud would look like in the sky.

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