Oliver Mouse’s Cloud Guide

Oliver Mouse Discovers Different Clouds

Oliver Mouse tells us he is very interested in clouds because one of his “duties” is to predict the weather for that day, and “there’s nothing like clouds for guessing the weather.”

Of course, he consults other sources, too. His favorite is something called "Farmer Bob's Country Pointers." And he watches what the birds, bugs, and plants are doing. But sometimes Farmer Bob and the bugs are both wrong, and Oliver says it is essential to be as accurate as possible so one's friends don't get caught in a rainstorm. So it’s only logical to pay very careful attention to the clouds. You can, too!

Cirrus Clouds 

Cirrus Cloud

 UCAR/Lisa Gardiner 

Cirrus clouds are the wispy ones. They’re long, stretchy and made of tiny crystals of ice and snow, high up where the atmosphere is very cold. They look small because they are so high and far away. They move super fast because of the wind. Sometimes they go 100 miles per hour! Cirrus clouds often mean the weather is going to change.

Cumulus Clouds

Cumulous Cloud

 UCAR/Carlye Calvin 

Cumulus clouds are the “cloudiest” looking clouds. They look like puffy white cotton balls. They are made of water drops and they are at a low to medium height in the atmosphere. Cumulus clouds often have interesting shapes, so they are the best clouds for noticing things like animals and letters.

Cumulonimbus Clouds 

Cumulonimbus Cloud


Cumulonimbus clouds are a special type of cumulus cloud. They are the tallest clouds in the sky. They are usually large and puffy, with a white top and a gray bottom. They usually mean a storm is coming. Sometimes it is a rainstorm, other times, a snow shower.

Stratus Clouds

Stratus Cloud

 UCAR/Sara Martin 

When the sky is gray, Oliver Mouse knows that it’s not really gray. The blue sky is covered in stratus clouds. Stratus clouds sit low to the ground. They are long and large. Sometimes they bring a drizzle of rain.



 Farmer's Almanac 

There’s one special cloud that you can touch! It’s called fog. Fog clouds are actually stratus clouds that sit on the ground. They are made of tiny water droplets. That is why on a foggy day, you can feel a misty dampness when you go outside. And it’s hard to see very far away, because when you stand in fog, you are standing in a cloud! 

Sometimes while Oliver is consulting the clouds on a fresh, breezy morning, he becomes lost in a reverie. He spies the shapes of animals and letters in the clouds, and considers what is his favorite animal and his favorite letter. But he can't dawdle too long, he knows, because he has to hoist the proper Weather Flags up the flagpole of the Hazel Village Lodge. The choices of flag are: Sunny, Cloudy, Rainy, Snowy, Lightning, Windy, Hot, Warm, Just Right, Cool, and Cold.