Clouds come in many shapes and sizes. Puffy as cotton balls tossed into the air … low, slow, and growlingly gray … spun across the high sky in frail, feathery wisps.

Clouds appear in familiar phrases. "Head in the clouds" means someone is distracted. "On cloud nine" means someone seems to be floating with joy. "Every dark cloud has a silver lining" means that even bad things have a good side.

Clouds can inspire visions of animals or objects. They can be low to the ground or high in the sky. And they can tell us about what kind of weather might be on the way.

How do clouds form? And how can we read their clues? Let's turn our eyes to the skies.

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