Gertie's Cloudin' up a Storm
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By: Gertrude Butterbean
Clyde Junior was studyin' the sky t'other day and asked me if I knew what kind of clouds were hanging above our heads. Since I know just about everything and he don't, I informed him that those purty puffy thangs were called cumulus clouds.
He said that he knowed that already from school, but forgot it just then. Yeah sure. He sounded just like his daddy. Anyways, takin' this for an opportunity for education, here's all y'all need to know about clouds!
First off, here are three of the most well-known kinds of clouds:
- Cumulus clouds are the puffy clouds that look like wads of cotton (without the bits of dirt and bugs). These clouds ain't tall and Granny Polly said they meant fair weather and lots of fun. The bottoms of cumulus clouds are purty close to the ground.
- Stratus clouds are what you see on cloudy rainy days. They're the lowest of the clouds - fog is a stratus cloud. Granny Polly hated these clouds cuz she said we kids stunk worse than usual because of the high humidity.
- Cirrus clouds are real high feathery-lookin' clouds. These clouds meant good lovin' was on the way, hey, I wonder if that's why most of my babies were conceived in the late fall?
Before I talk about the fourth kind of clouds, some of you know-it-alls may argue that there are lots more kinds of clouds than them three listed up yonder. The weatherman throws around words like nimbus (this means somethin' wet is falling from the cloud), cumulonimbus (a fancy word for "thunderhead"), stratocumulus (a fancy word for "partly sunny"), and nimbostratus (this means it's gonna rain out the church picnic).
Now for the fourth kind of cloud: in my neck of the woods, this common type of cloud is the flatus cloud. You rarely see these clouds, but their effects are common.
- Cumuloflatus clouds commonly follow Uncle Earl or Grandpa in the mornings (until they have their coffee and visit the indoor outhouse).
- Stratoflatus clouds are sporadic clouds that appear and disappear without warning.
- Flatonimbus clouds are downright frightening. You see these when Granny’s been in the whiskey or when pork ‘n beans were eaten three nights in a row. The air is heavy and carries a sulfur smell plus has a greenish-yellow appearance.
- Altoflatus clouds are delicate clouds that are musical to the ear and welcomed at family gatherings.
- Cirrusflatus clouds are rarely heard but cause burning nostrils and singed facial hair.
- Flatoflatus clouds often appear during long road trips after eating lots of candy and fast food. They're quite funny and is the favorite cloud formation for Rusty Wallace fans and folks near Trussville, Alabama.
Do y'all have any of these clouds? Email Gertie!
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Copyright © 2004, Gertrude Butterbean (Angela Gillaspie)
Revised - 03/29/04