Clouds, Weather, and Climate Teaching Box

This Teaching Box combines activities, data analysis, and discussion to help high school students consider how weather can affect clouds and how clouds can affect climate.

Teaching Boxes are themed collections of classroom-ready educational resources to build student understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Resources highlighted within teaching boxes are from various science education programs and all have been vetted by the education team at the UCAR Center for Science Education.


  • Level: High school
  • Activity: Students identify clouds, analyze cloud data, create cross sections of the atmosphere, interpret atmosphere data visualizations and graphics, complete a claims-evidence-reasoning activity, and create a graphic organizer to summarize their learning.
  • Time: Approximately five 50-minute class periods
  • This Teaching Box was made possible with support from NSF-CAREER Grant AGS-1752900 to Kevin Grise, University of Virginia.

How climate affects clouds and weather

Students will understand how different types of clouds form where warm and cold air meet in mid-latitude cyclones and that these storms and clouds will likely change as the climate warms. Students will also learn that changes in clouds due to climate warming may cause even more changes in climate and that this is an area of active research.