NASA and the GLOBE Project launched the second Cloud Challenge this week, and they need your help! Through November 15th you can send up to 10 reports a day from your phone through the GLOBE app (click here to check it out).  You can take a picture of what you are seeing or answer questions in the app. The people who send in the most reports will be congratulated by NASA scientists with a video posted on the NASA GLOBE Clouds website!  You can click here to see LOTS of tips for taking pictures, using the app, sending in reports, and more. According to Joe Atkinson at the NASA Langley Research Center, "The 2018 data challenge, which took place in the spring, received more than 56,000 cloud observations from more than 15,000 locations in 99 countries on every continent, including Antarctica."

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Image Credit: NASA

Marilé Colón Robles, lead for the GLOBE Clouds Team at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, said, "from thin, high clouds that are hard for satellites to detect, to dust storms that impact our daily lives, these observations play an important role in better understanding our atmosphere."  Last year the Cloud Challenge took place in the spring, so researchers analyzing the data are hoping to compare different types of clouds in different seasons this year to see what they can learn. Those scientists will be comparing the pictures and reports submitted to what they see on satellite images taken from your area at the time of your report. That will help all of us who use satellite images (including your WDRB Weather team) to better understand what the images show us. "Last year’s challenge gave researchers special glimpses into cloud types around the world. Photographs provided by observers gave insight into events such as dust storms and wildfires. Our hope is to once again learn from the community and together study our atmosphere," said Colón Robles.

This can also be a great project for your kids to help with! You can use the app to teach them about different types of clouds and how it relates to weather using our forecasts. The video below from NASA helps explain more about this project: