Educational - Partly cloudy

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Unfortunately, the weather terms Partly Cloudy and Partly Sunny are often confused, even by meteorologists. Partly Sunny means only part (less than half) of the time period will be sunny. In that same respect, Partly Cloudy means only part of the period will be cloudy. Since there is often confusion with these terms, however, it is best to assume that they are almost interchangeable.

Forecast terms

Cloudy is when the sky is complete covered by cloud, no view of blue sky.
Clear is when there are NO clouds in the sky.

Beyond the extremes, it gets tricky. It depends on whether you are speaking of a current condition or a forecast:

Mostly cloudy In a forecast, this means that most of the day will be cloudy. For a current condtion, this means that much more than half of the sky is covered in clouds.
Partly cloudy In a forecast, this means that less than half of the day will be cloudy. For a current condition, this means that less than half of the sky is covered by clouds.
Partly sunny In a forecast, this means that more than half of day will be cloudy. For a current condition, this means that more than half of the sky is covered by clouds.
Mostly sunny In a forecast, this means that most of the day will be sunny. For a current condition, this means that most of the sky is clear of clouds.
Sunny is really the same as mostly sunny.

Cloud Abbreviations

The codes related to cloud types and sky conditions are as follows:

BRN = Broken clouds
SCT = Scattered clouds
OVC = Overcast
FEW = Few clouds
CLR = Clear

When you see a number after the cloud type (e.g., BRN090) the number gets translated into the height of the cloud depth. For instance, 090 is 9,000 feet. Simply add two zeroes to the end of the number to get the altitude in feet of the cloud deck. It is possible that the code has two cloud types, as in BRN090 SCT005. That means there are two cloud decks, one at 9,000 feet that is broken and one at 500 feet that is scattered.

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