Dear Tom,

What’s the difference between cloudy and overcast?
Maranda Wegner

Dear Maranda,
There is basically no difference. Both terms apply to a completely cloud-covered sky, though some might argue that cloudy could be used to describe a sky with a few small breaks. Other cloud cover terms are less definitive. Here is an explanation of the terminology used to define cloud cover. In weather forecasts, “partly cloudy” and “mostly sunny” refer to cloudiness that covers two-tenths to five-tenths of the sky; “mostly cloudy” and “partly sunny” refer to cloudiness that covers six-tenths to nine-tenths of the sky; “sunny” and “clear” refer to cloud cover between zero and one-tenth of clouds.