Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Cloud Spotters Guide

clouds between the trees near the Water of Leith.
 
I really enjoyed reading The Invention of Clouds (which I review here) but it left me wanting to know more about the cloud types themselves. So I immediately picked up The Cloud Spotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney of the Cloud Appreciation Society.

This book takes each cloud type in turn and gives the details of what it typically looks like, where and when it can found and what type of precipitation (snow, heavy rain, hail, drizzle etc) it gives rise to. It also outlines some tips on weather forecasting by describing how one type of cloud can become another.

Alongside all the science the author makes it clear that clouds are to be appreciated for their beauty (apart perhaps from stratus, the low, dull, misty cloud that even the most ardent cloud appreciator has been known to describe as boring).

He also has plenty of stories to share about clouds, including that of Lt Col William Rankin a US Air Force pilot who had to eject from his plane above a storm cloud and spent 40 minutes being buffetted by the weather as he fell through a storm.

This is a totally fascinating book for anyone who is interested in our 'little fluffy friends' as Pretor-Pinney calls them. I think I'll need to read it a few times though before I can be sure of telling the difference between some of the cloud types let alone starting to forecast the weather!


The Cloud Spotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney published by Sceptre (part of Hodder and Stoughton) and available in several languages.

**
On a different topic, the first of my haiku on Daily Haiku has just gone live!

As ever, red text in this post contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more! 

10 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like an interesting book! A great way to learn about the different types of clouds. It would be a great gift for my hubby the want-a-be weatherman.

Greenpatches said...

It's the patterns formed by the clouds that sets me off daydreaming...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

"Cloudspotting" maybe better than "Trainspotting"...

Here in Italy the clouds are being pretty pitiless now, not a patch of blue and violent rain since yesterday and a very cold North wind. I watched amazed the runners of the Venice marathon passing by drenched to the bone.

Ms Sparrow said...

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon!

Alison Wiley said...

Juliet, the breadth of the topics you read about and review truly impresses me.

By the way, I need your snail-mail address, please, so I can mail you a copy of my novel Revelle (the artist and printer finally got the cover to come out right, hallelujah).

Rabbits' Guy said...

I could not get the Haiku link to work.

There is a weather guy here - he works at U. of Washington who does a regular blog about fascinating things with weather and he regularly educates us on the types of clouds we are seeing. Fun.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I want that book! I'm off to look it up -- thank you!

Caroline Gill said...

An enticing recommendation, Juliet, for those dreamers among us who enjoy the pareidolia pictures we seem to see ... but also long to know more.

Lori Lipsky said...

Sounds like just the book for me. I'm amazed when my husband takes a quick look at the clouds and then tells me rain is coming and when. I wonder how he does it. Maybe this book will help me figure it out. Thanks, Juliet.

Bill said...

cloud watching
the spots of gray
in her hair