The wonderful, glorious clouds above our heads!
I have a rather old logbook that has on the first line of the first page the following entry:
Serial No. of Flight: 1 & 2
Date: 7th June, 1981
Glider Type: K7
Place of Launch: RGC (short for Rattlesden Gliding Club, in Suffolk, England.)
Type of Launch: W (short for winch launch.)
Crew Capacity: P2
Time in Air: 0 hours, 12 minutes
Remarks: Instructor R. Davis – Circuit Experience and Turns
Won’t say more at this stage about gliding per se other than dear Roger Davis opened my eyes to the magic of the atmosphere and I was hooked!
It wasn’t long before I understood that old saying that you can always tell a glider pilot at first sight – because they have scar tissue on their chins from repeatedly walking into fixed objects. Why? Because a glider pilot is always looking up at the clouds.
It is certainly true that some thirty-seven years after that first flight I still adore reading the clouds in the sky.
All of which is my long introduction to a delightful and comprehensive article that appeared on Mother Nature Network recently about clouds.
So for the next six days while we have family staying with us I am going to republish, day by day, the full wonderful article. The next Picture Parade will be Sunday, 2nd September.
We stare at clouds all the time, whether trying to figure out what they look like or if they’re bringing rain. Yet most of us know very little about clouds, let alone how to identify them.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) keeps a cloud atlas that divides clouds into genera, species and varieties. Some clouds have multiple “varieties” and some have “accessory” clouds that appear with or merge with bigger clouds. Specific conditions can even create special clouds of their own.
In short, clouds are a rich tapestry in the sky that changes every day.
These are the 10 most typical forms clouds take. The WMO notes that the definitions don’t encompass all possible cloud permutations, but they do outline the essential traits to differentiate one cloud genus from another, especially those having similar appearances.