The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds

Front Cover
Penguin, Jun 5, 2007 - Nature - 320 pages
Now in paperback: the runaway British bestseller that has cloudspotters everywhere looking up.

Where do clouds come from? Why do they look the way they do? And why have they captured the imagination of timeless artists, Romantic poets, and every kid who's ever held a crayon? Veteran journalist and lifelong sky watcher Gavin Pretor-Pinney reveals everything there is to know about clouds, from history and science to art and pop culture. Cumulus, nimbostratus, and the dramatic and surfable Morning Glory cloud are just a few of the varieties explored in this smart, witty, and eclectic tour through the skies.

Illustrated with striking photographs (including a new section in full-color) and line drawings featuring everything from classical paintings to lava lamps, The Cloudspotter's Guide will have enthusiasts, weather watchers, and the just plain curious floating on cloud nine.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
9
4 stars
5
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sandydog1 - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed the quaint lore, but didn't finish every bit of it, preferring to consider this wonderful book a reference. I'm culling all my books but this one is a keeper. Very well done. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Eoin - LibraryThing

A charming and moderately informative consideration of the visible atmosphere. 5+ stars for concept, 3 average for execution. The tone is a bit spotty with moments of grace. Worth it for the Morning Glory. Member #22860 Read full review

Contents

Cumulus
21
Cumulonimbus
45
Stratus
71
Stratocumulus
91
The Middle Clouds
111
Altocumulus
113
Altostratus
135
Nimbostratus
151
Cirrocumulus
195
Cirrostratus
211
Not Forgetting
237
The Other Clouds
239
Contrails
253
The Morning Glory
283
Notes
307
Acknowledgments
311

The High Clouds
169
Cirrus
171

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 13 - I am the daughter of earth and water, And the nursling of the sky ; I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores ; I change, but I cannot die. For after the rain when with never a stain The pavilion of heaven is bare, And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams, Build up the blue dome of air, I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tombi I arise and unbuild it again.

About the author (2007)

Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a renowned journalist and cofounder of The Idler magazine in England. A former science nerd and a graduate of Oxford University, he has been obsessed with clouds since childhood. His writing has appeared in The Telegraph, Evening Standard, and elsewhere. Based in London and Somerset, Gavin is the founder and chair of The Cloud Appreciation Society. Visit their website at www.cloudappreciationsociety.org.

Bibliographic information