Attention All Cloudspotters

You can’t look around when you’re looking up, so we’ve had a look around for you.
If you have cloud news that you think we should include here, please email it to us at:


UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science

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UAE Rain Enhancing Research

The UAE is offering grants for research programmes into enhancing the yield from rain clouds. Anyone interested in applying for a grant would need to supply an online proposal by 16th March 2015.

For full details please visit the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science website.

CBS Evening News

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This week, Mark Philips, a reporter for CBS Evening News in the US, visited us for a bit of cloudspotting.
Here is his report:

Cloud Cat…

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Jazz Coathup © Paul Coathup

This is a photograph of Cloud Appreciation Society member 30943, Jazz Coathup. It was sent by her owner and companion Paul Coathup who says “this photo is slightly unusual in that she is lifting her head skywards, more often than not she prefers to lay on her back and just gaze upwards in wonder at the sheer variety of clouds that are free for all to see.”

Suffolk Skies

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Suffolk Sky © Sarah Lucy Brown

Cloud enthusiast, Tim Oxton, recently sent us this story he saw on the EADT24 website. On 28 January the sky was blue and beautiful over Framlingham, Suffolk. But within minutes photographer Sarah Lucy Brown had captured a dramatic change in the sky. “The colours are incredible and quite a contrast from the blue to the dark grey, all in a matter of minutes,” she said.

To see her images, please view the EADT24 Gallery

‘Rain Bomb’ dropping from sky in Queensland’s southern inland

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A microburst has been caught on camera north-east of Roma in Queensland.  ©  Peter Thompson

ABC Online recently sent us a link to a story featured on their website. This image was captured by Peter Thompson who described it as a “water bomb falling”. The story goes on to explain that the Bureau of Meteorology said Mr Thompson’s rain bomb was in fact a sort of downburst known as a microburst. “A downburst is a concentrated downdraft, typically lasting five to 15 minutes, and is of unusually high speed such that it can cause damage on, or near, the ground,” the BoM website said.

To see the full article, please visit the ABC Online website

What are Cloud Streets?

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Cloud Appreciator, Helen Leavy, recently sent us this link to a very interesting article from Earth Sky.

It explains what Cloud Streets are and how they are formed using diagrams and satellite images such as the one shown here that the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured of cloud streets over the Black Sea on January 8, 2015. (NASA Earth Observatory image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC)

To read the full article, please visit the website

Nature and Human Life E-Magazine

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Scotland © Ian Loxley

The Nature and Human Life E-Magazine recently featured a photograph taken by the Cloud Appreciation Society Gallery Editor, Ian Loxley on their front page. The magazine is the first e-Academic Magazine focusing on Environmental Humanities in China. It is non-profit and free to all. It publishes several articles in both Chinese and English and it’s mission is to promote the academic communication between China and the West in the field of environmental humanities and to promote the research of environmental humanities to the public. The magazine is published online four times a year.

Click here to see the latest issue. Their website can be found here.

A New Simile for The Ladies by Sheridan

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There are may ways of engaging with the sky, and when we are in the mood for sweeping generalisations it can feel as if there is a ‘male’ approach to the sky, involving nerdy cloud classifications, weather forecasting, and the like, as well as a ‘female’ one, focussing on the emotional quality of clouds and how they stimulate our imaginations. These stereotypes came to mind when we came across this 1733 poem by Dr Thomas Sheridan (1687-1738). Searching for some way to encapsulate womankind, Sheridan hit upon the idea that you can compare a lady to a cloud. He wrote this poem on the subject to his good friend, the famous 18th-Century satirist Jonathan Swift. Swift subsequently replied with a poem arguing that clouds are nothing like ladies, which is far too bawdy to repeat here.

Portrait of Dr Thomas Sheridan

Dr Thomas Sheridan in around 1730, looking a bit like a cloud himself.

A New Simile for The Ladies

by Dr Thomas Sheridan

I often tried in vain to find
A simile for womankind,
A simile, I mean, to fit ‘em,
In every circumstance to hit ‘em.
Through every beast and bird I went,
I ransack’d every element;
And, after peeping through all nature,
To find so whimsical a creature,
A cloud presented to my view,
And straight this parallel I drew:

Clouds turn with every wind about,
They keep us in suspense and doubt,
Yet, oft perverse, like womankind,
Are seen to scud against the wind:
And are not women just the same?
For who can tell at what they aim?

Clouds keep the stoutest mortals under,
When, bellowing, they discharge their thunder:
So, when the alarum-bell is rung,
Of Xanti’s everlasting tongue,
The husband dreads its loudness more
Than lightning’s flash, or thunder’s roar.

Clouds weep, as they do, without pain;
And what are tears but women’s rain?

The clouds about the welkin roam:
And ladies never stay at home.
The clouds build castles in the air,
A thing peculiar to the fair:
For all the schemes of their forecasting,
Are not more solid nor more lasting.

A cloud is light by turns, and dark,
Such is a lady with her spark;
Now with a sudden pouting gloom
She seems to darken all the room;
Again she’s pleased, his fear’s beguiled,
And all is clear when she has smiled.
In this they’re wondrously alike,
(I hope the simile will strike,)
Though in the darkest dumps you view them,
Stay but a moment, you’ll see through them.

The clouds are apt to make reflection,
And frequently produce infection;
So Celia, with small provocation,
Blasts every neighbour’s reputation.

The clouds delight in gaudy show,
(For they, like ladies, have their bow;)
The gravest matron will confess,
That she herself is fond of dress.

Observe the clouds in pomp array’d,
What various colours are display’d;
The pink, the rose, the violet’s dye,
In that great drawing-room the sky;
How do these differ from our Graces,
In garden-silks, brocades, and laces?
Are they not such another sight,
When met upon a birth-day night?

The clouds delight to change their fashion:
(Dear ladies, be not in a passion!)
Nor let this whim to you seem strange,
Who every hour delight in change.

In them and you alike are seen
The sullen symptoms of the spleen;
The moment that your vapours rise,
We see them dropping from your eyes.

In evening fair you may behold
The clouds are fringed with borrow’d gold;
And this is many a lady’s case,
Who flaunts about in borrow’d lace.

Grave matrons are like clouds of snow,
Their words fall thick, and soft, and slow;
While brisk coquettes, like rattling hail,
Our ears on every side assail.

Clouds, when they intercept our sight,
Deprive us of celestial light:
So when my Chloe I pursue,
No heaven besides I have in view.

Thus, on comparison, you see,
In every instance they agree;
So like, so very much the same,
That one may go by t’other’s name.
Let me proclaim it then aloud,
That every woman is a cloud.

Head, heart, and soul in the Clouds

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bainbridge-cloud © Katharine Meadowcroft

Katherine Meadowcroft recently sent us a link to her blog “Humble, All Too Humble” and her recent post “Head, heart and soul in the Clouds”.

It is an article exploring the appreciation of clouds in art and is beautifully written… ” Diaphanous clouds metaphorically nod to life’s permutations and impermanence. One need only beckon the natural world to remind us, it is here, right now, that we must pay attention, because in a flash it changes”.

Click here to read the full article.

Create Your Own Near Space Mission!

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Thanks to H Brown for sending us the link to Here you will find everything you need to capture your own beautiful images of the thin blue line of the atmosphere and the blackness of space. To find out more please visit their website.