Here’s a hefty photo book that anyone who likes to keep an eye on the sky will enjoy. The Book of Clouds by John A. Day provides an interesting look at atmospheric phenomena that can serve multiple purposes.
First, the clouds and optical effects we see in the sky on a regular basis are grouped in a way that makes identification easy. We learn which clouds are high up and which are closer to the ground. We also learn to distinguish between heaps, layers, and clouds which are actually precipitating. By understanding the similarities and differences of each cloud type, we can readily put a name on any cloud.
Second, useful and interesting information is provided throughout the book. Weather enthusiasts will be happy to learn:
- How clouds form.
- Who named the clouds.
- What causes storms.
- How to forecast the weather.
- How to observe and photograph clouds (written for film cameras, but still useful).
Finally, The Book of Clouds makes an attractive addition to your coffee table. The color photography is truly spectacular.
This book makes an excellent companion to A Field Guide to the Atmosphere, which John A. Day coauthored. The field guide explains the causes and effects of changing atmospheric conditions in depth, which provides a foundation for better understanding the classification system used in The Book of Clouds. The latter can then be used to hone your identification skills and recognize the subtle variations which each cloud type can display.
You may also find this book to be useful in identifying clouds when keeping records in The Weather Wizard’s 5-Year Weather Diary.