Extraordinary Clouds, cover

Extraordinary Clouds is an appreciation and explanation of dramatic cloud formations by Richard Hamblyn who has done much to explain how clouds form and their structure.

Striking Cloud Formations and Meteorological Phenomena Explained

In Extraordinary Clouds Richard Hamblyn builds on his earlier books The Invention of Clouds and The Cloud Book to both show incredible cloud formations and to explain the mechanisms that create them.

Dramatic Pictures of Skies and Clouds

Extraordinary Clouds is a slim paperback book in a compact landscape format. Like The Cloud Book it features dramatic photographs of clouds from around the world. Alongside each picture there is a brief explanation of how the picture came to be taken and the conditions that caused the particular cloud to form.

Many of the photographs are taken from wild places or from space which gives a new view of clouds on a much grander scale. Others are taken in much more ordinary circumstances but are still dramatic.

Some of the pictures would seem to explain some UFO sightings and others would appear to presage the Apocalypse! Most are simply striking or beautiful examples of nature’s art.

A Book to be Appreciated by Anyone

Whether as children or lovers, most people at some time have lain on their back and simply watched the clouds. There seems to be a widespread fascination with clouds and the sky. This book can be approached in two ways.

It will appeal to those who do no more than enjoy nature’s spectacle and appreciate the beauty of the unexpected skies. For such readers it can be read.without any real distraction by the science or meteorology that brings it about.

But for the lay reader who is also interested, even just in passing, in how clouds are created will also enjoy this book and its brief explanations. For those readers Extraordinary Clouds can be read in isolation but it is best enjoyed as part of a package with the author’s earlier books which go into more detail of the meteorological science.

Authoritative and Accessible

The authority of this book is unquestionable as it is produced in association with the Met Office and has a Foreword by Keith Groves, the Met Office Operations Director. The author, Richard Hamblyn has written widely on the subject of clouds and is also Writer in Residence at the Environment Institute, University College London.

Despite that authority the text is limited to extended captions and written in a straightforward way that does not require detailed scientific knowledge. This is an example of appealing popular science that will encourage many readers to seek more.

The Author

Richard Hamblyn is a previous winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize for his book The Invention of Clouds. He is also the author of The Cloud Book.

Extraordinary Clouds (2009, ISBN: 978-07153-3281-8 by Richard Hamblyn is published in paperback by David and Charles at £9.99 ($14.99, Can$16.50).


First appeared on Suite101

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