Have you ever thought about how much clouds affect your day, not just simply whether you need to wear a rain jacket or not.
Almost all of us feel a lift in our spirits when we draw the curtains to a bright sunny morning, not a cloud in sight – well maybe just the odd one gently drifting across the glassy blue sky. Either way, the promise of the day is that the clouds have vacated the sky so that we may enjoy the warming rays of the sun.
Of course the opposite is true, there are days when it feels like cloud wants to smother us in its dark grey blandness, and even worse when clouds decide to constantly drizzle on us which can test even the most sanguine of people.
Clouds are an amazing invention! Carrying water across the land which is an essential ingredient for life, reaching any part of the world, whoever thought of them is a genius! So economical and effective (sometimes too effective,) but that is not their sole function. Clouds play a major role on governing the surface temperature of our planet, they reflect solar radiation and absorb some of the earth’s radiation which helps to make our world habitable.
There are four basic cloud formations all of which have Latin names, Stratus, Cumulus, Cirrus and Nimbus. There are many combinations of these four and the Latin names get longer and more complex, but we will stick to these. Clouds can be things of immense beauty adding texture and colour to the skies they are also indicators or providers of the weather.
The Latin word Cirro means a curl of hair. Like curls of hair these are the thin wispy clouds formed of ice crystals that appear high up in the sky, they often foretell of a change in weather in the next few days.
Stratos in Latin means layer or sheet. These clouds usually appear lower in the skies, they have no definition often appearing as a hazy mass. These are the dull grey days where nothing much seems to happen in the weather.
Heap or pile is what this Latin word means. These are the romantic clouds that float across the sky like lumps of cotton wool, ones that you can stare at for ages finding different shapes and peoples faces in. Usually they are on a lower level in the sky but they can rise up into higher levels of the atmosphere.
4.Nimbo-Form (and 5)
Nimbo means rain in Latin and this speaks for itself. There are basicaly two forms of Nimbus Clouds, Cumulonimbus which we generally recognise as storm clouds and Nimbostratus which are those dull rainy days where nothing much happens except everything gets very wet.
Sometimes I love to simply watch the clouds drifting across the skies, or stand and admire their contribution to the grandeur of the landscape. Clouds can be very calming and almost mesmerising or stimulating as they crash around throwing bolts of lightening at the earth. Thunder storms are awesome. Where would we be without clouds?