Gordon Tripp is the author of The Weathermen*, a laypersons guide that covers 2,000 years, exploring the many strands that tell the story of weather history – recording instruments, charts, wind circulation, weather diaries, jet streams and so on. The book also documents the lives of over 100 men whose biographies provide the signposts along the way. These were essentially men of their times, be that of The Enlightenment, the Crimean War, the days of the British Empire or of two World Wars.
“What do you think a cloud feels like?” I asked the assembled Brownies
“Cotton wool, cotton candy, fluffy, cool, wet ….”
A simple garden pond decoration that produces mist by forcing water through a very fine mesh, combined with a large shallow bowl of water, creates a cloud for children to feel. Most of them end up slightly disappointed as a cloud feels like nothing very much, but it is a good conversation starter!
An article in The Guardian explores 7 climate change ‘hot spots’ – key parts of the world where climate change could have devastating effects, be it the impact of hurricanes, heatwaves, drought or flooding.
At 1039 GMT on 7 December 1972 Jack Schmitt from the crew of Apollo 17 took one of the most iconic, and certainly most reproduced photographs of all time. NASA named it photograph AS17-148-22727, but very shortly after the picture went public it became known as ‘the blue marble’. It is of course the picture of the near full-earth disk taken on route to the moon, with the sun directly behind the Apollo 17 spacecraft. Interestingly it was not the first of these kinds of images from of earth.
Clouds have always been a feature of paintings and photographs, but images captured by amateur photographers confirmed the existence of a dramatic cloud form with a roughened, wave-like base. Citizen science has now helped experts to explain how the newly-recognised ‘wave-like’ asperitas cloud is formed.
My passion for bird watching began before my passion for the weather. However, because bird watching is very dependent upon the weather I have been able to enhance my bird watching skills by considering the dependence of bird behaviour on the weather.
Bird migration, in both the spring and autumn migration, is a prime example of where the weather influences the behaviour where wind direction and rainfall play a key part on the movements of birds. The spring migration (March-May) is useful for assessing population changes and survival of species over the winter.
As world population continues to grow alongside changes in global climate, there is a greater risk to a larger proportion of the population from a multitude of climate and weather phenomena.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has recently announced the world record for the highest reported historical death tolls from tropical cyclones, tornadoes, lightning and hailstorms:
The Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) runs theWeather Club. It is the Learned and Professional Society for weather and climate, and has a lot of enthusiastic amateur members. RMetS is giving all new individual members 50% off for a limited time only*.
Joining the RMetS gives you access to all the membership benefits that you would receive throughout the year. You will receive online access to Weather, the ‘house journal’ of the RMetS (both past and future issues), which can access online or via an App. The discounted fees are as follows: