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4.7 out of 5 stars110
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2008
This is a fantastic book and I was glad I bought it. The foreword is very informative and well written and doesn't boggle the reader with too much science. This book is ideal for those armchair cloud watchers who know a bit about clouds but need to further their knowledge. This book is an essential guide to cloud identification and provides some stunning photos of the clouds themselves. The book is also handy for being able to forecast the weather as you will soon get to know the cloud types and the associated weather that comes with them.
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on 27 May 2008
Recently I found a book that I could only dream of as a child, but which didn't seem to exist. Then I was fascinated by the weather and wanted a book classifying the cloud types with the correct names, symbols and pictures to demonstrate. Richard Hamblyn's "The Cloud Book" does all these things. The beauty of the photographs means it easily qualifies for the coffee tables of the less geeky among us, while neatly illustrating the text for the cloud afficianado. It is not often that you can say a book is perfect in all respects, but may be this is one.
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I suggested that my son bought this for his father for Father's Day, as my husband has always been interested in clouds and weather formations. It did not hurt that it had received some pretty good reviews on Breakfast News also.

Excellent book. Good clear photos, as one might expect from the Met Office, straightforward explanations, and a few surprises in terms of understanding the role of clouds in issues such as global warming.

Overall, good book for the coffee table, or somewhere it can be grabbed for quick reference.
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on 20 July 2009
If you like clouds you will love this book. Theres clear photographs and simple(ish) explanations about each type of cloud, how they are formed and their names. I found this difficult to put down and am forever reaching for it when I see a cloud I recognise or one that I dont.
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on 17 March 2014
First the good points: The Cloud Book is very professionally finished, with a large number of beautiful photos illustrating the different types of cloud described in the text. The introduction is well-written and interesting, and overall this is certainly an attractive-looking book; something I would definitely pick up and browse through while waiting at the doctor's surgery, or if I found it on a friend's coffee table.

The problem is that I wouldn't read it for much longer after that. The reason is that after the introduction (which is a few pages long) it has more the structure of a catalogue than a casual reading book, with most of the book given over to describing a list of different "cloud types", which doesn't really help you to "understand the skies", as claimed on the cover: it just gives you names to associate to different cloud forms. Unfortunately, reading through a list of cloud classifications does not really do it for me: it doesn't tell you a story, it just gives you facts. Put simply, there is no real reason to turn the page.

On top of this, the author uses a range of meteorological concepts without properly explaining them. As someone who has followed a couple of courses on Meteorology at university, even I struggled to keep up at times. Of course it is possible to not understand all the terms and still get some understanding out of it, but it makes you wonder why the author did not spend a few pages (at least!) explaining some basic concepts in meteorology, rather than diving straight into cloud classifications without giving the reader a solid base of knowledge to build on.

I would give it three stars still because as a coffee-table book for picking up and browsing it is very good, the problem is it's hard to keep interested after half an hour or so of browsing.
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on 1 March 2009
A simple to understand and very comprehensive explanation and easy means by which to identify cloud types - outstanding!
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on 16 November 2009
Written in association with the Met Office, this book is factual and beautiful with 'photos and information from all over the world. I bought it for my husband so that I could enjoy it too!
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on 12 June 2009
Excellent book. Easy to understand text written by a member of the UK Met Office. Beautiful colour photos. A real 'must have' for anyone interested in cloud formations.
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on 11 January 2010
Very interesting book,very detailed and some really good pictures.I bought it for a xmas present along with a Weather Station and 2 sensors,so it ties in together,they were very well appreciated. It is good fun looking at the skies cloud watching,I had no idea they were all so different.
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on 24 January 2010
I agree with all the other reviews, which say unanimously that the book is interesting, well-written, contains stunningly beautiful photographs, and is good value for money.

I have awarded the book 4 stars, instead of the five stars that most other reviewers have given it. My reason is that I would have liked the author to explain the correlation between the various cloud types and the corresponding features one finds marked on an Atlantic pressure chart. I admit that he does indeed explain that the Cirrus types CH1 to CH5 are associated with an advancing warm front. However, an ink drawing illustrating the advancing warm air riding over a wedge-shaped block of cold air would have helped this explanation. He does not tell us what clouds to expect in an enclosed area of high pressure, in a ridge of high pressure, in a cold front, in an occluded front, or when there is a trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere. Furthermore, what types of cloud should I expect in the region of shower clouds that often follow on behind a front? All of these are features shown on the Atlantic pressure chart published daily on the Met Office website, and I would have liked to correlate these features with the cloud types that Richard Hamblyn describes so well.
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