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The Cloud Book: How to Understand the Skies Paperback – 21 Mar 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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  • The Cloud Book: How to Understand the Skies
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  • The Met Office Pocket Cloud Book
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  • Extraordinary Clouds: Skies of the Unexpected from the Beautiful to the Bizarre
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: David & Charles; First Edition edition (21 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715328085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715328088
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

The imagery is spectacular, with stunning skyscapes included to make each cloud easy to identify. A factual but easy-to-use guide. Keep it near the biggest window of your house and you'll soon be a cloudspotter too. --BBC Countryfile

A splendidly illustrated cloud atlas showing how they form and evolve. Every variety of cloud is magnificently pictured and accompanied by lively text --BBC SKy at Night

awesome photos […] a passport to deciphering the weather, and one of my most dog-eared books --Paul Simons, The Times

A splendidly illustrated cloud atlas showing how they form and evolve. Every variety of cloud is magnificently pictured and accompanied by lively text --BBC SKy at Night

awesome photos […] a passport to deciphering the weather, and one of my most dog-eared books --Paul Simons, The Times

About the Author

Dr Richard Hamblyn is a post-doctoral research fellow at Nottingham University, England. His book The Invention of Clouds (Picador) was shortlisted for the 2002 Samuel Johnson Prize and received wide critical acclaim. He lives in London.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
A simple to understand and very comprehensive explanation and easy means by which to identify cloud types - outstanding!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There have been a lot of books on clouds recently, some technical, some simply albums of attractive or curious photos. This one combines a brief, technical yet precise text with real "oooh-aaah" photographs. The photos are excellent and the layout good, so why only 3 stars? I felt this book fell between two stools. It is really too technical for it to serve as a good introduction for a child or the casual admirer of sky phenomena. On the other hand, the scientific stuff is skated through a bit too briskly, and with insufficient explanation, for anyone wanting a proper understanding of why clouds are like they are.

The subtitle is "how to understand the skies", but in its eagerness to be brief and punchy, it leaves out too much of the background which would have explained weather systems and how they generate different types of cloud. Clearly the author didn't want to put people off with pages of text and lots of complex diagrams, but there is happy medium and I would have expected a book produced by the Met Office to go into things in more depth.

To give an idea of what I mean about the text; on page 130 there is a description of a "sun pillar" coinciding witha "parhelic arc" to make a cross of light in the sky. A mildly interesting phenomenom, except that this is what persuaded the Emperor Constantine to make Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, so undoubtedly the most historically influential optical effect of all time . . . Checking the index, this is the ONLY reference to a "parhelic arc". Is it the same as a "parhelion"? This is shown on p 129 as a vertical stripe some way away from the sun, so it could hardly form a cross with the vertical "sun pillar". So we are baffled, quite unnecessarily.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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