By: Blonde Two
I have a confession to make – I am a cloud spotter. I really love clouds which is just as well as the Two Blondes seem to spend a lot of their time walking in them. I am not very good at remembering the names of the different clouds but I sometimes do remember to take my cloud book out with me (please don’t laugh).
The king of cloud websites belongs to the Cloud Appreciation Society http://cloudappreciationsociety.org where you can enjoy such delights as “Cloud of the Month” and “The Cloud Shop”. If you feel that you need more of a beginner’s guide then I would recommend Weather Whizz Kids http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-clouds.htm (I couldn’t find Weather Whizz Blondes). This site will answer burning questions such as “Why do clouds turn grey?” and “Why do clouds float?”
My most favourite cloud moment was a lenticular cloud that I spotted in New Zealand. These are exciting because they can often look a bit like a UFO – I had been looking for one in the UK for a long time so was thrilled to find it. Lenticular clouds are almost always the result of air flowing over ranges of mountains – like a standing wave in a river, the air flows over and then back upwards creating lift. It was a very exciting cloud moment when I saw one.
There were some equally exciting cloud moments up on Dartmoor on Saturday. The day started with a cloud inversion over the East Okement valley. I have seen lovely pictures this year of cloud inversions up in the Lake District and have been very jealous so it was a great privilege to wake up to our own Dartmoor one. Inversions are basically temperature swaps – to put it simply, the temperature of the valley was unusually lower than the temperature of the moors (I can vouch for that) and the cloud stayed low. We were above the cloud which had formed a moving blanket over the valley. The picture doesn’t really do it justice but you get the idea.
As we drove (cheating I know but I did walk eventually) round to Princetown a couple of hours later, the cloud was higher (it was getting warmer) and creating a weird effect on the mast at North Hessary Tor. The mast was sticking out of the cloud and it looked like it was much taller than usual. All very odd but most enjoyable, it was definitely more fun looking at the clouds than walking in them.