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25 March 2017

Look Up and Say Hello to Altocumulus Asperitus and Cirrus Homogenitus

It was Luke Howard, a Fellow of the Royal Society, who first gave us the cloud names like cirrus, stratus, and cumulus (that we still use today), and that was way back in 1802! This is important because to understand something, you first have to observe and classify it, and this is true of all science, not just meteorology. So, it’s big news when we add some new cloud names, and if …


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1 July 2015

This Looks like A Hoax, but It’s Not. It’s a Crown Flash

This must be the season for them because I saw one myself last weekend (here in Maryland) for a few seconds. I was unsure of what it was, but assumed that cirrus clouds were reflecting the sunlight in a strange way, much like a sundog. The one I saw did not move as much as this one though, and it is rather amazing. Language warning on the video, but I’d …


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3 August 2014

You Don’t Have To Be A Meteorologist To Appreciate Clouds

Broadcast meteorologists frequently get calls from people when there is a solar halo or sun dog in the sky, and I have to tell you we are always shocked when people tell us that they “have never seen that before!” I cannot imagine how someone can live 40 or 50 years, and never have noticed such basic atmospheric optics. I can shock you even more, because it’s not uncommon to …


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