I guess the first time I got hooked on the weather bug was as a 10 year old, fascinated by the unpredictability of Christchurch’s weather. Although meteorology on the whole had rapidly climbed to the tops of my figurative ‘passion tree’ there was no doubt clouds were what really drew me in.
At 11, on a school morning I vividly remember taking my very first cloud photo. At the time, I knew little about how clouds were classified and what they entailed, but thanks to an incredible class teacher who studied meteorology at university, I was fortunate to get an indication of what the photo was. It turned out that it was a combination of mare’s tails (cirrus uncinus) and altocumulus, with the cirrus justifying the drizzle which followed.
From that day on, my passion for clouds and meteorology sky-rocketed. Again, I was incredibly fortunate to have such a supportive teacher who shared with me his knowledge, introduced me to one of my favourite met-sites http://www.metvuw.com/ and encouraged my involvement in all things weather.
But how did the site come about? About a year later, our class had the opportunity to complete a ‘Project of Passion’ and I knew in an instant that this would be mine. I must admit, I spent a lot of time with my head in a book as opposed to the clouds, until I had exhausted the whole library of weather and cloud books! Among my favourites are:
- Clouds that Look Like Things and The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds (Gavin Pretor-Pinney)
- The Cloud Book (Richard Hamblin)
- The New Zealand Weather Book (Erick Brenstrum)
Armed with a new camera and the ropes of cloud spotting, my site resulted: a collection of cloud heaven, a plethora of colour, shapes and contrast – from the common place altocumulus to the rare asperitas! Now, I’m at Burnside High School, still caught on that weather bug and grateful, as weird as it may sound, for all those cloudy days!
So for when you find your world clouded, blurred or anything short of perfect, remember that we’re all a bit like clouds, and beyond the blue skies, there’s a blog waiting for you.
– E Wen Wong x