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Happy National Weather Observers Day!

Today is an unofficial holiday which celebrates people’s fascination with weather.  According to online holiday calendars, it is always celebrated on May 4.  I got my start in meteorology in the third grade when a tornado came just two blocks from my house in Grand Rapids MI, and I’ve been watching the weather ever since.  

If you’re a weather geek like me, you probably already know that the Weather Channel celebrated their 33rd anniversary of being on the air on May 2, earlier this week.  You can read a history of TWC on Wikipedia at

In honor of the day, I thought I would share one of my favorite web sites for looking at cloud pictures.  The Cloud Appreciation Society has hundreds of beautiful pictures on all different types of clouds.  You can find them at  This month’s “Cloud of the Month” is the “fallstreak” altocumulus cloud, shown below in a photo taken by Craig Pledger over Key West, FL.  It is formed when ice crystals from higher clouds fall into super-cooled water droplets, instantly turning them into ice crystals which fall out in this hole-shaped pattern.

Source: Craig Pledger/Cloud Appreciation Society

Source: Craig Pledger/Cloud Appreciation Society