The summer sky

As we approach the peak of summer weather, the horizon becomes an ever-changing canvas of billowing cumulus shapes.

Clouds can be amazing natural phenomena. Mushroom shapes, towers, mountains of vapour; gigantic structures that reach many thousands of feet into the atmosphere.

People in the Midwest are paying close attention to weather forecasts these days, as they've already seen a lot of aggressive weather this summer, with flooding and tornadoes in many states. Nature can be a menacing force.

But on more serene days, the clouds of summer are quite alluring. They spark the imagination and set the spirit soaring.

From a scientific perspective, these forms offer endless opportunities for study.

Cool Things, a web site that collects interesting stories from around the world, recently posted photographs of rare clouds. It's worth a look. (See if you can spot the hang glider in the set of photos related to "roll clouds.")

You Tube also provides some interesting images...

- A time-lapse of a cumulus cloud over St. Louis.

- Here's a strange storm formation.

-How about "cloud surfing" in a wing suit? Now this is special!

The photo in the corner is courtesy of Hoola, who lives in New Zealand. Thanks.

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