Luke Howard, pharmacist, chemist, and meteorologist, developed a system for naming clouds:

•  Three principal categories: cumulus, stratus, and cirrus.

•  Compound names for transitional clouds such as cirrostratus and stratocumulus.

In December 1802, he presented a paper to the Royal Society: “On the modification of clouds” (‘modification’ meaning ‘classification’). The paper proposed names for clouds, many of which are still in use today.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on March 8, 1821. He joined the Royal Meteorological Society on May 7, 1850, a month after the society was founded.

Luke was born in London 28 November 1772, the first child of Robert and Elizabeth Howard. Robert was a successful businessman and stanch Quaker. He attended a Quaker school in Burford, Oxfordshire, then apprenticed at a retail chemist in Stockport, Manchester. He died in London on 21 March 1864.

Cloud Appreciation Society

Today would be a fine day to join the Cloud Appreciable Society where you can learn a great number of things about clouds.