Luke Howard was born in London 28 November 1772, the first child of Robert and Elizabeth Howard. Robert was a successful businessman and stanch Quaker.
Luke attended a Quaker school in Burford, Oxfordshire, then apprenticed at a retail chemist in Stockport, Manchester.
He became a pharmacist, chemist, and meteorologist.
He 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.
Howard’s sketch of cumulus with anvil
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on March 8, 1821.
Cloud Appreciation Society
Today would be a fine day to join the Cloud Appreciable Society where you can learn much about clouds.