Irish Cloud Festival

The first ever Irish Cloud Festival will take place on 27th July in West Cork. Expect cloudspotting, cloud debating, eating and picnicing, and a talk from Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society and author of The Cloudspotter’s Guide and The Cloud Collector’s Handbook.

The event is organised by TICAS (The Irish Cloud Appreciation Society). Ticas is an informal group of interested individuals who share pictures and information relating to cloud varieties. They like to look up, and see what is going on up there.

The group likes to explore the many facets of clouds, and in particular the cultural and environmental content of clouds. Clouds can be studied in many different ways – you can use them to forecast the weather; you can name their varieties, genera and species; or you can simply admire and enjoy them, seeing different shapes and pictures in them (this is called pareidolia). They are part of great nature’s poetry, fluid dynamics.

It is suprising to learn that, despite the comprehensive classification of just about everything in our natural world, clouds were first classified only just over two hundred years ago, by an otherwise unknown meteorologist called Luke Howard.

Luke Howard, a thirty-two year old Quaker, came up with a simple system that can classify clouds, despite the fact that they move, change shape and relationships with each other within seconds. “As indistinct as water is in water” wrote Shakespeare, but Howard’s deceptively simple system makes cloud spotting and collecting an achievable pursuit. Using Luke Howard’s simple method means we can reduce clouds into ten basic shapes.

Along with clouds, the Festival will celebrate the natural elements of West Cork including fine West Cork foods, a cloud spotting picnic in the famous Sky Garden of Liss Ard House, and a cloud conference. The conference will feature a number of different speakers, including Rob Heyland Hans Wieland and John McKenna. The speakers will speak for short sessions on elements to do with clouds.

For more information visit TICAS and buy tickets here