The next suggestion for getting the most from kites is to focus
one's attention on an important subject - the weather. The close connection between kite
flying and the weather is apparent to the most casual observer. There are days when
conditions are ideal; there are days when they are fairly good; there are days when they
are bad. And there are times when the weather varies from hour to hour. A day which seems
to be promising at the start does not keep its promise; and one which might not look too
good at first turns out to be better than was expected. Because of this changeable weather
it is really necessary to have some understanding first, of the kite itself - particularly
of making adjustments in different flying conditions; and second, of the weather, which is
the immediate subject. And let it be said that to understand the weather does not imply
that one must be an expert in meteorology. All that is contemplated is a working knowledge
that will help the kite flyer to get the most from his hobby. The aim in this section is
to point out some of the ways and means whereby this knowledge may be gained. One way is
to study the clouds.
The reader may often have noticed their changing pattern as they move
along. This panorama is one of the wonders of nature - a fascinating scene wherein every
cloud is subject to change, and no two are identical, and some combine in form. Yet,
although there is this state of flux, clouds are classified and names given to them. True,
it is not always easy for the amateur to place them in the groups to which they belong.
But in due course, by sustained observation, he may be able to do this. A guide in such
study will be found in the list of the ten main types of cloud, printed below, as given in
the International Cloud Atlas.
- 1. CIRRUS, 'detached clouds of delicate appearance,
fibrous structure, without true shadows, usually white in
- 2.CIRRO-CUMULUS, 'small rounded masses or white flakes without shadows,
arranged in groups or lines, or sometimes in the form of ripples such as those formed on
- 3.CIRRO-STRATUS, 'thin veil of whitish cloud, sometimes
entirely diffuse and giving the sky a milky appearance, sometimes showing a fibrous
- 4.ALTO-CUMULUS, 'rounded masses or discs, more or less large, arranged
in groups, in lines or in rows, following one or two directions and sometimes so crowded
together that their edges are joined'.
- 5.ALTO-STRATUS, 'a veil of a colour more or
- 6.STRATO-CUMULUS, iarge, lumpy masses or rolls of dull, grey cloud
frequently covering the whole sky and sometimes giving it an undulating appearance'.
- 7.STRATUS, *a uniform layer of cloud, like fog in appearance but not lying on the
- 8.NIMBO-STRATUS, 'a low layer of structureless and rainy-looking cloud,
sombre grey in colour'.
- 9.CUMULUS, 'thick cloud whose summit is dome-shaped and
exhibits protuberances, while the base is nearly horizontal'.
- 10. CUMULO-NIMBUS,
'great masses of cloud rising in the form of mountainous towers of which the upper parts,
of fibrous texture, sometimes spread out in the form of an anvil.
Clouds occur at
different heights, and this fact is indicated by the use of the prefixes, cirro and alto.
Cirro denotes those which are between 25,000 and 35,000 feet up; and alto those between
10,000 and 25,000 feet up. The lower layer occurs mainly between 500 and 7,000 feet up.
19 Great Kites to Make