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A man with his head in the clouds

PUBLISHED: 17:25 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 03 July 2010

David Kelf, who lives in Gorleston, is a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society

David Kelf, who lives in Gorleston, is a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society

Miles Jermy

THEY inspire poems and paintings and have provided a lifetime of work and pleasure for one man who is happy to have his head in the clouds.

David Kelf's job as a meteorologist takes him around the world but he believes there is nowhere better than his Gorleston home to admire the skies.

THEY inspire poems and paintings and have provided a lifetime of work and pleasure for one man who is happy to have his head in the clouds.

David Kelf's job as a meteorologist takes him around the world but he believes there is nowhere better than his Gorleston home to admire the skies.

Retired weather forecaster David has a particular passion for clouds which dates back to his time as a schoolboy in Great Yarmouth.

The 63-year-old is a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society and enjoys nothing better than capturing dramatic sky views on camera.

David said: “The flat open landscape and big skies makes Norfolk unmatched for observing the clouds.

“I have been to Hawaii which has the clearest atmosphere in the world and the Arctic Circle to see the midnight sun, but the most interesting weather is right here on our doorstep.

“I recently took some photos of some beautiful clouds above the sea at Gorleston, the sun was rising up behind them. They had given us overnight snow and were illuminated by the light.

“My fascination with clouds inspired me to become a meteorologist. I just love the sky, it is half our visible existence, but not enough people take time to look up and admire it.

“I particularly love looking at satellite pictures, clouds have fascinating forms and patterns that tell us a lot about the weather system.”

A dad of two grown-up sons, David started work at the Met Office in the Shetland Isles after leaving Great Yarmouth Grammar School.

He later studied meteorology at university and returned to work as a weather forecaster before becoming a coastal surveyor with the Hydrographic Office in Somerset.

A keen runner, he took part in the Gorleston Cliffs Park Run on Climate Change Day to raise awareness of global warming.

The 20,000-member Cloud Appreciation Society has an observation platform near Skegness and David would like to see another opened in Norfolk.

Society members are trying to persuade the World Meteorological Organisation to classify a new cloud, the first for 50 years, called asperatus.

The weather is always a popular topic of conversation and as an expert on the subject David is able to appreciate the subject's enduring fascination.

He said: “Weather affects our everyday lives and the climate is inherently unpredictable because it is a chaotic system. Of course when people find out I used to be a weather forecaster it is often the first thing they want to chat about.”

Contact: www.cloudappreciationsociety.org

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