Eric Sloane’s weather books
Weather science comes to life.
Simple questions can be the toughest to answer. How does temperature change from day to day? What is wind? Why do clouds have the shapes that they do? Sometimes, these questions are best answered visually—especially if Eric Sloane is your teacher.
Eric Sloane wasn’t a scientist by training. He was a painter, best known for his landscapes. Clouds top most of them. They are beautiful and full of life, their richness testament to Sloane’s careful study of clouds and meteorology.
As a student of weather, he was open-minded and resourceful. He drew inspiration for his illustrations of complicated concepts from unexpected places. While waiting out a storm in the shelter of a boathouse, he used tools at hand to explain how storms form to a young boy. He rendered this lesson into one of my favorite Sloane illustrations, one that maps three different movements of an oar to the three ways storms form.
When teaching, I try to think like Sloane. What can I think of in the world, or find in the room I sit in, which can help me explain what I am trying to teach? If there is something I can pick up and use as a model, then I hope that my lesson will acquire some of the resonance that Sloane’s illustrations have.