This plate, published in the Philosophical Magazine in 1803, presented the classification of clouds by meteorologist Luke Howard.
Howard had introduced his classification in 1802 in a lecture to the Askesian Society and later moved on to observations of the weather over-time using self-recording barometers as well as developing ground-breaking visual representations of those observations.
Howard opted for Latin terms to depict the clouds and proposed rigorous definitions for each of the forms.
Cirro-stratus: 'Horizontal or slightly inclined masses attenuated towards a part of the whole of their circumference, bent downward, or undulated; separate, or in groups consisting of small clouds having these characters.'
Cirro-cumulus:'Small roundish masses, in close horizontal arrangement or contact'.
Cumulo-stratus: 'The Cirro-stratus blended with the Cumulus, and either appearing intermixed with the heaps of the latter or superadding a wide-spread structure to its base'.
Many studies discuss the influence of Howard's classification on the representation of clouds in art, and particularly his influence on John Constable's own cloud studies and its inclusion in Goethe's poetry.