Release date: 1 May 2018

Clouds are made of tiny water droplets or ice crystals, suspended in the atmosphere. It is commonly observed that dark, threatening clouds can herald a storm, or that fluffy white clouds serenely billow across the sky on a perfect summer’s day. But the science of cloud classification is much more complex than this.

Every cloud belongs to one of the ten main groups, called genera. Most genera are further divided into species and varieties to account for differing characteristics. The basic nomenclature for clouds stems from the Latin term describing their physical form – cumulo (heap-like), strato (layer), cirro (hair-like), alto (high/upper) and nimbo (rain-bearing). Numerous combinations of species and varieties of the genera can be observed, with each telling an important story about the physical processes taking place in the atmosphere.

The Cloudscapes stamp issue depicts types of clouds of their features, using striking photographs taken in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.

The stamps

These striking stamps, designed by Lisa Christensen of Three Branches Design, depict types of cloud or their features.

$1 Lenticularis

These dramatic saucer-like clouds, known as lenticularis clouds, are an example of the altocumulus (high and heap-like) genera. They were formed on the crests of atmospheric waves above Lachlan, Tasmania. The stamp photograph is by Rainer Oberle.

$1 Mammatus

These clouds, so named because they resemble udders or mammaries, often occur with cumulonimbus (heap-like and rain bearing). The clouds were photographed near Booborowie, South Australia. The stamp photograph is by Mark Dawson.

$1 Cumulonimbus

These clouds are often associated with unstable weather conditions. Here we see a lightning storm between Auburn and Balaklava, South Australia. The stamp photograph is another by Mark Dawson.

$1 Arcus

An arcus cloud is a low, horizontal formation appearing as a shelf or roll and usually associated with cumulonimbus clouds. The stamp shows storm clouds with a spectacular arcus feature near Boonah, Queensland. The stamp photograph is by Daniel Lutzke.

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Set of stamps


Stamp pack

Maxicard set

Additional products

  • Minisheet
  • First day cover
  • Stamp pack
  • Maxicards
  • Booklets of 10 x $1 (self-adhesive)
  • Booklet collection

Technical specifications

  • Issue date

    1 May 2018
  • FDI withdrawal date

    30 May 2018
  • Denominations

    4 x $1
  • Stamp design

    Lisa Christensen, Three Branches Design
  • Product design

    Lisa Christensen, Three Branches Design
  • Printer

    RA Printing
  • Paper gummed

    Tullis Russell Red Phosphor
  • Paper s-a

    Securepost 90
  • Stamp size

    35mm x 35mm
  • Minisheet size

    170mm x 80mm
  • Printing process

    Offset lithography.
  • Perforations

    14.286 x 14.286
  • FDI postmark

    Whitemark, Tas 7255
  • Sheet layout

    Module of 50
  • Issue withdrawal date

    30 November 2018
*This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.

Philatelic team