Monday, September 6, 2004 Posted: 4:45 PM EDT (20:45 GMT)
Designed by Howard E. Payne, the souvenir sheet depicts the cloud photography of eleven different photographers from the United States and Canada and features common cloud formations that most people have witnessed in their lifetime.
The unveiling itself was held in conjunction with MILCOPEX 2004, the Milwaukee Philatelic Society's annual stamp and coin show and took place at the Four Points Sheraton, across from the Milwaukee airport facility.
Milwaukee Philatelic Society club member Rob Henak, in a Seuss-style hat (for a philatelic writing presentation that immediately followed the unveiling), kicked off the event with the introduction of Gina Shaw, public relations spokesperson for the Milwaukee Post Office. Shaw provided technical information on the issue itself, as well as information and history of the location of the first day ceremony, which is scheduled to be held at the the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, Mass., on Monday, October 4, 2004.
Shaw then introduced Ken Rizzo, Meteorologist-In-Charge of the Milwaukee-Sullivan National Weather Service office. The Milwaukee-Sullivan office serves all of southeastern Wisconsin.
Rizzo spoke about the weather and its impact on everyday life, pointing to the fact that $2.7 trillion dollars of the American economy or 25% of gross domestic production (GDP) is directly impacted by weather conditions and accurate forecasting.
The audience of about two dozen then witnessed the unveiling of the 15-design souvenir sheet. Rizzo then answered audience questions about specific cloud types and under what conditions they form.
Additional information about meteorology and clouds can be found on the NOAA web site at www.noaa.gov. More information on the Cloudscapes stamps and stamped cards, as well as free stamp collecting information, is available from The Virtual Stamp Club online at www.virtualstampclub.com