Let's look at these tales one at a time, in order.
The first, "Snapshot," is fun, old school horror. A magic device - and a person corrupted by said magic device - enters the life of an adolescent. We've been here before - not just in the elder King's work, but all over the horror genre. Haunted or cursed objects amplify and challenge the good and evil within an individual and its Hill's expertise at painting strong pictures, creating strong images that lifts this beyond your average demon-possessed random object story. In short, this is a fun '80s B movie with a nice tie-in to modern technology at the end.
"Loaded" is easily the best of the bunch. Some might argue for "Aloft" but I'll argue for this one, because, hey, let's not pull punches: It's the story we need right now on the gun rights issue. And, like Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, it doesn't necessarily provide answers; it only shows us all the facets and leaves us to reach our own conclusions. I'm trying to think of a more devastating last line in all of literature, and I'm having trouble. This one might very seriously top the list - I'm talking about all literature here. This story should, and I hope will be remembered a hundred years from now or more.
"Aloft" has gorgeous visuals. Again, image is Hill's strong suit. Anyone who's ever built castles out of clouds during a plane flight will identify with this one. How many of us have been up there in anything from a puddle-jumper to a 747 and imagined traversing what certainly looks like the mountainous terrain of a cumulus cloud. There's a dash of UFO conspiracy, a shot of Lovecraftian tentacle horror and even a nod or two to Verne and Wells and maybe even Poe, but it adds up to something wholly original and entertaining, as well as a statement on the heart wanting what the heart wants, reality be damned.
"Rain" is easily the weakest of the bunch, though it remains highly entertaining. In an afterward, Hill notes that he's using this piece to poke some fun at his own post-apocalyptic novel, The Fireman. Sigh. I hesitate to tell you this - because what good does it do for the likes of me to be critical of a much more successful author - but, while I'm a huge fan of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box and a middling fan of Horns (which I think is highly uneven - it reads like several partially completed MFA projects cobbled together), I am not at all a fan of The Fireman. I find it a sociological slog of a novel. Once they get to the camp it's all talk, talk, talk. I just don't get the appeal. At all. There are some great images - I believe I've said elsewhere that images are Hill's strong point - but I frankly found The Fireman difficult to get through after the initial apocalypse. (I'll admit that, judging by the Amazon reviews, I'm by far in the minority here,) The writing is fine; the book just isn't for me. That said, I found "Rain" somewhat more fun than The Fireman simply because of the whackass nature of the apocalypse, the swipes at Der Trumpenfuhrer and the set piece conclusion. I didn't quite completely buy the main character's quest - I had the same problem with Brian Keene's otherwise laudable The Rising. Yes, I get it - we would do anything for loved ones. But be it zombies or a rain of crystalline arrowheads or a nuclear bomb, traveling cross-country to check on whether or not one specific individual is for real and for true dead just strikes me as kind of ludicrous - because, yo, they're dead, okay? And your faith, your hope despite all hope, won't bring them back. Not in the real apocalypse.
But, nitpicky quibbles aside, all in all, Strange Weather is a collection not to be missed. The two bookend stories are plenty entertaining, and the two in the middle are classics. I listened to the audibook, and every reader - Will Wheaton, Kate Mulgrew, Stephen Lang and Dennis Boutsikaris - does a stellar job.