(CLICK ON PHOTO TO ADVANCE IMAGE GALLERY)
Rain was forecast yesterday (Thursday) for Olympia so I thought I would watch the sky carefully all day long to see if I could track the changing cloud pattern and see the rain coming. Starting at 7:30 a.m., I stepped out on my back porch (mere feet away from my desk where I am writing my cloud book) and snapped a photo every few or so. The slice of sky you see here is not particularly photogenic, but it points to one of the problems of cloud watching--a slice is not as good as the whole pie. But most of us don't have panoramic vistas of the sky (the pie) so I took what I could get here.
I expected to see the clouds move in from the southwest and cover the sky, then gradually lower to the gray blanket of nimbostratus. Well...I witnessed nothing of the sort as you can tell from the gallery here. There were high, wispy cirrus clouds...then a sort of lowering...then blue skies. To my eye, the skies never "looked like rain." The clouds that brought the rain must have moved in after 11 p.m. (I could still see the moon then). Not until I woke in the middle of the night and heard the raindrops did I have proof that the clouds had done their thing. The last photograph shows the sky the morning after the rain.
If you are like me and you watch the clouds sporadically and by the slice--the clouds will always surprise you. It's one of their charms. And it's why meteorologists use radar and why sailors and farmers and airplane pilots have an advantage over urban/sub-urban dwellers in reading the skies.