13 September 2016
The Colors You Can Get from Sunlight and Air/Water Molecules
Posted by Dan Satterfield
I have a rule about great sunsets, which I want to pass on to my fellow sunset fanatics.
The most colorful sunsets happen when you have ALL of the ingredients below:
1. A dewpoint below 60. (Below 50 is better)
2. Cirrus in the western sky.
3. Cirrcocumulus in the western sky.
4. Altocumulus and some altostratus in the western sky.
5. Few low level clouds, but some scattered about is ok.
It’s not a guarantee but, if you have those ingredients, you have a shot at a sunset over 9 on my scale (that runs from 1-10+).
I saw this setup at Blackwater Nat. Wildlife Refuge in Maryland Sunday night. I decided to wait for an hour just in case.
It was a good decision.
You cannot see them I think, but two Bald Eagles were sitting on trees in the distance.
Rights reserved, but feel free to use as a screensaver etc. No commercial/public use without permission. Educational use in classrooms is fine!
Roy G Biv
Great photos! Is there a way / data source to predict this alignment of conditions?
You can somewhat predict it. Especially the dewpoint, but forecasting the clouds for one spot at sunset is not easy. You can rule out a good sunset though..