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Old Jun 20, 2006, 11:39 PM   #1
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Are there any keys to predicting a good sunset? Certain types of clouds to look for, temperature, etc?

I thought tonight was going to offer me a great sunset...there were some wispy-looking clouds that I thought would look great with the sun's setting light on them...the sunset turned out pretty dull.

Just wondering if there is a way to predict if a sunset will be good or if it's just a guessing game.
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 10:13 AM   #2
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From my experience, it's a guessing game. I usually look for a clear sky on the western horizon, with a few clouds higher in the sky ....... but then, when the sun actually goes down, it's a flop. Try again another night!
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 4:39 PM   #3
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It's middle level Altocumulus clouds which give best colours.
You can try to estimate type (low, middle, high) by measuring width of "cloud blocks", if its ~between thickness of two to five fingers (from arms distance) those are propably middle level clouds.

But in the end nothing can replace monitoring situation and having camera ready with ten seconds notice, good ones last only few minutes.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 8:42 PM   #4
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To the preceding advice, I would add watching weather channel for info on things like volcano eruptions in your hemisphere, or large fires West of you. The dust and smoke these put into the mid and upper atmosphere can make for some pretty spectacular colors. I got some of my best shots a few days after Mt. St. Helens erupted a couple years ago.

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