Cloud Break

Today barely dawned at all. Officially, sunrise was a little after 8am, but the day seemed slow to rise from under the heavy blanket of clouds. These were brought in by a potent low pressure system that gifted us with a high wind warning and plenty of rain.

As the rains came down, the tides came up – but they were only indirectly related. We’re near the peak of the new moon tide series, so the high tide was around the middle of the day. The graph showing the tides (predicted and actual) reflected the dropping pressure as the red line (representing measured values) diverged from the blue line – going from only a couple of inches above the predicted value on the previous high to over a foot above predicted on the mid-day high.

Though I spent most of the day inside, I did get out for a little bit this afternoon. Mostly I wanted to see if the Townsend’s Solitaire that had been over at the airport last week might still be around.

As I drove cross the bridge, I noticed a break in the clouds. Instead of revealing blue sky, I saw something more interesting.

As best I could tell, I was looking at a higher layer of clouds. It was brighter gray, and there were long brighter tendrils, almost like a filtered sun was catching some of the lowest cloud bases. I was intrigued, and wanted to take a picture, but the middle of the bridge is not such a great place to stop in a car.

Before finding a place to stop, I swung by the wastewater treatment plant to see if the solitaire was on the fence there. As I swung back around and looked for a place to park where I could see the sky, I realized the clouds had been changing faster than I expected.

This is a lesson I should have learned by now – clouds often move just slow enough to give the impression that they’re not really moving at all.

The picture that leads this post was all I got. You can see the ragged edges of the daker gray clouds, but the window is all but shut, and with my eyes I could see only the faintest hint of the lighter tendrils in the upper clouds – not even that really shows up in the photo.

It’s not the first time I’ve missed documenting something, and surely won’t be the last. Hopefully in the process of writing about it, I have given the memory of what I saw a little more staying power.

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