Sky Watching

Yesterday, we had a brief bout of crazy weather. It’s the kind of thing I love, watching the sky change, the light, cloud shapes, cloud colors.

In the space of maybe a half hour, I watched the scene unfold, as slow-moving storm clouds crept westward. In the distance, I saw a dark arm reaching down from the clouds. Rain was falling over there. I hurried out to take some photos.


What I found so interesting was a series of cloud layers above the rain curtain. Different shades of grays, gray-blues. Slowly, the great cloud shapes morphed, colors shifted.


The dark front moved closer to my area. I saw one flash of lightning and heard one clap of thunder, but not too close. The air had become so much colder. The temperature must have dropped a lot. No rain was falling yet.  The front continued on the move.



I went back indoors. But I kept watching out the window. A short time later I noticed a very subtle patch of color within the gray clouds, like an apricot color. I went out again to record it.

DSC_0551 - Copy



Somewhere to the west, a slice of late-afternoon sun must have hit the clouds. I watched as the color slowly deepened. Did anyone else see that?

The icy air drove me back indoors, and pretty soon I started to hear tinkling against the windows. Was it sleeting? Was it hail? I couldn’t tell for sure. Usually I’d say such weird weather produces hail, but it was so tiny and it had gotten so cold, I thought it could be sleet.

The sky was very dark, but in the distance I could see a dramatic sliver of orange beneath it. DSC_0565

The precipitation continued for a little while, and later on the news, I had confirmation. Hail! Mine wasn’t big enough to photograph, but I saw photos from other neighborhoods that had pea-sized hail.

I saw it all unfold, I felt it, I heard it.




Published by

Joan E. Miller

I live in the amazing Pacific Northwest. I'm a writer, photographer, birder, nature lover. I'm also a gardener, of food, flowers and shrubs.

7 thoughts on “Sky Watching”

  1. Joan, I have no photos like you do but here is my story. One Saturday I went out to run, it was the Saturday right after thanksgiving, but it was unseasonably warm, about 50 degrees so I was in shorts and a T-shirt.  I looked up from my front porch as I got ready to run, and the clouds were moving really fast, dark gray and middle gray and going by quite rapidly.  After about a mile, it started to rain, but the sun was still shining, and the temperature dropped maybe 10 degrees.  The rain was slanted like the way Van Gogh painted some of his works  from upper right to lower left.  Ran about another mile and it began to sleet, hard and another 10 degree drop in temperature.  So I ran home the last mile, with the left side of my body being hit by sleet, freezing sleet and rain.  All in 1/2 hour over three miles. It went from 50 degrees to about 30 degrees in 1/2 hour.   My left side was red and bruised from the sleet or maybe it was hail, I don’t remember.  But what a drastic change over a short time. Thanks for your photos documenting the weather change. hugs, Annie O


    1. It was late afternoon, and the sky I was watching was toward the east. Normally the sun is opposite and there can be color in the eastern sky. But I didn’t see any sun in the west. I guess there was some coming through. But the orange on the eastern horizon was strange. That was well toward the southeastern sky.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to flauntingdawn Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s