Predicting the Weather

Photographing lanscapes is a bit of a funny business. Sometimes it seems it‘s all just sheer luck, being at the right place at the right time, like all you need to do is go out, rock up press the shutter and walk home again.

Though more often than not there is planing to be done, of which the most basic and probably most crucial is checking the weather forecast. It will most likely affect if you go out, and where you will go. In addition, for me it‘s important what the weather does around sunrise and sunset, if there is the chance of great colours in the sky, virtually setting it on fire (if you‘re lucky). But if you think getting the weather forecast right is hard, then surely, getting a sunrise/set forecast right is even harder! And it is.
Over the years I have tried many different weather apps and sources. From local German news agencies, to, to the BBC. I have read books on weather predictions and cloud forecasting, studied weather charts and stared into the sky. Out of all of those, I have found one app more percise and reliable than any others: Yr. As anything good in relation to weahter forecasting, it‘s Nowegian. Apart from it‘s forecasts being second to none, I find how they present the information extremly helpful. The main and initial screen is an animation just about the next 3 days. But this isn‘t just your bog standard little sunshine ☀️ or cloudy 🌥 or rainy 🌧 symbol with a bit of glamour. No, this is full on „Your sky will look like this" animation. It includes cloud layers, wind, sun and moon travels across the sky. Though it of course still gives the option for a more classical, pictographic presentation, which I admit is more helpful in some cases.
Yeah, this is what heavy rain looks like. No doubt, but the other information on th screen is really helpful too.
Slightly more classical presentation of forecast information and I find particularly good if you want to quickly see what temperature and wind are doing.
However, what I think is most impressive is their sunset and sunrise forecast animations. I always find it hard to guess and estimate what a sunrise the next morning might look like, no matter how long I look at forecasts and charts, how long I study cloud patterns and wind maps. But looking at the animation of this app, a lot of the time I get it wrong, and Yr gets it right.
Sunrise forcast for the coming Monday. Looks like getting up early will be worth it.
And appart from saving me a lot of time, I have learned that I can trust this little animation on my phone screen. Of course, it won‘t stop me from going out at times when I really want to, but it definitively encourages me at times when I don‘t.

Philipp Staudacher

Philipp is on Twitter as