Forecasting sunsets through Sunset WX

Sunset at the Bend Area

Sunset, photo by Kevin Povenz

If you’re looking to get the perfect sunset, you might want to check out the sunset forecast from Sunset WX. They explain (in part) their model for sunset forecasts:

…we understand there are numerous definitions for the criteria: Vivid, average, and poor. However, as a landscape photographer, there are certain variables I look for each evening before making the decision to take time out of my day and photograph the sunset. The most important factor I look for is sky cover, and more specifically, the existence of high clouds over the area. High clouds not only provide moisture to refract the sunlight, their ‘wispy’ formation also provides “texture” to the sky and are high enough in the atmosphere for the sun to scatter light below. Think of these as a movie theatre screen, in which light can be projected upon.

Because of this, we weighted high clouds the most as stated before, and consider this necessary for a “Vivid” sunset. In general, regions that are displayed “Poor” in the model, are areas of near 100% of total cloud cover, and also areas that are projected to experience precipitation around sunset time. The ‘hard to define’ area comes in between the two. To some, a clear sky at the time of sunset may be the definition of a great one. In this model, it is our intent to weight a clear sky sunset as average, and therefore it would show up as green or light yellow. The oranges and reds are really the areas where we are trying to show that the sunset will be one of those that makes you go ‘Wow’.

Click through to check out the live sunset forecast map – it’s pretty cool!

Kevin took this photo back in December of 2012 at “The Bend Area” in Ottawa County on the Grand River near Jenison. View it bigger and see lots more in his Sunrise/Sunset slideshow.

Lots more great Michigan sunsets on Michigan in Pictures!

One thought on “Forecasting sunsets through Sunset WX

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