Sunset Weather

Wide angle HDR landscape photograph of a pastel color sunset over a mirrored lake at Stafford Forge
Sunset Weather — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | 7 Bracketed Exposures

Photographers: You Should Follow SunsetWx

Information is good. Good information is better. Recently a significant offering was made to the information toolkit of sunset chasers plying their craft in the continental U.S.—or CONUS as you’ll see on their website. Little more than a week ago three meteorologists, inspired to pull together a ‘Sunset Model,’ unleashed maps output from a proprietary algorithm churning out regular reports to the general public based on data populated by the 4 km NAM weather model. In their own words factoring (emphasis my own):

The model itself takes primary elements into account: Moisture, pressure, and cloud cover. Using our knowledge of the atmosphere, we started with a basic idea of what variables are important, and their relative importance to one another. . . We quickly realized that some things were more important than others, and decided on a weighting scheme. After many trial runs and verifications, we weighted moisture the most.

Quick to buy in I didn’t even need to be shown proof of its accuracy, but after verifying sunsets the country over, including the two standout waves that hit the PHL-NYC corridor over the past two weeks, I was all in. So now when I see @sunset_wx tweets like the one below my sunset battle plan is armed with better, more scientific information than ever before; strengthening my decision making process on sunset spots to seek. Tonight, knowing the middle section of southern New Jersey was in the sweet spot, made choosing the western exposure of Stafford Forge the obvious choice.

Sure enough the forecast verified with a solid to good sunset, let’s call it a B- and aligned with SunsetWx’s scale; and I, in turn, went home with some good exposures in the hopper to share with all of you. There’s no doubt I’ll be talking up the boon gifted to us by SunsetWx in the future, but for now you can find them on Facebook and Twitter. Slate’s already done a write-up. And as tweaks continue to hone their algorithm may we all someday benefit from a future ‘Sunrise Model’ soon?





One response to “Sunset Weather”

  1. […] settling in to make yesterday’s sunset photo I took a few minutes in admiration of the Pinelands of Stafford Forge set aglow by some pretty […]

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