Fiji clouds

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Late afternoon the clouds would cover the sky bringing the landscape to a grey and green combination that seemed quite constant, the most prevalent leitmotif of Fiji colour, for the time of year that we were there. Then the clouds would build into deep, dark menacing shapes that scudded across the sky, dumping water in tropical proportions, like God dousing the land with a giant bucket, slopping it all at once and then being done with it.

Everyone runs for cover. There are ample overhangs and huts to shelter under.

The rain flattened all the colours, making sihouette shapes of all the trees. Like cut-outs. Then the rains would stop, not exactly suddenly, but the transition from super-dump of rain to dry – no more rain at all only took about five minutes once the storm was over. The clouds gather themselves back into high piles of fluffiness and move their way out across the bay, taking center stage, and blocking out the setting sun.

People come right back out again and resume whatever they were doing. It’s lucky when the rain dumps just after you’ve arrived a happy hour. You can sit with your preprandial drink watching the clouds transform before your very eyes.

I took this photo of clouds because something rather curious was going on up there in the post-rain clouds. See how the dark mass of clouds is backlit by the sun – and then there is another dark mass flaring behind it? Here’s a close up of the flare.

So here’s what baffles me about this flare:
The dark one in the foreground is backlit, presumably by the sun. So then, is that second dark shape behind it a cloud? If so, why isn’t it backlit also? While several of us watched this phenomenon, no one could come up with an explanation of how it was lit.

How could the sun get in behind one cloud and not the other one? If it did it would be the cloud most in the background that was backlit, but that is not what is occurring here.

It’s curiouser and curiouser.

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2 Responses to “Fiji clouds”

  1. Modelki Says:

    I love sky and clouds …

  2. forestrat Says:

    Interesting.

    My guess would be that having several layers of clouds is the key. The lowest layer gets sun on its top through a break. It relects light upward where a second cloud layer casts a shadow on the bottom of the highest layer.

    MDW

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