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How I mastered the art of cloud-reading—and learned to see the future

Think of clouds as the original sky writing. A snapshot tells you little—it’s all to do with the pattern in which they appear

By Cal Flyn  

Here on the island, the weather has become one of the most significant factors in how each day will unfold. Photo: Roberto Nickson, Pexels

Living on a low-lying island—a place of wide-open vistas—I have become increasingly aware of the shifting patterns of the clouds in the sky and how they relate to the weather.

From a field near my house, one might stand and watch a curtain of rain drawing across mainland Scotland then advancing across the waters of the Pentland Firth. As it approaches, it obscures first the high hills of Hoy and then the smooth green back of Graemsay, which rises like a whale from the waters of the sound. Then the air begins to shift; a susurrus rises from the dry…

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