Blacks Crossing Photography and Writing | cloud "tells"

cloud "tells"

April 16, 2018  •  2 Comments

Written media, including books, magazines, and newspapers in addition to movies and television, frequently feature gambling scenes.  From James Bond playing baccarat in the original Casino Royale (and almost all the other Bond films) to those scenes in many other movie and television series of people playing poker, and Texas hold'em, we have had an education in the "tell".  These are habits, facial/body expressions and other reactions that might "tell" one player what other players' next moves could be.  In the same way, clouds in the sky hold all sorts of tells about local weather.  This week, the cloud "tells" have been massive, and their story is mostly about the wind of spring in New Mexico.

All photographers are observers of the world around them.  One does not necessarily need to hold a Ph.D. in meteorology to know that something is afoot in the atmosphere these days.  But it is fascinating to watch clouds developing, taking shape, morphing and moving over the topography - just like water encountering rocks in a stream.  This is a very simplistic description, and photographs show so much more, including the two images below.  Even to the amateur weather geek that I am, I can see there is a whole lot of action happening here.  Holes are developing, with almost a whirlpool-type activity. One heck of a bumpy ride for those traveling by airplane!

cloud tells 1cloud tells 1

cloud tells 4cloud tells 4


From a slightly different angle, a few minutes later, and rendered in black and white, the clouds work their magic.

cloud tells 3cloud tells 3

Later, in the western sky, the sun is setting amidst a set of swirls.

cloud tells 2 sunsetcloud tells 2 sunset

If you are interested in reading more about weather, there are several great sites for in-depth information, including the NOAA Aviation Weather site at:  

It features data on winds aloft (at 30,000 feet), icing, and significant meteorological warnings, among other things.  The NOAA National Weather service radar loop shows the "painted" radar readings.  This particular site listing includes radar data roughly west from the Arizona border and east to the Texas border and south to north from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, to the Colorado border. 

And finally, the every day go-to forecast page (this particular one is set for Taos, New Mexico but you can input any location):

It features all sorts of juicy tidbits like high and low temperatures, wind, humidity, barometer reading, sunrise, sunset, moon sequences, historical weather data, and on and on.

Enjoy your explorations this week!

until next Monday,


a passion for the image@



Steve Immel(non-registered)
Tis the season for our famous New Mexico winds. My advice is to get out early. As is often the case, you've given us a lesson. This time in meteorology. The clouds sweep and swirl reaching stormy crescendos above us. Like snowflakes, each is an original never to be repeated Beautiful!
What elegant lines; you almost feel like you are part of the clouds.
Thanks so much for your observations.
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