There is probably nothing more rewarding for a photographer than to shoot pictures outdoors in the natural light. Whether you are into landscape, portrait or astrophotography, there is nothing quite like the satisfaction of nailing that perfect golden hour shot, capturing that moment when the sun’s soft light comes through the layers of clouds, or capturing the beautiful glow of the Milky Way on a clear night sky. The weather is not always that predictable though. A clear sky can suddenly bring clouds and rains just when you’re up and ready for a fun day of outdoor photography. You can only wish you could predict the weather!

But, guess what? You can. Introducing, Clear Dark Sky, a weather service mainly created for astronomers but happens to be equally useful for photographers.

Clear Dark Sky app

This forecaster is not your normal forecast. It provides a 48-hour window into the future weather, providing you a comprehensive breakdown of temperature, cloud cover, darkness, humidity, wind, transparency, and more. It is perfect for natural light portrait photographers. It can save you a lot of time before heading out to the location your shoot by enabling you to confirm cloud cover the day or several hours before the shoot.

Night landscape photographer and astrophotographers will enjoy this app too. The information on humidity, transparency and darkness that it provides will allow you to select the best locations and the best times for getting the clearest views of the night sky. Clear Dark Sky has a feature called “seeing” which measures the stillness of the air and indicates when fine planetary details will be visible through a telescope.

Clear Dark Sky chart

The data Clear Dark Sky provides is gathered from specific observation sites in the Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., which means that it is limited to user locations. California for example has 444 sites listed, while Oregon only has 98. The app by the way is downloadable from Google PlayStore and iTunes.