Typically, summer’s hot days hold more water vapor in the air than can the cooler days of winter. That extra water vapor creates the haze, which reduces visibility. Certain other conditions, such as wind, work to decrease the haze. Visibility is best on days that are cool, dry and have a bit of a breeze, especially a northwest breeze. That doesn’t sound much like summer here in the east, does it? Here summers are usually hot, humid and breezes are tough to come by.
In other words, days like today that are cool, dry and with a lovely light northwest breeze are few and far between in summer. Northwest breezes are usually associated with fall, and any hawkwatcher will tell you that when there’s a northwest wind, it’s time to put yourself on a hawkwatch to observe the show. The first good northwest breeze of August will start to move birds southward, and even now, in late July, I would not be surprised if this breeze was enough to get a few birds, perhaps Bald Eagles, moving southward.
Today, I’m not yet ready to start fall hawkwatching, but I am enjoying the crystal clear views and lovely temperatures. It does make me feel as though fall is nearing, even though by the calendar, summer is not yet half over.