I follow the weather forecast religiously by checking half a dozen different websites a couple of times a day (and maybe more). Since I don't have a permanent set up, I usually set certain weather forecast requirements that must be met before I commit to:
- pulling all the gear out
- carrying it outside
- surveying the optimum backyard location to minimize interference from trees, house, neighbor's unnecessarily bright outdoor lights
- setting it all up
- configuring my acquisitions
- keeping the dogs and children away
- polar alignment
- collimation check
- autoguiding configuration
- and a final sacrifice to appease the cloud gods
When I get into long stretches of bad weather like now I find that my criteria become less and less stringent. Last night looked like it would be clear for about half the night, but the moon was still a bright, waning gibbous. In summer months I wouldn't even have bothered to start, but yesterday evening I went through the whole process with trepid anticipation. My last one night stand in February ended badly with clouds rolling in just as I got down to imaging. Luckily this time the forecast held, and I got lots of new, albeit mediocre images to play with, but I realize that it could be months again before another hole opens up in the sky.
This is the life we have chosen for ourselves.