We had our first clear sky here (Virginia USA) in quite a while so I spent the day excitedly preparing Celeste & Cubble for viewing.
However, when it came to viewing, the conditions were shockingly bad. Stars looked like squirming fuzzy snowballs and I could not achieve any kind of focus on Jupiter in anything more powerful than a 25mm eyepiece. It was so bad I was sure there was something wrong with Cubble but Celeste was suffering the same problems.
Anyway, my question is, is it possible to in any way predict these bad viewing / seeing conditions even when the sky appears cloudless?
The wind was a gentle SW and we had high pressure for at least 18 hours preceeding the evening.
We have had issues the last few weeks with extreme high altitude remnants of smoke from the California wild fires but I'm not sure these were to blame last night. The images I was getting weren't smudges or fuzzy but more like looking at the objects submerged underwater.
So any factors that we can watch out for that might contribute to poor seeing in a cloudless sky??