Saturday 29 December 2018


I like precision in all things, even in cloudiness. It's therefore terribly useful to know the word okta, which is the standard unit of measurement of cloud cover. It goes from 0 oktas (clear blue sky) to 8 oktas (completely overcast). I think we can all guess the etymology. Unusually, there is an occasional 9 okta measurement, which means something like too cloudy to see the clouds, although I'm a bit hazy on the subject.

It's curious that this should come to mind while I'm staying in the Lake District.

In the Lake District all of these are possible simultaneously.


  1. Ok, so what's the etymology of okta? It escapes me at the moment...

  2. I would guess "octo" which means 8.

  3. I would have sworn that the spelling was "octare" but, of course, a wiki-search refuses to confirm this. Maybe my memory is getting cloudy too.

  4. Oxford Dictionaries site says: "Origin
    1950s: alteration of octa-."

  5. occludes?!
    how much the cloud cover occludes your view!