Although we may have paid for it in terms of a less spectacular sunset, Friday offered a fairer, clearer sky than we in Washington have had in weeks.

How we see the sunset may be subjective, depending on emotion as well as eyesight.

But the National Weather Service attaches a numerical score to the degree our skies are clear.

In the category of “average sky cover,” as of 4 p.m. the Weather Service awarded Friday a grade of zero on a scale of 10.

It meant that almost nothing in darkness or daylight had blocked the heavens from view (a totally overcast day gets a 10).

So far this year, we have had many full days rated totally overcast but none as totally fair. It seems a hard grade to get.

A few clouds did show up late Friday afternoon. It was not clear (no pun intended) for a time how they would affect Friday’s final sky-cover ranking. By day’s end, it turned out that they did not. Friday scored a perfect 0.0.

But the absent clouds showed up in their negative effect on the glory of our sunset.

Striking sunsets, which arouse feelings and linger in the mind, usually require a cloud presence.

Reflecting the reds and oranges of late-day sunlight, it is the evening clouds that seem to glow and burn like magic fire as daylight yields to darkness.

We lacked them Friday and it was a noticeable lack.