In terms of the simple things — the sky and the clouds and the air — Friday in Washington showed off three significant features, and those who witnessed them all could probably call themselves fortunate.

Friday provided fog in the morning, warmth during the afternoon and, as the day ended, the glow of one of the more brilliant and aesthetically impressive sunsets of which the atmosphere here may be capable.

The fog, of course, has a monochromatic aspect to it, but it seldom fails to appeal to the imagination and stir a sense of the eerie and the mysterious. In the morning, near Reagan National Airport around 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., it cut visibility to less than a mile.

And Friday was assuredly warm. In the afternoon, the temperature rose to 77 degrees, which savvy Washington veterans know by mere instinct is fairly high for late October. In fact, it was 11 degrees above normal, and eight below Washington’s all-time Oct. 23 record of 85, which was set in 1901 and matched twice since then.

But, the sunset. Unlike temperature, no numerical scale seems to exist for sunsets. Yet to see Washington’s western sky Friday evening was to recognize that it should have scored high by any rating system.

It would not have been possible without the clouds, a dark gray and fiery orange fleet of them, spread in rhythmic rows and ranks stretching off to the far horizon. Glimpsed among them here and there were patches of the pale evening sky against which the clouds flamed and glowed as if immersed in liquid gold.

October days are often among our finest. This was one.