Firstly let me apologise if this is a stupid question but it's something I've been thinking about for a while and I'd really appreciate the benefit of getting some input from some more experienced photographers.
The established wisdom seems to be that, in general, the "best" light is available around sunrise and sunset (just before or just after, depending on what you're after). As someone who naturally likes to sleep in, the fact that catching possibly the best light of the day can mean a 4am wake-up is a bit depressing. But having forced myself out of bed at that hour several times and having experienced some incredibly beautiful light, it's a sacrifice I'm prepared to make. Well, sometimes!
But the problem is, sometimes the light at sunrise just isn't that great at all. Nice but nowhere near as spectacular as I know it can be. So my question to all those experienced landscape photographers out there is: Is there a way to tell how good the light will be? Is there a way of predicting it with any sort of accuracy? Or is simply a matter of dragging yourself out of bed no matter what just in case?
My initial observations suggest that cloud conditions play a big role, as does the strength of the sun (i.e., summer vs winter). I'm thinking that maybe humidity has an effect. But I'd really like some advice from those who've been doing it for years to see if I can a bit better feel for when the light will be good.