The "matutinal cloud" that Stephen and Bloom saw "from two different points of observation" at about the same moment (Stephen in Telemachus, Bloom in Calypso) covered the sun, but it was small. By the time represented in Oxen of the Sun it has covered the sky and unleashed a downpour, whose thunderclaps have terrified Stephen by making him think of divine judgment. Ithaca confirms that association in Stephen's mind by saying that the morning cloud was "at first no bigger than a woman's hand"; the image evokes a biblical expression of the coming wrath of God.

JH 2012

 

A small cloud over the sea, Pelloponnisos, Greece, photographed by magrippi, 10 May 2012. Source: www.flickr.com.

Storm clouds over Rochester, Minnesota photographed by cjohnson7, 27 September 2007. Source: Wikimedia Commons.