It could be "Nimbus" by Peter Watts (which he has made available free on his website).
A distant flicker of sheet lightning strobes on the horizon. From
Jessica's receiver, a dozen voices wail a discordant crescendo.
"Or you could even talk to it," I continue. "I saw the other day,
they've got two-ways now. Like yours, only you can send as well
Jess fingers the volume control. "It's just a gimmick, Dad.
These things couldn't put out enough power to get heard over all
the other stuff in the air. TV, and radio, and..." She cocks her head
at the sounds coming from the speaker. "Besides, nobody
understands what they're saying anyway."
"Ah, but they could understand us," I say, trying for a touch of
"Think so?" Her voice is expressionless, indifferent.
I push on anyway. Talking at least helps paper over my fear a
bit. "Sure. The big ones could understand, anyway. A storm this
size must have an IQ in the six digits, easy."
"I suppose," Jess says.
Inside, something tears a little. "Doesn't it matter to you?"
She just looks at me.
"Don't you want to know?" I say. "We're sitting here
underneath this huge thing that nobody understands, we don't know
what it's doing or why, and you sit there listening while it shouts at
itself and you don't seem to care that it changed everything
But of course, she doesn't remember that. Her memory doesn't
go back to when we thought that clouds were just...clouds. She
never knew what it was like to rule the world, and she never
However it wasn't published in a "Best of" anthology that I can detect, just a magazine in 1994, his website and some collections of his own short fiction (published in either 2001 or 2013, depending on collection).