Long before today’s technology was used to forecast the weather, people learned to how to predict storms and precipitation by simple observation. Early farmers, sailors and herdsmen knew their livelihoods and sometimes their lives depended on being able to know when a severe storm was on the way.
The following warning signs of bad weather are not foolproof, but even professional weathermen make erroneous forecasts quite often. You may even beat their average, if you utilize the following indicators. At the very least, you can surprise your family and friends with your accurate weather predictions.
1. Watch the sky
In the northern hemisphere, storms usually move from west to east. If the sky is dark and threatening in the West, bad weather is approaching.
Puffy white clouds that begin to grow vertically and darken, indicate rain.
Clouds at different heights, moving in different directions are warning signals of disturbances in the upper atmosphere and signal bad weather on the way.
A ring or halo around the moon indicates precipitation. The ring is caused by moonlight reflecting off the ice crystals in high cirrus clouds. These clouds are often evident before a storm.
A red sky in the morning, as sun rises in the East, warns of bad weather approaching.
2. Look around
Temperatures that are far above or below normal for the time of year will soon change, and the change will be accompanied by stormy weather.
There will be more static than usual on AM radio, because the electricity in the air interferes with the signal, and may be a precursor of rain, lightning and thunder.
Warm, humid air is often a precursor to rain and/or a thunder storm. Warm air will rise toward the cold atmosphere and cool. Cooler air cannot hold as much water vapor as warmer air. As the air rises, the water vapor will condense and form clouds. As the clouds become heavier and heavier, precipitation will begin.
Humid air feels damp and sticky. Flies and mosquitoes are likely to land on your skin and bite.
Many people who suffer from with arthritis or rheumatism report that the dampness before a storm makes their joints more painful.
High humidity causes curly hair to droop, and straight hair to becomes wavy.
Since salt absorbs water, grains of salt stick together. They are hard to dislodge from the shaker in humid weather.
Birds fly closer to land when a storm is approaching. Seagulls leave coastal areas and fly inland.
Smoke from chimneys or campfires will not go straight up, but will droop down towards the ground. Particles of ash and soot combine with water molecules in the air and the smoke becomes heavier.
When a tree shows the underside of its leaves, rain is on the way. Many trees sprout the densest growth of leaves on the side of the prevailing wind, that is on the west side. When an east wind blows, heralding an oncoming storm, it causes the leaves to show their undersides.
If you notice that sounds, like distant train whistles or night bird calls, carry farther than usual, wet weather is approaching.
Animals, especially birds, get very quiet immediately before it rains.
Many of our forefathers knew these indicators of approaching inclement weather long before the scientific community developed the technological tools which would supposedly improve the accuracy of weather forecasting. Which system is the most efficient? It remains a controversial subject to this day, and it really depends upon whom you consult.
When the sky is red in the morning,
And sounds travel far at night;
When fish jump high from the water
And flies stick tight, and bite;
When you can’t get salt from your shaker,
And your joints give you extra pain,
There’s no need to consult an almanac,
You just know it’s going to rain. Anonymous.