Is it just me or is the evening forecast becoming less and less reliable? No offense to weatherman but it just seems like the weather has a mind of its own and it will never be tamed with computer predictions. (Seems like that’s proved year after year with the Farmer’s Almanac!)
Old Fashioned Ways to Predict the Weather
I’ve always been a big believer in the “crazy” weather prediction methods. I knew that if my grandma’s knees hurt than we were in for some rain. And if the cattle started moving quickly to a corner of the field you better be prepared to get indoors as fast as possible.
There are many methods for reading the sky, the animals, and our own bodies to help predict the weather and today you are going to learn all about them. Here are some ways that you can predict the weather forecast.
- Cumulonimbus clouds (traditional thunderstorm looking clouds) early in the day and developing throughout the day can mean greater chances of severe weather.
- Mammatus cloud (the puffy, pocket looking clouds) can form with both severe and non-severe thunderstorms as well as other cloud types.
- Cirrus clouds (the stringy fluffy ones), high in the sky like long streamers, mean bad weather within the next 36 hours
- Altocumulus clouds, (look like fish scales), also “mean” bad weather within the next 36 hours. The sailor’s saying is “Mares tails and mackerel scales, tall ships carry short sails.” Rain is sure to follow the next day.
- Cumulus towers(look like an explosion in the sky) indicate the possibility of showers later in the day.
- Nimbostratus clouds (rain clouds) hang low and heavy in the sky, and mean rain is imminent.
- Cirrocumulus clouds (small, puffy in rows) means that cold weather is on its way.
- The higher the clouds the fairer the weather.
- If you see a red sky during sunset (when you’re looking to the west), there is a high-pressure system with dry air that is stirring dust particles in the air. Means dry air is moving towards you (no rain ahead but the wind is sure to follow).
- A red sky in the morning (in the East, where the sun rises) means that the dry air has already moved past you, and what is behind it will now follow. (Rain or storm)
- Look for rainbows in the morning. A rainbow in the west means moisture is on its way, a rainbow in the east means the rain has left the area.
- If there is a ring around the moon at night, snow or rain will come in the next 3 days.
- If you take a deep breath and smell earth and compost, moisture is coming soon.
- If you flowers smell stronger than normal, rain is on its way.
- If the birds are flying high in the sky, fair weather will stay around.
- If cattle seek a corner of a field or lie down in a group in the fields, a severe storm is imminent.
- Cats will clean their ears before a rain.
- Spiders come down from their webs before a rain.
- The louder the frogs, the more the rain.
- Ants will build their anthills with steeper walls when rain is coming.
- When dogs eat grass, rain is coming.
- Bats flying around in the evening indicates fair weather.
- To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get the temperature.
- If there is dew on the grass in the morning, chances are it won’t rain that day.
- If you make a fire outside and the smoke goes straight up, you will have good weather. If the smoke curls and wisps then a low-pressure system (rain) is on its way)
- If it rains before seven, it will clear before eleven.
- If three nights dewless there be, ’twill rain, you’re sure to see.
- With dew before midnight, the next day sure will be bright.
There is evidence that if you spend enough time outside and in the earth, your body will tell you and give you signs when certain weather is approaching. (Such as the sore knees before a rainstorm!) Many old farmers have their own unique ways of predicting the weather and they are often correct!
Many of these are ways to tell if rain is coming but we’ve already posted ways to discover what winter weather will be like in case you want to check that out too!
One of my favorite ways to help predict the weather is by looking at the Glass Barometer that we have. It’s so easy to tell when bad weather is on the way by seeing what the pressure is during the day. We have this Glass Wall Barometer hanging in our living room, I think it’s beautiful!
Which ways of predicting the weather have you found to be the most accurate? Do you have any “body signs” of impending weather?