How many times has the weatherman
spoiled a campout with a forecast of no chance of rain? If your
luck is like mine, too many to keep track of. Our Forefathers
did not have modern forecasting facilities or the mass communication
that we take for granted. They depended on the ability of being
sensitive to the changes that naturally occur in nature. Those
changes could be the color of the sky, the wind's direction and
its smell, the flight of birds, dew on the ground or lack of dew,
the cricket's chirp and hundreds of other signs that could foretell
the changes of the weather.
While weather predictions
today cover a large area, a person that watches the signs around
him can predict more accurately the weather for his locale. Weather
sometimes stalls or backs up. For that reason, normally accurate
signs or saying can seem to be in error.
This article contains few
rhymes and sayings which, throughout the years, have proven to
be good weather guides. Most are self-explanatory but a few I
will give an explanation to the reasoning.
Red sky in the morning,
sailor take warning.
Red sky at night, sailors delight.
Evening red, morning gray,
Sets the traveler on his way;
Evening gray, morning red,
Brings down rain upon his head.
When birds roost in the
middle of the day,
It means a storm is on the way.
(Birds roost in low
bushes because it gives them protection from the storm, and the
low pressure of the air is not conductive to flight)
Rain long foretold, long
Short notice, soon will pass
Slow showers last long,
But sudden storms are short.
Big drops, small rain,
Small drops, big rain.
When signs point to rain for several days, it usually means a
slow moving warm front, which brings long, slow rains. Fast moving
fronts are usually associated with dark clouds and heavy, short
Halo around the sun or
Rain or snow soon.
(Christ said, "When ye see a cloud rise out of the west,
straightway ye say: 'There cometh a shower;' and so it is"
Rainbow in morning,
Gives you fair warning:
Rainbow at noon, rain soon
(Weather moves from west to east. When a rainbow is seen in the
morning, the sun in the east is shinning on, or through, moisture
in the west. When a rainbow is seen in the east, it usually means
the opposite. That is, the rain has already come.
If ants their walls do
Rain will from the clouds be spilled.
The gnats bite and I scratch
Because they know it's going to rain.
When a cow endeavors to
scratch its ear,
It means a shower is very near.
When it thumps its ribs with angry tail,
Look out for thunder, lighting, hail.
If bees stay at home,
rain will soon come,
If they fly away, fine will be the day.
When bees to distance
wing their flight,
Days are warm and skys are bright;
But when their flight ends near their home,
Stormy weather is sure to come.
When spiders weave their
webs by noon,
Fine weather is coming soon.
These are but a few of the
signs that our Forefathers would have used to predict a change
in the weather in his vicinity. These rhymes would have also help
to foretell how long a storm may last.
Another thing to mention
is we all have smelled how clean the air is after a shower. We
might believe this is because of the rain washing clean the air
but in fact it is because of high pressure that follows the low
pressure of a storm. With low pressure, rotten wood, manure and
other odors are able to escape and be picked up by our noses.
When high pressure follows a storm, this forces the odors to the
ground and thus is not as easy to detect.
Here is some sure fire
signs to use on your next camp to forecast the weather with:
Ants moving in a line
or building up there mounds around the entrance to their nest.
Metal rust overnight.
Fire is hard to start, but burns brighter and warmer.
Smoke does not rise, but goes to the ground.
Distant objects appear closer.
No morning dew on the grass.
Halo around the moon.
Bees go to their hives and stay.
Curls of hair start to kink.
Birds fly low or go to roost early.
Insect swarm or bite more than usual.
As mentioned earlier, these
signs may not be totally accurate but can still add some skill
to your persona. Try to remember a few of these rhymes or signs
and share them with the public. Just keep this in mind, anything
can happen in unsettled weather. C. L. Prince wrote," Do
not neglect any of these signs, for it is good to compare one
sign with another sign." If two agree, have hope you are
right, but be assured still more by a third.
Happy camping and remember
to keep your powder dry.
Creating a Character
Is That Gun
What's in the Bag?
You need an Edge
up the Night
Keeping an Eye on the Sky
What type of Primitive
Shelter is best for you?
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