Weather watching by the sky – Cloudwatching…
What do clouds in the sky tell us of weather to come?
1. If in the sky you see cliffs and towers, it won’t be long before there is a shower…(the more vertical the clouds appear, the more unsettled the air, so the less calm the weather will be)
2. If woolly fleeces bestow the heavenly way, be sure no rain will come today (scattered cumulus clouds that are like fluffy sheep are a sign of settled weather and are known as ‘fair-weather clouds’)
3. The more cloud types present, the greater chance of rain (different cloud types indicate instability in higher pressure so stormy weather can result)
4. In the morning mountains, in the afternoon fountains (In summer months, when the sun heats the earth’s surface during the day, cumulus clouds start to build and if these towers reach the top atmosphere, rain and lightning will break out below)
So start cloud watching and see what you can learn from them about the weather coming your way…
“Weather” signs in our ever changing climate…
Here in Scotland, we are dogged by micro-climates and seldom are weather forecasts correct, so let’s use nature to get clues for the weather to come as we make our way through the year…
1. “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight, Red sky in morning, shepherd’s warning” is the oldest weather prediction I know but it always works – red sky at night means nice day tomorrow and it usually is.
2. “When sea birds fly to land, there truly is a storm at hand” so listen out for gulls’ squarking inland
3. “Clear moon, frost soon” but “halo round the moon, rain will come soon” so check the night sky
4. “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb” …but it didn’t so lion coming soon, and finally
5. “When the cat can lie in the sun in February, she will creep behind the stove in March”; one we have proved this year!! Those few days of sun at the end of February gave us the gift of March frost & snow!!!
More weather predictions according to Nature…
I am taking this slow start as a good sign for the hopes of a good summer. But what do signs and folklore say?
1. So many mists in March you see, So many frosts in May will be – the mists come with the easterly wind and if they come in March, the weather pattern tends to stay until May.
2. April showers and winds are a favourable sign for a good summer, as is rain levels in March: As it rains in March so it rains in June’ – very litle rain in March here…excellent!!
3. Find an oak and an ash tree…which leaf comes out first tells us what’s ahead weatherwise. If the ash comes first, it will be wet, but the oak first predicts a much drier summer. The further apart they open, the better the weather to come, so keep your eyes peeled on those trees…
Well, a snowy March told us June would be dry and a late spring and lambing snow gave me the hint that we were in for an excellent summer (even a possible ’76), so what will summer tell us:
1. St Swithins past on the 15th July…with not a drop of rain so fair weather for some time to come.
St Swithin’s Day, if thou dost rain, for forty days it will remain.
St Swithin’s Day, if thou be fair, for forty days ’twill rain nae mair’
2. If it also remains dry on August 24th – St. Bartholomew’s Day, it will be a fine autumn too…
“If St.Bartholomew’s Day be fair and clear, then a prosperous autumn comes that year.”
3. If the first week in August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long, and
4. For every fog in August, There will be a snowfall in winter…something to watch for but finally
5. If a cold August follows a hot July, it foretells a winter hard and dry…we will see!!
Weather for the winter…update on signs
1. If November ice bears a duck, all the rest is mud and muck – a cold November means a mild wet winter
2. A warm November fortells a harsh winter
3. When leaves fall early, Fall and winter will be mild but when leaves fall late, winter will be severe
4. Much rain in October, much wind in December but a warm October, a cold February
5. Flowers bloomin’ in late autumn, a sure sign of a bad winter coming, but the final thing is a vegetable…
6. Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in but onion skins thick and tough, coming winter very rough so
Find your local onions and peel them to see what the winter holds…tasty but healthy fun!!
Should you not live bear the sea, next time you are at the beach, bring home a piece of seaweed to hang at your front door and it will keep you informed of the forthcoming weather. If it shrivels, it will be warm, but if it is moist, expect rain. Dry a piece and hang inside your home to provide a protective talisman against fire.