How To Predict The Weather Yourself

How to predict the weather yourself! Tired of unreliable weather forecasts? Quit depending on the nightly news for weather. Get weather clues from Mother Nature herself. Here's how.

Tired of unreliable weather forecasts? Don't depend on the nightly news to get your weather report. No matter what season it is, you can look out your own front door and get weather clues from Mother Nature herself. Here's how.

Years before Doppler radar, computers, or weather balloons were invented, people could predict the weather by watching the changing landscape around them, especially by looking skyward. While scientists discount the weather lore that has been passed down for generations, much of it does have a scientific explanation.

For instance, the old saying, "Red sky at night, sailors' delight; red sky in the morning, sailor take warning" is indeed an accurate way to predict the day's weather. A red sky at night means dry weather is on the way. The sky is red because the sun is shining through dust particles being pushed ahead of a high pressure system bringing in dry air. If you see a red sky in the morning, be sure to take your umbrella when you leave the house. The red color in a morning sky is also caused by sun shining through dust particles, but the dust is being pushed out by an approaching low pressure system that is bringing in moisture. This particular weather lore goes back to biblical times. Check out Matthew 16:2-3 in the New Testament of the Bible to see for yourself.

Other weather clues you can find by looking skyward include:

A rainbow. Depending on where it is, a rainbow can tell you about impending weather. A morning rainbow in the western sky indicates approaching rain, while a rainbow at sunset indicates that the rain is leaving and fair weather is on the way.

The moon. A bright, clear moon means wet weather is on the way. Low pressure clears dust out of the air ahead of it. The particle-free air makes the moon appear closer to the earth and more sharply focused. A halo or ring around the moon also indicates rain. The halo is caused by light shining through cirrostratus clouds, which are an indication of a warm front with lots of moisture getting ready to move through.

Clouds. Reading cloud formations is an accurate way to predict the weather. Cumulonimbus clouds forming early in the day and increasing in size throughout the day, increase the chances of severe weather. However, the giant sack-like appearance of a mammatus cloud, formed by sinking air rather than rising air, can look threatening but is actually a sign that a thunderstorm is dissipating. Cirrus clouds found high in the atmosphere and pulled into long streamers resembling the tail of a mare or altocumulus clouds that look like mackerel scales forewarn bad weather within 12 to 36 hours. And, you can expect warmer weather when there's cloud cover on a winter night. That's because tiny water droplets that make up clouds radiate more heat than gases in clear air do.

You don't only have to use your eyes to get weather clues from Mother Nature. Open your ears, too. Sound in nature is louder before stormy weather because, instead of traveling up and out into the atmosphere, sound waves are bent back to the earth and their range is extended. Bird calls will sound sharper and a train whistling in the distance may seem much nearer than it is.

You can let your nose be your weather guide, as well. Have you ever smelled rain in the air? A lot of people have. Dropping weather pressure make smells more pungent. If you're near a swamp just before rain, you may notice a strong, unpleasant smell. That's because when the pressure drops greater amounts of the methane trapped on the bottom of the swamp is released into the air. When the pressure rises, it has the opposite effect. Things won't smell quite so strong and you'll know that fair weather is on the way.

Don't look to a small screen in your home and some weather expert to find out what kind of a day it's going to be. Look out your own front door and be your own weather expert by observing the world around you and the weather hints it provides.

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