POSTED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 11:45am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 11:47am
Age Old Sayings and Anecdotes Have Some Forecasting Truth in Them
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 — My grandma grew up mostly in the German part of Russia. She had quite a few weather sayings. She would say, “Stop listen to that cricket…he is not chirping much…the temperature is going to drop”. Sure enough it was cold the next day. I started to wonder and then research about the validity of the cricket chirping and other weather folklore and traditional sayings. I though I would share some of these with you in today’s “Weather Talk”.
We all have heard this one;
“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. Now this one makes sense because in the northern hemisphere winter is still in full effect and the start of March and then most of the time starts to get a bit more mild toward the end of the month as we begin our transition into spring. Also, some say that in Ancient times they also used to look at the stars and notice that the constellation Leo, the lion, dominates the nighttime skies at the beginning of March and that the constellation Aries, the ram or lamb, takes over towards the months end.
“When a halo rings the moon or sun, rain is approaching on the run”
A halo appears around the moon or sun when there are high level ice crystals present refracting the light the sunlight or moonlight. This is a great indicator that moisture is moving in and is descending to the lower elevations, where it is likely to form into rain. This is a better tool or indicator during the summer than winter months.
“No weather is ill, if the wind is still”
When the weather conditions are calm, especially when the skies are clear this usually indicates a ridge of high pressure system is near by. Now in the winter calm winds and clear skies allow the overnight temperatures to fall faster and make for much colder mornings. Then is also connected to a weather folklore saying,
“The calm before the storm”
Thunderstorms often develop in conditions of sunny skies and calm winds!
“When window won’t open and salt clogs the shaker, the weather will favor the umbrella maker”
Windows with wood frames tend to stick, when the air is full of moisture or humid. The moisture swells up the wood, making windows and doors more difficult to open and close. Salt is a very effective moisture absorber and clumps up in the shaker and does not pour out as easy when it is humid.
The more moisture in the atmosphere, the better chance of rain!
“The crickets chirp faster when its warm, slower when it is cold”.
Crickets can actually serve as thermometers! Tradition says if you count the cricket’s chirps for 14 seconds, then add 40, you will obtain the temperature in Fahrenheit in the cricket’s location.
“Clear Moon, frost soon.”
When the night sky is clear, Earth's surface cools rapidly, there is no cloud cover that works like a blanket, to keep the heat in. If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form. We can most likely expect a colder morning! Read my “Weather Talk”:
What Is The "Frost Point"?
“Rainbow in the morning, give fair warning”
A rainbow in the morning indicates that a shower is west of us and we will probably get wet soon!
“Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.”
A reddish sunset means that the air is dusty and dry. Since weather in North American latitudes usually moves from west to east, a red sky at sunset means dry weather, good for sailing, is moving east. Conversely, a reddish sunrise means that dry air from the west has already passed over us on their way easy, clearing the way for a storm to move in.
"When clouds appear like towers, the Earth is refreshed by frequent showers."
When you see large, white clouds that look like cauliflower or castles in the sky, there is probably lots of dynamic weather going on inside. Innocent clouds look like billowy cotton, not towers. If the clouds start to swell and take on a gray tint, they have a very good chance at developing into thunderstorms. The higher the cloud tops, the stronger or potentially damaging or dangerous the storm will be.
Read my “Weather Talk”; "Clouds Can Help You Forecast the Weather"
"The higher the clouds, the finer the weather."
If you see thin, wispy clouds up way up where the airplanes fly, expect a spell of pleasant weather. Ice crystal clouds also indicate that a storm system is on its way for the next day or so.
There are so many more sayings and I will visit them in future “Weather Talk” articles.
Please send me some more at ; firstname.lastname@example.org  and I will investigate them for you and include them in our next weather folklore analysis!