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MONTEREY LIFE

Wild Weather: The Meaning Behind Weather Proverbs

Wed, Oct 01, 2014 at 12:00AM

You’ve heard the famous rhyme — red sky in morning, sailors take warning, red sky at night, sailors delight. Well there’s more where that came from! Keep reading today’s blog to see whether you can trust these long-told weather proverbs.

When leaves show their undersides, be very sure that rain betides. You might have heard that the turning of leaves predicts rainy weather, and it’s true! When the humidity increases before a storm, the leaves of deciduous trees can become limp and be flipped by the wind.

When clouds appear like towers, the Earth is refreshed by frequent showers. This one makes sense—tall, towering clouds are a lot scarier-looking than white, fluffy ones! The “towers” in this old proverb might refer to cumulonimbus, the anvil-shaped storm clouds with rain-saturated dark spots.

Rain foretold, long last. Short notice, soon will pass. You know those patches when you always have your umbrella on hand because the sky looks like it’s about to burst? When the sky promises rain, whatever rain that does come will probably be long-lasting or continuous over a period of time. If a rain shower sneaks up on you, it’s likely to sneak away just as quickly.

The higher the clouds, the better the weather. This is another proverb focused on the shape of certain clouds. In this case, thin, wispy clouds (like cirrus) indicate good weather and the absence of nasty storms.

Seabirds, stay out from the land; we won’t have good weather while you’re on the sand. There’s not the most conclusive evidence on this one, but it does have some credence; when a storm is approaching, seabirds are more likely to cluster together and stay a bit further inland.

Could you use any of these weather-predicting proverbs in your daily life?

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