Weather Lore

Living along the coast of Nova Scotia, it is often fairly easy to predict what weather approaches. In this photo of Walton Light (Walton, NS), the brooding bank of clouds on the horizon usually means rain or snow, although at sunset, the clouds sometimes break away as quickly as they form, revealing a spectacular, crimson sky.

Some interesting weather lore exists that involves “reading the sky”, cloud color and winds. A few were outlined in a recent Farmer’s Almanac e-mail I received.

The higher the clouds, the finer the weather. If you spot very high, wispy, thin clouds, expect fine weather.

When clouds appear like towers, the earth is refreshed by frequent showers. When you see large columns of cauliflower-like clouds, there is a lot of “dynamic” weather going on inside. This also applies to: When clouds appear like rocks and towers, the Earth’s refreshed by frequent showers.

Smorgasbord of clouds — expect rain or snow. If you have what amounts to a hodgepodge of all different types of clouds before you, weather is arriving from all different directions. This chaotic sky usually signals rain or snow.

Ring around the Moon? Rain real soon. A ring around the Moon usually indicates an advancing warm front, which means precipitation. Under those conditions, high, thin clouds get lower and thicker as they pass over the Moon. Ice crystals are reflected by the Moon’s light, causing a halo to appear.

Then there are some old standards. These old adages are remarkably accurate.

Red sky at night, sailors/farmers delight.
Red sky in morning, sailors/farmers take warning.

The moon and the weather may change together,
But a change of the moon, will not change the weather.

When grass is dry at morning light
Look for rain before the night.

When the wind is in the east, ’tis neither good for man nor beast.

Sea gull, sea gull, sit on the sand,
It’s never good weather while you’re on the land.

Rain before seven, fine before eleven.
Evening red and morning grey, two sure signs of one fine day.

Cold is the night when the stars shine bright.

When leaves show their undersides, be very sure that rain betides.

When the forest murmurs and the mountain roars,
Then close your windows and shut your doors.

Chimney smoke descends, our nice weather ends.

When the ditch and pond offend the nose,
Then look out for rain and stormy blows.

If bees stay at home, rain will soon come,
If they flay away, fine will be the day.

The squeak of the snow will the temperature show.

So, take a look at your environment and you might be surprised that Nature has already planned your day for you.


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

7 thoughts on “Weather Lore”

  1. Wonderful list of weather sayings. With our reliance on the Weather Channel, modern people have pretty much forgotten how to read the weather for themselves. Your post reminds me of a book I got for my kids, Tomie dePaola’s “The Cloud Book.” It’s a kid-friendly way to teach cloud lore, such as about “Mackeral Sky” and what are cumulus clouds.

  2. Long Suffering Spouse watches the sky and the water always. Our weather moves up the Bay, as you know, most of the time, and we can see it coming a long way off, though sometimes it tracks further northeast towards Cumberland/Colchester counties. It’s never dull, watching it though.

  3. I haven’t heard most of these, and I love them.

    The ocean makes for interesting weather patterns, and the red sky at night saying is a big one around here.

  4. Terrfific! I also have not heard most of these, but I’m sorta young, so there you go. I might steal some of these from you!

  5. nancy .. I didn’t think I would see “fog’ in Ontario when we moved here .. but wow .. talk about lake affect .. it can be amazing .. but, I still miss the sea !

  6. I love those things! Another one is that when you see the bottom of the moon like a cup it means nice weather because the moon is catching the rain.

  7. Nancy, I’ve always loved weather lore. It seems the fishermen and farmers continue to know their weather. I can read some of the clouds but I can’t hold a candle to the old timers who really know their stuff!

    This was a great post!

    PS: This is from my new iMac too (I haven’t been able to use it until I got that “air card” attached.

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