Learn from the Handbook: Weather Lore


Unless you’re taking a Philmont trek in summer, when you can
set your watch by the afternoon thunderstorms, it’s almost impossible to
predict the weather.

But don’t give up on becoming the unofficial office
meteorologist just yet. Simply absorb some easy-to-remember weather folklore to
increase your odds of an accurate forecast. You can learn it all from Learn from the Handbook—on page 238, to
be exact.

If you step outside and see any of these signs, pleasant
weather is on the way:

       “Red sky at night, sailor delight.”
Dust particles in dry air make the sunset glow red.

       “Swallows flying way up high mean there’s
no rain in the sky.”
High-pressure systems carry insects up into the air,
and swallows follow their food aloft.

       “If smoke goes high, no rain comes by.” Smoke
going straight up from your campfire means there’s no wind to bring storms
toward you.

       “When dew is on the grass, rain will never
come to pass.”
Cool, clear, dew-forming nights bring nice weather the next

If you see any of these signs, however, better pack an

       “Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.” Don’t
expect much “delight” if the dry, dusty air moving toward the rising sun causes
a reddish sunrise. That could mean that moist air is approaching from the west.

       “Swallows flying near the ground mean a
storm will come around.”
Heavy, moist wings cause swallows to fly lower.

       “When grass is dry at morning light, look
for rain before the light.”
The opposite is also true of dewy grass.

       “Mackerel scales and mares’ tails make
lofty ships carry low sails.”
“Scales” and “tails” mean rare cirrus cloud
formations that alert you to changing weather.

Chime In: Know
any other weather sayings? Share them in the comment box below. 

1 Comment

Join the conversation