Nature provides ample, reliable clues to predict the weather forecast. Here’s how to recognize and use them.
1. Red or Pink Morning Sun or Sky ~ Rain or storming are highly likely. High sky humidity causes the atmosphere to appear red.
2. Red or Pink Evening Sun or Sky ~ Rain or storming are not likely for the following 24-36 hours.
3. Breakfast Rainbows ~ Rain is likely approaching. These are rainbows that appear in the morning, but do not follow a storm. They are another visual indication of elevated humidity in the high atmosphere.
4. Tea Time Rainbows ~ Rain or storming are unlikely. The humidity is not sufficient to cause precipitation.
5. Gray Morning Sky ~ Rain or storming are unlikely. Graying is caused by shift of ground moisture into the lower sky.
6. Gray Night Sky ~ Rain or storming may be likely. Evening gray happens when the humidity in the high sky is sufficient to trap colored debris particles in a condensed area and form a haze.
7. Rising Morning Mist or Haze ~ Rain is unlikely. The atmosphere above the ground is both dry enough and warm enough to cause the mist or haze to evaporate.
8. Low Sitting Clouds ~ Rain or storming are highly likely in near future. Clouds fall as their water content increases.
9. High Sitting Clouds ~ Rain or storming are unlikely. Water content of the clouds is low.
10. No Morning Dew ~ Storming is likely. Dry grass and plants in the morning indicate that the wind conditions have been elevated in recent hours. Strong winds are associated with storming.
11. Morning Dew ~ Rain is unlikely.
12. Silence ~ Significant storming should be expected. When ambient animal noises, particularly bird songs, are not present, it indicates the onset of bad weather conditions.
13. Environmental Odors Increase ~ Rain or storm are likely. Plant life reacts to the natural indicators of weather. When storms approach, you’ll often hear people say, “It smells like rain.” They aren’t far off. What they are smelling is the subtle blend of botanical excitement. Non-flowering plants, like grass and trees, emit a mildly foul odor as they release their waste in bulk. Meadows, swamps and marshes release methane at an often nauseating pace. Flowers release more of their fragrance. This is why an early spring rain will differ in smell from a mid-summer rain. The addition of summer flowers freshens the otherwise musky odor of a spring or fall rain.
14. Wandering or Grazing Cows ~ Weather will be fair.
15. Huddled Cows ~ Storming is likely. Cows huddle on the ground to protect each other in a storm.
16. Falling Smoke ~ Rain or storming are likely. When smoke from a camp-sized fire rises in the air, peaks, and falls or moves mostly horizontally in the absence of wind it indicates low pressure and storming is likely. ***should only be attempted with adult supervision and practice of fire safety techniques.***
17. Hazy Moon ~ Rain or storming are unlikely. Haze indicates dust and moisture trapped in the high atmosphere.
18. Clear Moon ~ Rain or storming are likely. An area of low pressure has sucked the moisture and dust downward, creating a clearer view of the moon.