12 Pioneer Weather Proverbs Based in Science

Time to dust off some of those creaky old weather proverbs your great, great grandfather relied on.

These 12 pioneer weather proverbs are folksy and goofy, but they work. And they might actually come in handy when the Zombie Apocalypse shuts down your weather app.

Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning.

A rainbow in the morning indicates that a shower is to the west and probably coming your way.

When halo rings moon or sun, rain’s approaching on the run

A ring around the sun or moon is caused by light shining through cirrostratus clouds associated with warm fronts and moisture, which indicate that rain or snow will likely fall within the next three days. Cirrus clouds are generally the first layer of clouds that are seen as a storm system approaches. During summer particularly a ring can be a sign of approaching storms.

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Clear moon, frost soon.

When the night sky is clear the Earth’s surface cools rapidly since there is no cloud cover to keep heat in. When the night is clear enough to see the moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form and the next morning will be chilly. Count on it.

Rain long foretold, long last. Short notice, soon will pass.

When grey clouds ominously darken the horizon, heavy rain when it does come will last, unlike a “surprise shower” with short-lived rain.  When gray overcast dominates it means a large area is affected, and rain will continue for long periods. Conversely a surprise shower seldom lasts long.

A coming storm your shooting corns presage, and aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.

Medical studies have shown that people can experience intense pain when there is a drop in atmospheric pressure – a drop that also brings storms. It is common knowledge that low pressure and dampness will cause arthritic joints to ache.

If salt is sticky, and gains weight, it will rain, before too late.

Salt draws in moisture from the air when atmospheric humidity is high, an indication of rain. Salt that soaks up the moisture from the air will clog saltshakers.

If woolly fleeces bestow the heavenly way, be sure no rain will come today.

Scattered cumulus clouds like fluffy sheep in the sky indicate settled weather and are often called ‘fair-weather clouds’.

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

Dew forms on humid nights when skies are clear and there are no clouds. This indicates a fair day to follow. On cloudy nights the ground is unable to cool and prevents dew from forming. Cloudy skies normally mean rain to come.

When smoke descends, good weather ends.

The combination of unstable atmospheric pressure and humidity before a storm prevents chimney or campfire smoke from rising, forcing it to curl downwards.

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

When weather is fair and air pressure is high, earthy smells are stored at their source. But when low air pressure arrives before a rain, scents are released and outdoorsy odors become obvious.

If the moon’s face is red, of water she speaks.

Atmospheric dust is often pushed before the low pressure of a weather front, changing the apparent color of the moon to red.

Three days rain will empty any sky.

Although cloudy gray weather can last indefinitely, in the Northern hemisphere heavy rain does not last for long periods of time. Strong, torrential rains are likely to clear within three days.

Photo credit: Pixabay