Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weather Wisdom

Clouds from Ike approach SW Ontario

Most everyone in North America followed the colourful and dramatic satellite images of Hurricane Ike as it approached the coast of Texas this weekend. The giant storm had already caused much damage in the Caribbean (under-reported by the media in my opinion). We are waiting for the remnants of Ike to pass directly over us this evening with lots of rainfall promised and flood advisories in place.

Weather forecasting has always been of interest to people, especially to those who farmed and fished for a living. Severe weather brings severe consequences, especially to the unprepared. In the past, observations of the natural world led to the creation of many weather proverbs and sayings that were passed down from generation to generation. Some have merit, and some are just silly.

David Phillips, Senior Climatologist at Environment Canada compiled a list of "more reliable" weather proverbs at this site. Here are some samples to go along with the pictures I took today.

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

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

When the night goes to bed with a fever, it will awake with a wet head.

When clouds look like black smoke a wise man will put on his cloak.

When sea-gulls fly to land, a storm is at hand.

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.

When evening comes, you say,
"It will be fair weather for the sky is red"
and in the morning
"Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast"...
Matthew 16:2,3

An Osprey waits for the storm


  1. Anonymous6:02 pm GMT-4

    Leaves here (in the southern tier of New York) are showing their undersides this evening, so I'm sure Ike will soon be upon us.

  2. Anonymous7:11 pm GMT-4

    Hope it won't be too severe in Ont. I really feel for the people who are being constantly battered by these storms.

  3. Your weather wisdom is every bit as sound as the meteorologists in our area.

    When we lived in Wisconsin, we were told the weather was difficult to predict because of our proximity to Lake Michigan. Here in Western NC, we are told the weather is difficult to predict because of the mountain effect. Perhaps we need to hang out the mule's tail.

    Lovely pictures.

  4. Some of these old sayings have some truth to them.My father used to always say red at night-sailors delight-red in the morning-sailors take warning.-I used to enjoy reading the farmer's almanac. I haven't looked at one in years but I think that I will pick up a copy if I cna find one.

  5. Ike will spread its affects! It's dry here but we're holding onto to our hats and hoping for cooler temps. We are constantly watching Texas. I have a good old friend in Houston.

  6. Ah yes, the weather. As the saying goes--everyone talks about it, and no one does anything about it.

  7. I asked D if he knew this Dave Phillips ... he only knows of him ... doesn't know him personally.

    Hard to predict what is ultimately in God's hands. D always knows his frailty when predicting the weather! When forecasts don't work out I always remind him that maybe someone's prayer was being answered!

  8. Has been a traumatic time for the folks in the path - we were in Nova Scotia and saw the results of the tail winds of Hugo several years back - Peggy's Cove was very, very scary that week!Wayne and his friend shuttered up the windows on their house - left on permanently due to so many winds.

  9. I also thought of the Farmer's Almanac reading all these. :c) We got over an inch of rain last night, which was a welcome sight. I pray for those whose lives were so upended by Ike.

  10. Jan- I have heard the "underside of leaves" prediction from childhood.

    April- Ike came and went in 3 hours and actually veered north leaving us with only about an inch of rain.

    NCMW- There is always some variable that make forecasting more of an art than a science.

    Larry- Farmer's Almanacs always have good reading, even if they aren't the best source of weather forecasting. They are right often enough to keep people interested.

    Mary- Ike passed, and we have cool north winds today...lovely!! My parents are in San Antonio but that city was spared Ike's fury.

    KGMom- Yes, the weather is a frequent conversation discussion in Canada. But what a variety of weather we experience.

    CS- I didn't realize D was a forecaster. That can be a stressful job. Dave Phillips is frequently on TV and radio and he makes predictions about seasons in Canada. He was way off in his predictions for Ontario's summer weather, but he just jokes about it. People do forgive him and still listen to him.

    Jean- The Maritimes get far more hurricane effect than we do. This pass of Ike is not usual.

    Jayne- Glad you got the rain, not the destruction.

  11. Your second photo of the moving leaves and branches is very appropriate for my area today. The scenes from my windows could make one think they were on a tossing sea of gusty winds. Your photo is very good to have captured the movement like that. I miss summer already for I fear it has fled.

  12. Hey! Whats that cormorant doing there! :-) I think they're funny looking birds! Are they often in that same area? We see them usually only during migration.
    I have a question about the tricolored heron. If you have a second, no rush, do you mind going and looking at my blog and telling me if I'm wrong. Someone says I am. You'll have to click on the pictures to enlarge. Thanks Ruth!
    I hope Ike didn't drop too much rain on you. We got about 3.5 inches in NE Kansas. Clear and sunny all this week. Nice to see the sun after weeks of clouds.


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