Being in the know about what changes the weather may bring will be critical to your survival. You don’t want to venture into the woods after all during a severe thunderstorm (especially since the base of a tree is the worst place to be) nor do you want to get caught outside in a blizzard on what should have been an easy hunting trip.
Since disaster has struck we may have to be prepared for the fact that our usual professional weather broadcasting services may not be available to us. So how can you predict the weather to keep you and your loved ones safe, when we are on our own? Fortunately there are a few ways you can become your own weatherman right here at home.
Measure the Air Pressure
By André Lage Freitas (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Air pressure is a classic, tried and true method of knowing what to expect with the weather. Measuring the air pressure around is made easy by a classic and simple tool of the trade known as a barometer. Obtaining one and learning how to use will prove to be a life saver. The rule of thumb to follow is pretty simple: lower air pressure is generally a sign of approaching clouds and precipitation, so decreasing air pressure may indicate an approaching storm. On the other hand higher air pressure is a sign of fine and clear weather so increasing air pressure is a sign of a beautiful day approaching. With your barometer in hand this process then, should be easy.
Rain or Snow
It goes without saying, but whether you expect to see rain or snow is directly related to the temperature and time of year. The only difference between the two is temperature. If the air is cold enough to bring water to its freezing point you will snow instead of rain, and vice versa if the day is even a little bit warm.
Watch the Animals
It’s been known for many eras that animals seem to have almost a sixth sense when it comes to changes in the weather. You may observe animal behaviors to know what is yet to come. For example, some birds will fly lower to avoid an approaching storm while bees may seem strangely absent from flowers they usual visit for pollination. Try to familiarize yourself with these and other animal behaviors that may show you what to expect in the day ahead.
Read the Heavens
Dawn and dusk are two times of day where you may use a classic and very obvious signal in the sky to see what is yet to come. Some of you may have heard the old saying, “Red sky at night a sailors delight, red sky in morn, sailors take warn”. This is a simple way to explain an age-old truth. When the sky is glowing red at dusk you can usually expect a clear and sunny day tomorrow. If the sky is red at sunrise, however, the opposite may be true as the rest of the day unfolds.
One trickier, but even more useful art to master is the reading of the clouds. In summary the higher and thinner the clouds the nicer the weather will be. You’ll also want to learn your various cloud formations for more detail, however. Not all clouds are a sign of troubled times, after all. To grasp the basics of reading the clouds just remember these basic rules of thumb:
• Storm clouds are generally gray or black in color while white and finer clouds are a sign of a clear day.
• Clouds that bring the rain generally lie low and form closer to the ground, while the clear weather clouds fly high
• Clouds that are thick and tightly clustered are a sign of heavy rain while fine and wispy clouds are free of trouble