April Showers and other Weather Sayings
Things are fairly quiet here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. For the most part, our storage rental customers are observing the stay-at-home guidelines, however, we are happy to allow them access to retrieve essential items from their storage rental units.
As I sit here in the rental office watching the weather outside and wondering if it’s gonna rain, I hear the voice on the radio say “ Well you know – April showers bring May flowers!”.
While this seemed to make sense to me, it also made me wonder about some other weather-related sayings that might need a little explanation.
Long before meteorologists reported the weather, people made forecasts based on their observations of the sky, animals, and nature.
Many of the traditional sayings they used, called proverbs, are surprisingly accurate. Try out some old-fashioned forecasting—that still works today! Here are some weather sayings and meanings courtesy of the Farmers Almanac.
“RED SKY AT NIGHT, SAILORS DELIGHT. RED SKY IN MORNING, SAILORS TAKE WARNING.”
A reddish sunset means that the air is dusty and dry. Since weather in North American latitudes usually moves from west to east, a red sky at sunset means dry weather is moving east and that’s good for sailing. Conversely, a reddish sunrise means that dry air from the west has already passed over us moving east and clearing the way for a storm to move in.
“THE HIGHER THE CLOUDS, THE FINER THE WEATHER.”
If you spot wispy, thin clouds way up high where the jet airplanes fly, expect a spell of pleasant weather. Keep an eye, however, on the smaller puff clouds (cumulus), especially if it’s in the morning or early afternoon. If the rounded tops of these clouds, which have flat bases, grow higher than the one cloud’s width, then there’s a chance of a thunderstorm forming.
“CLEAR MOON, FROST SOON.”
When the night sky is clear, Earth’s surface cools rapidly—there is no cloud cover to keep the heat in. If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form. Expect a chilly morning!
“CLOUDS LIKE TOWERS MEAN FREQUENT SHOWERS.”
When you spy large, white clouds that look like cauliflower or castles in the sky, there is probably lots of dynamic weather going on inside. Innocent clouds look like billowy cotton, not towers. If the clouds start to swell and take on a gray tint, they’re probably turning into thunderstorms. Watch out!
“RAINBOW IN THE MORNING GIVES YOU FAIR WARNING.”
A rainbow in the morning indicates that a shower is in your near future.
“WHEN DEW IS ON THE GRASS, NO RAIN SHALL COME TO PASS.”
Morning dew is a sign that the previous night’s skies were clear, with no wind and decreasing temperatures. Clear, dry, windless conditions usually continue through the daytime.
“RING AROUND THE MOON? RAIN (OR SNOW) REAL SOON.”
A ring around the moon usually indicates an advancing warm front, which means precipitation. Under those conditions, high, thin clouds get lower and thicker as they pass over the moon. Ice crystals are reflected by the moon’s light, causing a halo to appear.
“RAIN FORETOLD, LONG LAST – SHORT NOTICE, SOON WILL PASS.”
If you find yourself toting an umbrella around for days “just in case,” rain will stick around for several hours when it finally comes. The gray overcast dominating the horizon means a large area is affected. Conversely, if you get caught in a surprise shower, it’s likely to be short-lived.
“A YEAR OF SNOW – CROPS WILL GROW.”
A several-inch layer of snow contains more air than ice. Trapped between the interlocking snowflakes, the air serves to insulate the plants beneath it. When the snow melts, the water helps to keep the ground moist.
Observe the sky and see if these weather proverbs work for you. That’s it from the crew here at The Storage Inn – wishing you only the best weather and the best of times ahead!