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May 28

Resorting to Witchcraft

Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 in Jobs

You know what?  I give up on weather forecasts.   What you REALLY need is a weather forecast for outdoor jobs.  Whether you’re a window cleaner, a golf course mower, a fence painter or a landscape gardener, it’s a real pain in the behind trying to base your earnings on pot-luck.  It’s late May, and ten minutes ago the sound of hailstones bouncing off the roof of the car was deafening.  The sky is now clear with an innocent sort of ‘don’t ask me’ appearance to it. 

 I have developed an alternative to Met Eireann which is infinately more accurate.  This information is thanks to accurate wive’s tales, and an excellent book I have called ‘The SAS survival handbook’ by John Wiseman.

  • If the smoke from a chimney rises steadily, it’ll be fine.  If it rises a little, then beats downwards, you’re pretty much guaranteed there’s a storm brewing.

  • Curly haired animals and people find their hair becomes tighter and less manageable when bad weather approaches.  If my dog’s ears suddenly develop a crimped appearance, for example, there’s no work tomorrow.

  • Older people, or those with arthritis will tell you their bones ache when bad weather is on its way. 

  • A moisture-laden atmosphere carries sound very well, acting like an amplifier.  If distant noises become clear, rain’s brewing.

  • The smell of trees and plants becomes more obvious before rain comes, as their vegetation opens to receive it.  (Ask a pine cone if you’re not sure.)

  • Red sky at night, shephard’s delight… etc.  Apparently the sky appears red because of the lack of moisture in the atmosphere.

  • A grey morning can indicate the start of a dry day.  The dull colour is the result of dry air above the haze formed by the collection of dew on the dust particles suspended in the lower atmosphere.  Don’t put all your eggs in THAT basket, though… especially where Ireland is concerned.

  • A clear sky one night, followed by one with only a few stars visible, indicates a change of weather.

  • An enlarging corona around the sun or moon is a sign of good weather, a shrinking corona indicates rain.

  • Green light emitting from an afternoon sun indicates fair weather for at least 24 hours. 

  • A rainbow in late afternoon is another sign of fair weather ahead.

  • Swallows flying high are catching bugs who are wise to good weather.  If swallows fly low, you know said bugs are skeptical.

  • A spiders web which spans a large area tells you the spider isn’t expecting wind any time soon.

  • If you see a bunch of cows huddled together in the corner of a field, bring your umbrella.


Bring on the comments

  1. Conortje says:

    I’ve always wanted a legitimate reason to talk to pine cones and other foliage – cheers :-)

  2. Grannymar says:

    “Older people, or those with arthritis will tell you their bones ache when bad weather is on its way.” Did your dad tell you that?

  3. K8 says:

    It’s weird, the plants in my living room seem happier for overhearing conversation and music than all the other plants in the house. Conor, feel free to tell your plants stories, but try not to be negative. It bums them out.

    Grannymar, dad NEVER complains about aches and pains, because he knows ma will come at him with tablets and strange concoctions.

  4. F. Nairb says:

    Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky at morning, sailors warning.
    Have you ever noticed that you can smell a storm a few minutes before it hits. It is because the amount of ozone is higher in front of a storm system due to the air being denser.

    I have a copy of Field Manual 21-76. The U.S. Army Survival, Evasion and Escape Manual. It’s very similar to the S.A.S. handbook.

  5. baino says:

    More true than not I think. . . Kookaburras are more prone to laughter before rain and crickets won’t crank up until the temperature’s just right and if the sky has a green tinge, it will hail.

    My dog’s stiff titanium joint predicts a a cold misty night . .
    When I start whingeing – it’s going to be really hot
    If ClareBear starts wingeing – there will be a frost
    If DrummerBoy whinges – we’ve run out of food.

  6. Conan Drumm says:

    That’s all good stuff. Btw I can always tell if there’s thunder in the offing because I can physically feel the air pressure change… In your line of work you need to learn to ‘read the sky’ – as the country people used to say.

  7. Grandad says:

    All you have to do is nip upstairs and look at the wind-farm.

    If the sails are moving, it’s windy.
    If the sails are still, it’s calm.
    If you cant see the sails, it’s raining.
    If you can see them, it’s going to rain.

  8. kavanf1 says:

    So if I’m picking you up right, unless you’re a curly-haired shepherd, there’s no point becoming a gardener?

  9. K8 says:

    I still think that wind-farms are motor-propelled, to make them people in Kyoto think we’re being good. Right now they’re all turning, even though they’re facing different directions. Someone didn’t think that one through.

    It’s very difficult to smell a storm where I live. I’m surrounded by fields, so all I can smell most of the time is cow shit.

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