By Patti Ghezzi for DivineCaroline
We’re leaving for a beach vacation in two days and I’m worried it will rain the whole time. We desperately need this vacation. And we really need some sun.
Here’s what the weather report says: “Thirty to forty percent chance of rain.” A euphemism for “We don’t have a clue.”
Since I can’t find my trusty Magic 8 Ball, I’m leaning on my favorite old wives’ tales about weather prediction. Usually when I look into a wives’ tale—such as how chocolate will give you acne—I’m schooled in the scientific reason why it’s false. (Great! I love chocolate.) To my surprise, though, some of my favorite wives’ tales about weather have at least a nugget of truth. Many originated with farmers and fishermen whose livelihood—and in some cases, lives—depended on accurate weather prediction. Still, many supposed predictors of weather only tell you what the weather is already doing. I pulled together this list of common weather wives’ tales to see which had some truth … and which we should all ignore.
1. Look to the stars. If you see stars at night, you’ll wake up to a sunny day. If you don’t see stars, get out the galoshes. Okay, not exactly a brain teaser. If it’s cloudy, you won’t see stars and that could indicate rain the next day. But don’t count on it. Storms can move quickly.
2. Red sky at morning, sailor’s take warning; red sky at night, sailor’s delight. This is referenced in the Bible and Shakespeare, so it must be true, right? It can be a somewhat accurate predictor if you observe the sky at the right time, such as when the sun is setting. When the sky is red, it suggests there are a lot of dust particles in the air, which means high pressure and stable air coming from the west. Good weather is likely to follow.