Weather Myths: Is there any truth to weather folklore?

January 26, 2017 11:39 PM

Weather folklore: They are those popular sayings that some believe are an indication of what the weather will be. But, is there any truth in them?

We start with one that most of you have heard: "Red sky at night, sailors delight; Red sky in morning, sailors take warning." Believe it or not, this holds some truth.

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Red in the early morning sky results from ice crystal clouds that are often forerunners of rain systems -- enhancing the sunlight as it passes through a thick chunk of the atmosphere.

While a red sky at night often results from sunlight bouncing off of dust particles that are associated with dry air and fair weather high pressure.

What about the saying: "When dew or frost are on the grass, rain will never come to pass?" It also holds some truth. Both dew and frost form under clear calm air which is associated with fair weather high pressure.

How about the old wives' tale that says you can tell the temperature from a cricket's chirp? That saying goes: If you want to know the temperature, just count the chirps for 13 seconds and add 40 to that number.

While it might not be exact, this one is backed by facts. Crickets chirp by "sawing" their winds. The warmer the air, the more rapid the chirping rate.

So although they're fun and catchy and a lot of them are factual -- take these weather sayings with a grain of salt. Use them as a reminder not as a guide.


Kevin Williams

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