ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED | OCTOBER 23, 1919 | THE FARMER'S ADVOCATE
Adam may or may not have tried his hand at weather-prediction, but it is written that as far back as the time of Noah, that gentleman prophesied a long, wet spell, and, unlike a lot of later weather prophets, he had such faith in his own prognostications that he took measure to meet the situation. Further than that, subsequent events proved that Noah was a 100 per cent. prophet. Many of his successors, however, showing a lower batting average, it became increasingly apparent as time went on that in view of the frequency with which the prognostications failed, the subject should be placed on a scientific basis in order to obtain accuracy in the results, or at least to spread a sort of halo of learning and philosophy about it, and thus minimize the curse, as it were, of possible errors. So weather bureaus were instituted, which same have been in more or less successful operation now for many years, with attendants on the Government pay-roll, and everything. Entirely apart from scientific weather observations, however, homemade weather-forecasting has persisted as a pleasing pastime all these years, and on this very day there is a set of rules governing it, more or less recognized by all amateur weather-prophets. For the benefit of those who may be unfamiliar with these rules the New York Sun has obligingly made a compilation of them and they are set forth as follows:
When standing on high ground and the horizon is unobstructed from all quarters, if the sky is absolutely cloudless, look for a storm within forty-eight hours.
If it starts to rain after seven o’clock in the morning it will continue to do so all day, and very often it is the indication of a three days’ rain.
When it is raining and it brightens and darkens alternately you can count on an all-day rain, with a chance of clearing at sundown.
When the rain ceases and the clouds are still massed in heavy blankets one sure sign of clear weather is the patch of blue sky that shows through the rift large enough to make a pair of “sailor’s breeches.”
Another sign of continued rain is when the smoke from the chimney hovers low around the housetops. When it ascends straight into the air this indicates clearing weather.
A foggy morning is usually the forerunner of a clear afternoon.
A thunder-storm in winter (usually in January or February) is always followed by clear, cold weather. It is not, as many think, the breaking up of winter.
People living near the seashore say a storm is “brewing” when the air is salty caused by the wind blowing from the east.
A red or copper-colored sun or moon indicates great heat. A silvery moon denotes clear, cool weather.
The old Indian sign of a dry month was when the ends of a new moon were nearly horizontal and one of them resembled a hook on which the Indian could hang his powder-horn.
Many people troubled with rheumatism and neuralgia usually are excellent barometers and can predict changeable weather by “feeling it in their bones.”
And the advice of the old weather-sage is “never go out during April month without being accompanied by your umbrella.”
And then, for the special benefit of those who never can remember anything they read in prose, but do have a faculty for retaining jingles, the following important formulas are set out in verse:
Red in the morning the sailor’s warning
Red at night the sailor’s delight.
When you see a mackerel sky,
‘Twill not be many hours dry.
When the seagulls inland fly
Know ye that a storm is nigh.
A ring around the moon
Means a storm in coming soon.
When it rains before seven
‘Twill clear before eleven.