When following the way, you learn to be acutely aware of all your senses, eyes, ears, touch, smell and taste. Believe it or not, most people are aren’t even fully aware of what’s going on around them.
The lighter the air, the higher the birds will fly, heavy air forces them lower. Light air no rain, heavy air rain is on the way.
So with our high humidity, how do you notice lighter air? If you notice when you go out in the morning very few birds are moving, more than likely the air is heavy. Heavier air is hard on their heart so they stay low. The bees stay closer to the hive in heavier weather and you see very few butterflies. Also, if you pay close attention you can feel the difference on your skin and the hair on your arms feel the air move. There is a big difference when it is going to rain and when it is going to be clear. Give it a try.
Ok, so now you know one of my secrets, I watch the birds. Then we have the fire ants and mud bugs who also have an acute sense of when the pressure is going to change and rain is on the way. They can feel an upcoming change four to five days before it happens and they prepare their homes for it. Fire ants will build their mounds and move their eggs before it even starts to rain and the mud bugs build up a protective barrier around their entrances. Just one more interesting fact to learn.
Have you ever noticed the cattle bunching up and moving to higher ground before a rain storm? They do and will even lay down to have a dry place. Deer do the same thing. This helps keep them dry and warm. The animals can teach us a lot about living, if we are willing to pay attention.
When I go out in the morning the first thing I do is perform a top down observation of the sky. I look at the highest things I can see, then the clouds, the trees, the birds and the plants. What this tells me is pretty much what the weather is going to be for the day.
Besides being beautiful to look at, what can we learn from a rainbow? Rainbows require three things: Rain, sun and someone to observe it. In order to see the rainbow the sun must be behind you. This is why we see them in the morning and evening hours and very seldom around noon.
Ok, let’s look closely at the rainbow. The deeper the colors are the bigger rain drops and the lighter the colors the smaller the rain drops. If you feel the wind coming towards you the rain is coming your way and it only stands to reason if the wind is behind you the rain is going away.
The upper winds flow from West to East. My Grandfather called them the parental winds as they are steady and steadfast. The lower winds, which he called the rowdy child like winds, would flow any direction when they got cantankerous with their parents. He had a way of making lessons fun.
When the upper and lower winds move in the same direction, good weather always follows. When the lower winds change so follows the weather.
This is a simple overview of winds. There are four main layers in our atmosphere and they all affect the weather, however the upper and lower winds appear to have more influence. When we get into the different clouds it will begin to come together .
If you stand with your back to the wind and monitor the the upper winds, you can get a pretty good idea of what the weather is going to be.
Left to right: Warm air is on the way; there may be an advancing warm front and a deteriorating weather situation with prolonged rain possible.
Right to left: Cold air is advancing; a cold front may have gone through and an improving weather situation is most likely.
Same direction: No imminent change is likely. If you stay tuned to the wind direction, you will notice a large shift before all major weather changes.
If the winds shifts to come from a noticeably more counterclockwise direction (backs), then things will probably get worse.
Stand with your back to the wind, look for the highest clouds and remember this line: “Left to right, not quite right.”
Simple techniques to learn when you want to know what’s coming your way.
When it comes to interpreting the clouds, there are some very general trends that are useful to know.
The higher the level of the lowest clouds you can see, the drier the air is in general and the less likely it is that rain is imminent. If the clouds you see are deepening or lowering, then the weather is likely to deteriorate, and if they are swallowing or rising, then it is likely to improve. The more different types of clouds you can see, the more unsettled the weather and less likely that fair weather will hold.
To read clouds with a little more insight, we need to be able to identify the most helpful ones:
Cumulonimbus: A very tall, dark giant of a cloud. Sometimes with an anvil top.
Cumulus: Fluffy little sheep that scoot across the lower part of the sky.
Cirrus: Wispy streaks, scratch across the high sky. Can look a little like cotton candy.
Cirrostratus: A high shapeless blanket of cloud that foster a dull layer.
Out of these four types, there are the ones at each end of the weather spectrum that most cloud watchers will recognise instinctively. There are the fair weather cumulus clouds that are scattered across a blue sky and symbolize a fine day and then there is the pantomime baddy of a cloud that gets hissed each time it enters the stage: cumulonimbus, the thunderstorm cloud.
Outside of these two clouds, it is harder to look at an individual cloud type and predict anything with certainty.
If you can smell smoke in the air on a cool morning, it is likely that there is a temperature inversion , which can occur when a layer of warmer air traps a cooler layer near the surface. During an inversion, there is a high probability of fog. Also sound travels farther and can be heard more loudly.
Light is refracted in an inversion and this unusual bending of the rays leads to optical illusions. In normal conditions very distant objects appear shorten and squashed which is why we often see a squashed fat sun at sunset. In an inversion the opposite happens and objects appear to be stretched vertically. They also apperceive to be floating or levitating.
Interesting what a simple weather phenomenon can bring out.
I forgot to add on my previous posts to feel free to ask questions if you have any arise.
Now you know that I study the animals, birds, clouds and wind. In reality all nature and life is full of little secrets that will teach you something about how the world works.
I have been doing this since I graduated Sixth grade from the AYOP School when I was eight. State law wouldn’t let me into middle school until I turned 12, so I had four years, with Grandfather, for one on one training on nature, weather and life. After 65 years of following this training, it has become part of my life. I have three graduate degrees, but consider the training I received from age 8 to 12 the greatest education of my life.
My suggestion to you is to start out slowly taking in everything around you and begin to realize the life you share this world with. Start your day with a top down assessment of what your day holds, from the clouds, wind, trees, animals, birds and all the little things from there. You will be surprised what you will discover. As always, I am here to answer questions or point you in the right direction.
One last word on weather I would like to share. Wind is shaped by the surrounding areas including buildings and trees. Most people don’t realize as things bend the wind it has a tendency to grow.
Like a fire creates it’s own atmosphere, the wind can create it’s own life. Also we are very seldom without some sort of breeze. If you study nature, you notice the littlest things can create a small trickle of a breeze. Watch, as the sun warms up the dew on the trees and plants, the branches sway ever so slightly as the moisture evaporates from the leaves and pedals. The air could be perfectly still, yet the evaporation of the moisture creates the slightest breeze.
I close with this, we are all part of nature and we all contribute to the world around us. Let us all open our eyes and do what we can to help improve the world we live in. It is a study of life. Give nature a helping hand.
Walk daily with God at your side.