People complained about the inaccuracy of weather forecasts as long as anyone can remember, even after the invention of satellite imagery. Now that such forecasts are remarkably precise, and describe what is expected to happen every hour of the day for several days into the future, people still complain about something as minor as a discrepancy of half an hour or so.

Tony Tomeo

81222K.JPGRed sky at morning; sailor take warning. Stormy weather is to be expected.
Back before modern meteorology, there were all sorts of ways to predict the weather. Some of the ways to know what to expect in the short term were obvious, such as simply observing what was happening off in the distance in the direction from which the weather comes. For the experienced, it is easy enough to feel changes in humidity and temperature in an incoming breeze.
Halos around the moon or sun, as well as the color of the sky at sunrise, provided a bit of insight about what could be expected a bit farther out than the short term. Some techniques were not always accurate, and some were not accurate at all.
Flora and fauna are better at predicting the weather than we are. Horses, dogs and cats get extra fluffy if they expect the winter…

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8 thoughts on “Red Sky At Morning

  1. I still do as much looking at the sky or the wind as checking the weather report, but it can be remarkably accurate when a derecho is on the way. A little situational awareness still goes a long way, though

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    1. Is a weather report or direct observation more accurate with informing of an incoming derecho? I would hope that a weather report would be accurate for such an event, like they are with tornadoes. Rhody tried to tell me about a minor earthquake that he was expecting a few minutes after noon today, but I though he just wanted to go out to play. So far, there are no more accurate forecasts for seismic activity.


      1. For big storms and the derecho events, weather reports are better. Back in 2011, I was working on my computer in the evening when an email from the county came in saying there was a line of severe storms coming at 8:20 pm and I should prepare. I gathered candles, etc. and kaboom–8:20 it hit and the power was out for two days. The big snowstorms are the same–weather report lets you prepare. But this area is like a tropical rainforest in the summer–it rains every day during rush hour. So many times, I was leaving work, looked up, and thought, oooh, that’s not ordinary rain and I won’t make it to the Metro, so I’d hang out in the building (or go back to my office) and wait it out. But lots of people just walked out and never looked up. Another time I was having dinner with family on a bay in Lake Michigan. It had darkened up and we were getting ready to leave when we looked out a window and saw the edge of the front heading toward us. Stayed for coffee. So I’m saying you have to listen to the weather and be aware of it as well. But a good earthquake predictor would be very useful. I’ve heard bird behavior changes as well, but thankfully, I’ve only been in 5.8 or below earthquakes (and the 5.8 let me realize I didn’t want to be in anything larger…).

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      2. It seems to me that there should be some way to predict earthquakes by now. It would be helpful to know what animals react to. It seems so obvious to Rhody. He looks at me as if I am supposed to know as well. Privet used to hide under a toilet prior to an earthquake, and then come out afterward to bark at it (the earthquake, not the toilet). Someone noticed an increase of radio waves coming from the ground just prior to the Loma Prieta Earthquake, but I heard nothing more about it in decades. I have lived here all my life, but have never experienced even a moderate earthquake. It is rather creepy. I left Los Gatos about an hour and a half prior to the Loma Prieta Earthquake. I left Beverly Hills the night prior to the Northridge Earthquake. I cancelled a trip to Trona just prior to the Ridgecrest Earthquake. I have missed quite a few like that. I should probably just stay home.


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