Down T'Home

Weatherman, you are hereby on notice

By Marion Tucker-Honeycutt | Feb 21, 2018

I use more than one source for the weather forecast. They hardly ever agree and they are even less on target. Most of the time, I just ignore them, since whatever comes, comes, and/or I use "Observational Forecasting" that my Grampa Roy used way back when I was little.

He would look at the sky or how the birds were flying or how the leaves on the trees were or how heavy the smells were on the farm, for example.

My favorite was his "Snow Moon." If the sky was a solid silver-gray with a hazy, bright white circle of sun, he'd say "Snow coming in a few hours." My kids and grandkids have seen me point to one such, saying "Grampa's Snow Sun" so many times that they will always spot it. And it's very accurate.

Another easy one to spot is to watch for chimney smoke. If the smoke rises straight up into the sky, good weather is going to hang on. If it falls down the roof, storm coming.

In the summer, if the leaves on the trees turn upside down in a bit of breeze: rain on the way. Same if the air smells stronger, especially around a farm, the barometer will show that the pressure is dropping, signifying a storm. And at the same time, birds will fly closer to the ground as the dropping air pressure hurts their ears. (Hard to think of birds as having ears.)

In summer, if you look off across the water during the day and the islands are sharp, clear as a bell, cooler weather tomorrow. If they're a bit hazy, hot tomorrow. Same with the moon at night. And speaking of the moon, Grampa would look at the moon and if there was a ring around it, he'd look to see if there were stars inside the ring. No stars meant a storm tomorrow. If there were stars, the storm would be however many days away as there were stars. Sounds far fetched but it actually works.

And we all know the "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailor's delight,, signifying a good day coming or a not so good day.

The first person recorded to have said this, that I know of, is Jesus. But even He was quoting as he started with: "Do ye not say..."

Then there's the "Mackerel sky, never long wet, never long dry." That's when we see the clouds in long slim strips separated with blue sky — like stripes on a mackerel. And, indeed, we'll have a spell of rain, then sun, then rain, and so on.

Those are the day-to-day weather changes. and then there are the seasonal. And we're now in the changeover into spring. Winter's determined to hang on but spring is pushing in, thank the Lord.

One thing you can never accuse spring of is coming too soon.

The two weather stations I checked in with today promises that this Wednesday, well, one says 58 degrees and one says 68. I'd settle for mid-way.

What I'm excited about is getting all my sheets and light blankets out on the line in the sunshine and then, come bedtime, snuggling down into fresh breeze-whipped, sun-kissed sheets.

So, weathermen, I'm sorta taking you for your word. between 58 and 68, I'm giving you a 5-degree leeway. You'd better deliver — for a change.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.

 

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