Friday, September 09, 2011

Adventure Knowledge

How to Tell Short-Range Weather without a Weather Report or Instruments

You can tell when the weather is about to change without a weather
report or any instruments.
Meteorologist and oceanographer Roger Huff states in the November 2003 issue of Boating that observing your surroundings will help you be aware of changing short-range weather. Look for these clues to avoid being caught off guard.

Clouds are the most obvious indication of what weather is to come.
With your back to the wind, look skyward. Which direction are the clouds moving? If you want to know about distant weather – more than six hours away – look to high-altitude clouds. Are they moving left to right? If so, the weather is going downhill. If they’re going from right to left, the skies will improve. High-altitude clouds coming directly toward you or heading away means you’re in the clear – the weather will stay the same. Also consider the shape and color of the clouds. Wispy and white high clouds indicate fine weather ahead. Huff says, “When wispy high clouds, called Mare’s Tails, give way to lower clouds, called Mackeral skies, the weather may deteriorate.” Lower clouds relate to weather that’s quickly approaching. If clouds are lowering or gathering together, precipitation is on the way. If they’re dark or dense, bad weather will be here soon. Here’s the obvious bit. If the clouds are dark and dense, they’re dangerous. Sharp-edged clouds are the worst of all.

A halo around the sun or moon indicates an approaching warm front.
The moon or sun shining through moisture in high clouds causes the halo. When the clouds totally obscure the outline of the sun or moon, chances are rain will come within 24 hours.
Another indication of rain can be a ship or other objects in the distance that seem to float above the horizon.

If there are ships or houses in view, take a look at the smoke coming from
their funnels or chimneys.
Smoke that hangs down by the water’s surface means approaching rain. This happens because the lowering air pressure isn’t dense enough to support the particles in the exhaust.

Copyright © 2003 by Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, Inc.