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Old 08-15-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
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Forecasting weather the old fashioned way

My dad taught me two ways to forecast the weather without referring to the local weather forecast. He said the natives have used this for thousands of years.

1. Fireweed. This typically grows along the coast from Oregon up to Alaska. At the beginning of the summer, the upper part of the plant has flowe buds that start to move up to the top as summer moves along. YOu can approximate the amount of summer left by how many blooms are yet flower at the top. On our trip along the Oregon Coast back to B.C. I saw lots of Fireweed along the sides of roads. I am happy to say that there should be good weather late into the fall this year.

2. Train whistles. If you live about 3-5 miles from a railroad track, normally you won't hear the train whistle. But even if the sky is bright and clear, if you suddenly hear the train whistle/horn, there is an impending change in the weather. I think it is due to a temperature inversion layer that is there and the sound bounces off it, but I am no weather scientist. Got back on Aug. 3 from a 17 day camping trip to find warm temps. and bright blue skies and heard the train whistle. Mentioned it to DW. Sure enough, about 3 days later, there was a violent thunder and rain storm. DW said, oh crap, you were right again... Don't think dad was right about the natives on this one though.

I am sure there are other signs and methods used by the indeginous peoples in N.A.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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I was kind of thinking the same thing as your wife with the Natives hearing the train whistle haha.

You can also tell if a storm is on its way if dandelions, chickweed, clover and morning glory fold up their petals. Also when birds roost early. Fallen pine cones close up and return to their original shape when the air is full of humidity before a storm and open back up when the air dries out. I'm sure that this info was derived from native peoples.

Some native tribes used a stick made of birch suspended by sinew or a string to tell if it was going to storm. The stick would take on moisture when a storm was coming and sink on the string. It would rise to its original height as the air became drier and the storm passed.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:05 PM   #3
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This is what I use to forecast the weather.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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a cup of coffee can tell you the same thing. bubbles to the middle of the cup, low pressure. bubbles to the outside, high pressure.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:02 AM   #5
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I do my own forecasting. Its kind of a hobby, I guess. I have a decent home weather station, and I have the NOAA website for satellite images.

Weather forecasting is a game of diminishing returns, no matter what you consult. For instance, I can predict, with 100% certainty what the weather will be like in 10 minutes. For 1 hour from now, I probably can hit 98% accuracy. For the next 24 hours, I'm probably down to 85%, for the next 3 days, its 50-50. Anything more than 3 days away is an informed WAG.

When you see the TV weather reporter on Monday, saying what the Saturday weather looks like, just remember that he is using historical models that take into account what similar conditions like on a monday in the past has done by the next saturday. It does not mean he can tell what this set of circumstances will bring.

There is no way to guarantee accuracy that far out.

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Old 08-16-2012, 11:38 AM   #6
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Caution, Old wives tale about to be said for next day's weather:

red sky at night, sailors delight.

red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

I'll be damned if it isn't almost always right though.....
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:24 PM   #7
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we all seem to always revert to the simple stuff the more high tech we get.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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Every day is a sunny day. Some days we have hot sunny days and some days we get liquid sunshine.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:07 PM   #9
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Up here in Canada our liquid sunshine sometimes turns white and fluffy! Hate to when it does that!
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:52 PM   #10
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But if we did not have the white fluffy stuff how would we build our igloos?LOL
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