Weather Prognostications–Part 2

Picking up where we left off yesterday with the weather lore:

Of course there are the “sky” predictions.  The one I’ve grown up with is “Red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning,” but there are almost as many variations on that theme as there are months in the year I was surprised to find.  Almost every language has its own version too–Wikipedia cites French, Italian, and Norse variations on this saying, as well as quotes from literature and the Bible.

Not surprisingly this weather proverb has to do with observing atmospheric conditions and translating them into an easy to remember saying.  And while it doesn’t always hold true of course–what is always true about the weather–there is probably more truth to this than there is to any of the other lore.

If you want to try to figure out what’s going to happen this winter, this is what I watch.  The long range patterns generally start to settle in sometime in November.  They have to do with a flow called the North Atlantic Oscillation.  It can be in a positive phase, in which case we in the Northeast have a warmer winter, or a negative phase, in which case we have a colder winter.  You will hear the meteorolgists talking about this occasionally even on your local news, but you will definitely see it on weather sites and on the Weather Channel.

So if you’re really curious to know what kind of winter it’s going to be, keep your ear tuned for words about the NAO-positive or negative phase.

And I always know when a storm is coming–the goldfinch flock to my bird feeders in record numbers!

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