Weather Watching

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Weather Prediction

Post by wannabemountainman on Thu 19 Apr 2012, 14:38



Wildlife Indicators - Animals have a great sensitivity to atmospheric pressure which aids them in predicting the weather a day or two in advance. Insect eating birds, such as swallows feed higher in good weather and lower when a storm is approaching. Unusual rabbit activity during the day or squirrels taking more food than usual can all be signs to bad weather approaching. Some other wildlife signs of possible weather changes include cattle grazing downhill, sparrows bathing in sand, fish jumping, frogs creaking and bees staying close to the hive.



Fireside Clues - If the smoke from the camp fire rises steadily, the weather is settled and likely to remain calm. If it starts swirling or being beaten downwards after rising a short way, this can indicate the likely approach of a storm or shower. Wooden tool handles tighten at the approach of stormy weather and Salt picks up increasing dampness in the air and will not run.



Feeling In Your Bones - Curly haired people can find their hair becomes tighter and less manageable as bad weather approaches and the same can happen with animal fur. Anyone with rheumatism, corns or similar ailments can often tell when wet weather is coming by an increase in their discomfort.



Sound and Smell - When wet weather is on the way, sounds tend to carry further than usual and distant noises seem more clear as the moisture laden atmosphere can carry sounds further. But compare like to like and remember sound always travels better over water. The smell of trees and plants can become more distinctive before the arrival of rain as vegetation opens ready to receive it.



Signs In The Sky - "Red at night, shepherd's delight, red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning" is one of the oldest weather sayings. Since the red sun, or a red sky at sunset indicates that the atmosphere holds less moisture it is less likely that rain or snow will occur within the next couple of hours, but equally a red sky in the morning is a fair indication that a storm is approaching. Early morning mist lifting from a valley is a sure sign of fair weather, as is a rainbow in the late afternoon. A Clear night sky is an indication of good, settled weather too. However, at the end of the summer it may also be a warning of frost. Cold air, being heavier than warm air will fill the hollows so avoid camping in them. If you can, learn to observe any wind and pressure changes and keep a record of the weather and the conditions which precede it and what they develop into.


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Weather Watching

Post by wannabemountainman on Thu 19 Apr 2012, 14:32

Thursday, April 12, 2012







Survival Awareness: Anticipating Weather Changes Before They Hit















Surviving in the wilderness requires surmounting
numerous obstacles. Do you know the terrain  and can you handle it? Have you
done adequate planning
for survival foods
? Can your body withstand the physical challenge? Will
you face animals, illnesses, or other forms of prey?





All of these questions are essential items to
consider. And all of the obstacles they imply, while not always manageable, can
certainly be controlled to some extent. You can consult maps and visuals to
familiarize yourself with the terrain. You can compile a long
term food storage list
to insure sufficient supplies. You can also train
yourself rigorously for the challenge. You can also bring medications and a
good first aid kit or weapons to ward off an attack.





But perhaps the biggest obstacle posed by the
wilderness is the one that humans are least capable of controlling: climate.
While we can always put on more layers of clothing to fight the cold or escape
uphill from a flooding river, we cannot turn a hailstorm into a drizzle or a
heat wave into a cool breeze. No matter how prepared we are in every other
regard, we simply can never insure a moderation of temperature, precipitation,
and unforeseen weather events.




















We can’t control the weather while in the wilderness
but we can still take steps to do the next best thing – anticipate it. Here are
a few tips to help you in this task:








1. Carry a barometer. There are several instruments you can carry to gauge
weather, but none is more simple or helpful than a basic barometer. If the
pressure indicator quickly changes, you’ll know without a doubt that something
is happening in the air.





2. Keep your eyes up. It goes without saying that you should always scan
the horizon for storm clouds and other impending weather patterns. But, while
doing so, you can also look at trees, hillsides, and rivers in the distance, if
possible. One of the benefits of the wilderness is its ability to provide
distant vistas. These vistas can give you a look into your climactic future.





3. Watch the wildlife. As you probably know, animals are much better
programmed to sense impending weather changes than are humans. This means that
unusual animal activity – often most clearly displayed by flight patterns of
birds in the sky – can alert you to an encroaching weather pattern.





4. Monitor your fluid intake. Sometimes the temperature (or the humidity) rises or
drops slowly, making it difficult to quickly discern the change. But your body
will react faster than your mind in such a situation as well as in others. For
this reason, drinking whenever you’re thirsty and monitoring your consumption
can go a long ways towards giving you an idea of changing factors at play.





These tips can hopefully help you better anticipate a
change in weather before it hits. Doing so can give you time to prepare
yourself for a dangerous situation, either by changing locations, setting up
camp, or increasing your nutrient intake. Ultimately, while we can’t make bad
weather go away, we are still in control of our bodies and – with some
foresight – we can better manage how we respond to it.

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