An Introduction to Weather Vanes


A weather vane (or wind vane) is an instrument for measuring wind direction. It is a simple instrument, consisting of an arrow, or any figure, mounted on a rod. This rod moves in the direction of the wind when there is breeze. The front part of the vane is more or less pointed and the back end is wide, so that even the slightest breeze will move the vane. The arrow turns until the wind is equally distributed on either side of the weather vane, making the front part indicate the exact direction of the wind. Wind vanes are placed in open and high places to catch the wind.

Weather vanes are one of the oldest wind instruments used by man. The oldest wind vane has been traced to the Tower of Winds in Athens, Greece, and dates back to 48 BC. Over the centuries, weather vanes have been used as ornaments to display the icons of various cultures, religions and countries. At one point of time, these weather vanes were most likely used as flags, as the origin of the word "vane" seems to have come from the Anglo-Saxon word "fane", which means flag.

Weather vanes have no doubt been used to represent patriotic feelings as depicted by the Federal Eagle and the Goddess of Liberty vanes. Weather vanes, even today, are used more as ornaments on buildings than for any other specific purpose. Even office buildings are sporting weather vanes with corporate logos etched on them. They can be custom designed, from the size of the vane, to the material used, and of course the design. Modern wind vanes are also mounted with an anemometer, a device for measuring the speed of the wind. They may also be connected to a remote reading station. Modern weather vanes are rust free and maintenance free.

Weather vanes are available in hundreds of models and designs. They can be crafted to suit the exact feature of the house, its location, and the unique taste of the customer. Weather vanes are available in wrought iron, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze or steel. They are made in different shapes ranging from simple arrows to shapes of animals, birds, humans, crests, exotic figurines, or a combination of these themes. Antique weather vanes are so much in demand that there are some dealers who specialize in recreating weather vanes to look like antiques. Though weather vanes are more popular for the "country" or "farm" look, they can add a graceful touch to any building. Weather vanes are also used as decorative items inside the house or even on desktops.


Source by Ross Bainbridge

Learn About Natural Weather Forecasting and How It Can Help Every Part of Your Life


As most everyone already knows, we did not always have scientific means to predict or forecast the coming weather. People long ago and even today use the other things to predict the weather; animal behavior, patterns they observe and good old fashion folklore and wives tales.

If for some unknown reason you were in a place that had nothing new and modern and you had to rely on something else then it never hurts to at least be aware of what is out there, so familiarize yourself with some of the old-time methods used. Of course these methods are neither perfect nor fool-proof, but they really do have their usefulness.


Deaths occur most often when the tide is going out.

Births occur when the tide is coming in.

You could measure the distance of a storm by counting from the flash of the lightning to the sound of thunder.

Winter thunder means snow within 10 days.

Make a campfire. The smoke should rise steadily. Smoke that swirls and descends is caused by low pressure (ie rain on the way).

Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and smell the air.

Plants release their waste in a low pressure atmosphere, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain.

Swamps will release gasses just before a storm because of the lower pressure, which leads to unpleasant smells.

A proverb says "Flowers smell best just before a rain." Scents are stronger in moist air, associated with rainy weather.

Grow some scarlet pimpernel – Known as the Poor Man's Barometer, its flowers close when atmospheric pressure decreases and rain is on the way. Dandelions and tulips do the same.

You can predict the weather with a persimmon seed. Here's how to do it:

Cut open a persimmon seed.

Look at the shape of the kernel inside.

If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow will fall. Spoon = shovel!

If it is fork-shaped, you can expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.

If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect to be "cut" by icy, cutting winds.

It's best to use ripe seeds.

Did you know that you can tell the temperature by counting the chirps of a cricket? It's true! Here's the formula:

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count numbers of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature.

Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70 ° F

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, and then add 4 to get temperature.

Example: 48 chirps / (divided by) 3 + 4 = 20 ° C

Reading a Pig's spleen can predict the weather

Divide the spleen from top to bottom into 6 parts.

The top closest to the head shows current month.

Bottom is the last of the six months.

Where the spleen thickens, a change in the weather is indicated, usually pointing to a cold spell.

Where there's a pronounced bulge, expect even more inclement weather.

Reading a Goose Bone

Watch the coloration as the bone dries.

If the bone turned blue, black, or purple, a cold winter lay ahead.

White indicated a mild winter.

Purple tips were a sure sign of a cold spring.

A blue color branching out toward the edge of the bone meant open weather until New Year's Day.

If the bone was a dark color, or blue all over, the prediction was for a real bad winter.

The woolly bear caterpillar -with its 13 distinct segments of black and reddish-brown-has the reputation of being able to forecast the coming winter weather. According to legend, the wider that middle brown section is (ie, the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. Conversely, a narrow brown band is said to predict a harsh winter.


If a deer or cow has extra layers of fat when slaughtered there will be a bad winter coming.

Cows that suddenly gather beneath large trees means rain is coming.

Expect rain when dogs eat grass.

Expect rain when cats purr and wash.

Expect rain when sheep turn into the wind.

Expect rain when oxen sniff the air.

Expect rain when swine are restless.

If the deer are out early grazing there is big storm coming.

Squirrels' nesting in dead trees instead of making nests of leaves mean a harsh winter.

If the cows in pastures are all lying down, it's a sure sign of rain.

If the bull leads the cows to pasture, expect rain.

if the cows precede the bull, the weather will be uncertain.

When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.

Bats flying late in the evening indicate fair weather.

If the groundhog sees its shadow on Candlemas Day (February 2), six more weeks of winter remain.

When horses and cattle stretch out their necks and sniff the air, it will rain.

If the mole digs its hole 2½ feet deep, expect severe weather.

If the mole digs its hole two feet deep, not so severe weather.

If the mole digs its hole one foot deep, expect a mild winter.

When pigs gather leaves and straw in all, expect a cold winter.

When rabbits are fat in October and November, expect a long, cold winter.

If sheep ascend hills and scatter, expect clear weather.

Wolves always howl more before a storm.


Birds singing in the rain indicates fair weather approaching.

If birds in the autumn grow tame, the winter will be too cold for game.

Partridges drumming in the fall mean a mild and open winter.

Chickens cackle and owls howl just before rain.

If crows fly in pairs, expect fine weather; a crow flying alone is a sign of foul weather.

When fowls roost in daytime, expect rain.

Seagulls tend to stop flying and take refuge at the coast if a storm is coming.

Animals, especially birds, get very quiet immediately before it rains.

The whiteness of a goose's breastbone indicates the kind of winter: A red of dark-spotted bone means a cold and stormy winter; few or light-colored spots mean a mild winter.

When domestic geese walk east and fly west, expect cold weather.

Hawks flying high means a clear sky. When they fly low, prepare for a blow.

Petrels' gathering under the stern of a ship indicates bad weather.

When the rooster goes crowing to bed, he will rise with watery head.

When seagulls fly inland, expect a storm.

When the swallow's nest is high, the summer is very dry.

When the swallow builds low, you can safely reap and sow.

A very old wives tale says if birds feed in a storm it will rain for a long time, if they do not it will clear soon.


If ants their walls do frequent build, rain will from the clouds be spilled.

Ants are busy, gnats bite, crickets sing louder than usual, spiders come down from their webs, and flies gather in houses just before rain.

When bees to distance wing their flight, days are warm and skies are bright; But when their flight ends near their come, stormy weather is sure to come.

Turtles often search for higher ground when a large amount of rain is expected. You will often see them in the road during this period (1 to 2 days before the rain.)

Fireflies in great numbers indicate fair weather.

When hornets build their nests near the ground, expect a cold and early winter.

When cicadas are heard, dry weather will follow, and frost will come in six weeks.

When spiders' webs in air do fly, the spell will soon be very dry.

Spiders in motion indicate rain.

If you kill a spider indoors, it will bring rain.

If you killed a snake hang it over a fence and it will rain.

When spider-webs are wet with dew that soon dries, expect a fine day.

Spider-webs floating at autumn sunset bring a night frost.

The louder the frogs croak, the more the rain.

Frogs singing in the evening indicates fair weather the next day.

Leeches kept in glass jars are active just before rain.

Hang up a snake-skin and it will bring rain.


Unusual clearness in the atmosphere, with distant objects seen distinctly, indicates rain.

Red skies at night, Sailor's delight. Red skies at morning, Sailor take warning.

Evening red and morning gray are sure signs of a fine day. Evening gray and morning red put on your hat or you'll wet your head.

If it rains before seven, it will clear before eleven.

When the wind blows the leaves on the trees upside down there will be a bad rain.

Rain from the south prevents the drought, but rain from the west is always best.

Anvil-shaped clouds bring on a gale.

A cloud with a round top and flat base carries rainfall on its face.

When small clouds join and thicken, expect rain.

Black clouds in the north in winter indicate approaching snow.

When there is enough blue sky to patch a Dutchman's breeches, expect clearing weather.

A curdle sky will not leave the earth long dry.

If you see clouds going crosswind, there is a storm in the air.

Hen scarts and filly tails make lofty ships wear low sails.

Clouds floating low enough to cast shadows on the ground are usually followed by rain.

Mackerel sky, mackerel sky, never long wet, never long dry.

If three nights dewless there be, ' twill rain, you're sure to see.

If heavy dew soon dries, expect fine weather; if it lingers on the grass, expect rain in 24 hours.

With dew before midnight, the next day sure will be bright.

If you wet your feet with dew in the morning, you may keep them dry for the rest of the day.

The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.

If you spot wispy, thin clouds up where jet airplanes fly, expect a spell of pleasant weather.

If small puff clouds (cumulus) in the morning or early afternoon have rounded tops and flat bases, if they grow higher than the cloud's width, then there's a chance of a thunderstorm forming.

Clear Moon, frost soon.

Ring around the moon and it will rain real soon.

If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form. Expect a chilly morning!

When clouds appear like towers, the Earth is refreshed by frequent showers.

Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning.

A rainbow in the morning indicates that a shower is west of us and we will probably get it.

Rain foretold, long last. Short notice, soon will pass.

The gray overcast dominating the horizon means a large area is affected.

If you get caught in a surprise shower, it's likely to be short-lived.

Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

When the moon points up, the weather will be good.

when the moon points down, it will rain.

When a large star, or planet, is near the moon, the weather will be violent.

If the new moon is on Monday, then the weather will be good.

If a new moon occurs on a Saturday, then there will be twenty days of wind and rain.

If a new moon occurs on a Sunday, there will be a flood before the month is over.

The strongest storms and hurricanes are likely to be 1-3 days after a new moon and 3-5 days after a full moon.

Fog and a small moon bring an easterly winds.

A dry moon is far north and soon seen.

If the new moon is far north, it will be cold for two weeks.

If the new moon is far south, it will be warm.

When the moon runs low, expect warm weather.


Source by Cori Bridges

An Introduction to Weather Forecasting


Weather forecasting is the use of science to predict the state of the atmosphere for a future time at a specific location.

People have tried predicting weather for a very long time now using a number of different methods, some of which proved effective while others did not work at all. Some people used a certain plant and looked at the flower of that plant to predict the weather, while others observed animal habits and predicted the weather according to their behavior.

Later on humans discovered that data collection of the current state of the atmosphere and use of knowledge of the atmospheric processes in order to predict the weather proved to be a lot more effective than observing animal and plant behavior.

Much later on, humans developed various instruments to measure things like pressure and temperature. The barometer, a device used to measure atmospheric pressure, proved extremely useful in weather prediction and is now still being used to predict the weather. The thermometer helped with checking the current temperature of the atmosphere and with enough of quantitative data collection and knowledge of the atmospheric processes, the future temperature can now be predicted.

Weather prediction is now a very essential part of our day to day lives as it helps us plan out the activities for the coming week. Without weather prediction, we would be left helpless and in total chaos. Weather forecasting has helped us to travel safer without getting caught in bad weather conditions like rain, snow, hail and fog. Without weather forecasting, our airplanes would be going down every day causing a lot of damage and loss of human life.

Weather forecasting has also helped the farmers who supply most of the food to the human populous. It helps them decide when to grow their crops and when to take extra care of them. With weather forecasting farmers can now be prepared for any bad weather which can possibly harm their crops.

There are a lot of instruments that are available in the market today to help us predict weather. A weather forecaster , home weather station or an electronic weather station are On the three options of forecasting instruments you can get. Technology has played a major role in helping us predict the weather more accurately and with a lot less effort.

There are numerous different electronic weather forecasting instruments that are made for amateur meteorologists and you no longer have to depend on the television forecasts or the daily newspaper. Weather forecasting is a great achievement for the human race and the techniques used for predicting the weather will definitely become more accurate.


Source by Leona Smith

What Are Weather Patterns?


Before we can look into common weather patterns, it is important to first define some terms. In many cases, people may confuse climate with weather. In simple terms, climate is the general average atmospheric conditions in a certain region for a long period of time which is most commonly placed at about more or less 3 decades. Hence, the climate of a place remains relatively unchanged for years.

A place's climate however does not imply that one region will be warm, cold, stormy or calm everyday for thirty years. There can be brief changes in atmospheric conditions in every region. This is what is known as the weather. When these brief changes are over, the atmosphere returns to more or less its average conditions.

Common weather patterns are directly related to climate. Some experts define climate as the general average weather pattern for a particular location. In other words a long term weather pattern can sometimes be understood as climate. Weather patterns can also be understood as the manner in which various types of weather are spread or distributed across the planet.

Weather patterns are important in forecasting. Sometimes, one is able to predict what the next day's weather will be based on the concept of persistence. Today's weather may repeat or persist until the following day. This is especially true in regions where the common weather patterns are usually consistent or unchanging atmospheric conditions. This is easily seen in warm regions where summers are consistently warm for several months.

Weather patterns are also important tools for yearly forecasts. One can reasonably assume that the weather in one particular month or season will be relatively the same in the same month or season in the following year. You will notice this by taking note of particular days and comparing them to the same days in the following year. This is basic layman's forecasting for you and is especially useful if you want to plan certain events or occasions like trips or weddings.

Knowledge of common weather patterns is therefore supposed to be very useful. As some of us may have recently noticed though, weather patterns are not always what they used to be. All of a sudden, we experience extreme warmth or destructive hurricanes with little warning. Two types of unpredictable extreme weather conditions are known as El Nino and La Nina.

In El Nino, Pacific Ocean waters get warmer and can lead to high temperatures and rain. In La Nina, Pacific Ocean waters get colder. Depending on where you live, La Nina can lead to warmer or colder weather and dry conditions.

A number of climate and weather experts blame the changes in atmospheric conditions to global warming. Human greenhouse gas emissions may be the reason for our current inability to accurately predict weather patterns.


Source by Robert Leverton

Southern Caribbean Weather – Best and Worst Times to Go


Southern Caribbean weather is an important part of planning any cruise to that part of the world.

Caribbean cruises usually are divided into three regions – eastern, western and southern. Most cruises average about seven days and visit four or five ports in a region.

Southern Caribbean cruise destinations often include some of the following destinations:

  • Aruba
  • Barbados
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Maarten

Average Temperatures

The average high temperatures remain in the 80s Fahrenheit for most southern Caribbean destinations year round, according to statistics from the World Weather Organization.

Those average highs stay in the 80s even during the winter, which is why southern Caribbean cruises remain popular during that time of the year. Seawater temperatures remain warm enough for swimming.

The average highs reach the high 80s during the summer and edge up to 90 for a few locations such as Aruba.

Average monthly low temperatures occur mainly at night and reach the low 70s in the winter for Antigua, Barbados and others, and they reach the high 70s during the summer. As a result, nightlife stays active and popular throughout the year.

Average Rainfall

Rainfall is a much bigger consideration for southern Caribbean weather because of the annual hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and peaks for most places in September and October.

The ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, which are located about 30 miles off the coast of Venezuela, lie below the hurricane belt and usually (but not always) avoid the worst tropical storms and hurricanes of the season.

That's why these islands see less of a decline for tourists during the worst months of the hurricane season.

Otherwise, the ABC islands are quite arid and receive little rainfall during the remainder of the year.

Other islands such as Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Maarten receive moderate rainfall throughout most of the year except for a brief rainy season in May.

Rainfall starts to climb for most of those islands in August and reaches high points in September, October and sometimes November before starting to drop again in December.

Best Times to Go

December through April are among the best times to go to the southern Caribbean because of a combination of warm temperatures and a lower chance of rain.

The risk rises slightly in May because of the brief rainy season, drops again in June and July and jumps in the fall.

Anyone with an appetite for risk and seeking lower prices might consider going in the fall, but travel insurance would be wise to consider to protect against bad weather.


Source by Scott Bateman

Panama Canal Weather – Best and Worst Months to Go


Panama Canal weather is a major factor in deciding when to take a cruise through this popular Central American destination.

The main reason comes down to one word – rain.

Panama Canal cruises usually embark from ports on both the western and eastern coasts of the United States.

Anyone leaving from an eastern port such as Miami or Fort Lauderdale will typically visit one or two destinations in the Caribbean before entering the canal at Colon, drifting through the countryside to Panama City and then traveling up the western coasts of Central America, Mexico and the US until reaching the end of the journey in places such as San Diego before flying home.

People leaving from the west coast of the US will simply do the opposite, although they are more likely to visit extra destinations on the western coasts of Mexico and Central America than anything in the Caribbean.


Panama receives widely varying rainfall patterns despite the fact that it is slightly smaller than the state of South Carolina.

Panama City historically receives light rainfall from January through April with an average ranging between one and three inches a month, according to the World Weather Organization.

Rainfall picks up dramatically in May with the total reaching up to nine inches on average through August.

It exceeds 10 inches in September and peaks at 13 inches in October before dropping back to 10 inches in November.

It rains an average of 20 days in October.

The Caribbean coast of the country is much less predictable with rain exceeding 22 inches in Bocas Del Torro during December – the same month when Panama City averages only four inches.

January, March and May have less rainfall on average than other months.

For these reasons, the typical Panama Canal cruise takes place only certain months of the year, such as March.


Temperatures are much more predictable.

Panama City averages in the low to mid 90s Fahrenheit during the day year round.

The average lows are in the mid to upper 60s most months.

The east coast is slightly cooler with average highs in the upper 90s and average lows hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.


The Panama Canal cruise season usually lasts from October through April.

But the best months to go are December and later. A cruise in October or November has a higher chance of heavy rains.


Source by Scott Bateman

Jamaica Weather – Best and Worst Times to Go


Jamaica weather in certain months of the year makes the island a great place to visit, while other months make it a place to avoid.

This island has steady warm weather, lush vegetation and interesting people. Jamaica is the third most popular destination in the Caribbean and is located only 600 miles south of Miami, FL.

It is an especially popular resort destination and has major attractions including Dunn's River Falls and the capital at Kingston.

Average Jamaica weather is slight warmer than most Caribbean destinations. Despite the lush vegetation, it receives slightly less rain as well.

Average Temperatures
The average monthly high temperature is nearly 89 degrees Fahrenheit and the average monthly low is 73 degrees, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

The average Jamaica temperatures peak between 90 and 91 degrees in June, July and August.

They moderate only slightly at about 87 degrees in December, January, February and March, making the island one of the warmer Caribbean destinations year-round.

Average Rainfall
Rainfall is 2.7 inches a month. The average number of rain days is 7.8 a month.

Rainfall is sparse from December through April. It increases in May to four inches total, drops in June and July and starts to pick up again in August, September and October.

That's because the annual Caribbean hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and reaches a high point of activity during the fall.

Islands such as Jamaica are rarely hit directly by a hurricane, but they often feel the effects and do see a spike in storm activity.

In the case of Jamaica, the worst month for rain historically is October.

Jamaica weather in October has the worst rainfall at seven total inches, followed by September and May. October also averages 14 rainy days during the month.

Best Times to Go
The island is most popular with visitors in July. It is least popular in September and October.

Anyone planning a Jamaica vacation should consider December through April, June and July as months when the weather is in their favor.

They should avoid September, November, May and especially October as the months with the highest rainfall and the highest number of rainy days.

The months with the worst weather also usually have the best prices for all-inclusive resorts.

Anyone willing to take on the risk of going to Jamaica during the fall months might consider travel insurance for extra protection.


Source by Scott Bateman

Western Caribbean Cruise Weather – Best Months to Go


Western Caribbean cruise weather can be fickle for anyone planning a vacation there because of intense rain in the fall. The western Caribbean is made up of a small number of islands such as Jamaica, Roatan off Honduras and the Cayman Islands. It also includes the Mexican island of Cozumel plus the Central American countries that face the Caribbean Sea, especially Honduras, Panama, Belize and Costa Rica. Most western Caribbean cruises include some combination of the above destinations.

Average Temperatures
Most destinations have average high temperatures each month ranging from the mid-80s Fahrenheit in the winter to the high 80s and even low 90s in the summer. Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cozumel have average high temperatures above 90 during the summer months and are the warmest of the western destinations. Belize and Costa Rica are not as warm in part because of the cooler rain forests and mountainous areas.

Average low temperatures for the region range from the mid 60s to the low 70s in the winter to the mid 70s and sometimes higher in the summer. Keep in mind that low air temperatures also mean low sea water temperatures for people who like swimming and sunbathing. The Cayman Islands have the coolest lows of any destination in the region.

Average Rainfall
The annual Caribbean hurricane season goes from June 1 to Nov. 30. The months with the most storms and hurricanes – usually two to four per month – are August, September and October. Most destinations see the highest rainfall in September and October. Total rain can go as high as eight to 10 inches in a single month for places such as Cozumel, a popular cruise port of call. Costa Rica can receive much more, but much of it falls inland rather than on the coast. Note that inland excursions such as the country's popular zip lining have a high chance of rain.

Best Months to Go
The safest months for western Caribbean cruise weather are in the spring and summer for their combination of warm temperatures and relatively low amounts of rain. The riskiest months are December through February because of cool temperatures and September and October because of heavy rain. However, the risky months also tend to have lower prices for cruises.

Weather Forecasts
Even when forecasts call for rain, the rainfall may be brief and intense rather than long and steady. The forecast may call for rain when choosing a last-minute cruise, but the weather may still be good overall.


Source by Scott Bateman