Weather lore has been used for centuries to predict the weather, and while some sayings have scientific backing, others are mere myths. Observing animal behavior and cloud formations were relied upon before technology became available. Sailors shared their observations in logs, with phrases such as “mackerel clouds in the sky, expect more wet than dry.” This saying is based on observing altocumulus clouds, which form before large storms. Another saying, “red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning,” is generally true, with red skies at sunset a sign of high pressure and stable air, while red sunrise signifies that good weather has passed and signals a potential storm. However, sayings related to animal behavior may be misleading, such as predicting the severity of an upcoming winter based on the length of a woolly bear caterpillar’s black band. Weather experts believe that observations must be based on multiple experiments and observations to be reliable. Storm chasers use basic observations, along with technology, to predict weather behavior, but picking up on atmospheric clues and interpreting them correctly is the key.
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