Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Weather Lore

I understand from the weather man on television that our weather is at long last set to change at the week-end into something warmer, though wetter.  This cannot come soon enough for me as I do feel the cold greatly and as I look out of the window here in North Yorkshire all the stone walls have still got their lining of snow.   On Friday friend W and I are hoping to go over to Kirby Lonsdale to meet friends; this means driving over the Pennines watershed and past one of the three peaks, Ingleborough, and I fully expect that there will still be snow on the peaks over that way.

How much more knowledgeable we are (or think we are) these days when talking about the weather.   We glibly speak of cold fronts, warm fronts, isobars and the position of the gulf stream.  Obviously all this information has built up in our heads through years of watching the weather forecast on the television.   In the days of radio it was just that wonderful Shipping Forecast which went round the coasts of the British Isles in such a poetic way and then a forecast for the land, which added an air of mystery to the whole thing.   Now the weather is laid bare so to speak - even if it is not always an accurate forecast.

Looking at the weather last night the weather man showed an area of yellow pushing away the blue that has blanketed the UK for the past few weeks.  It looks as though that yellow will be over here by the week-end, all being well.   It has already reached mainland Europe, where my God-daughter goes today to celebrate her first wedding anniversary with a trip to Paris for a few days - it should be lovely and warm as they step out of Eurostar.  (unlike her wedding this time last year when it was bitterly cold).

I'm afraid that the farmer, and most of his friends, take only scant notice of the weather forecast - they do seem to rely on weather lore.   The one I have heard repeatedly over the last few weeks is that the weather will not get warmer until the wind direction changes - it has been in the East for weeks and our warm wind is the West wind.   Mrs Nesbitt (Denise - see my side bar) must have been suffering even worse than us as she lives so near that bitterly cold North Sea.

But all the farmers round here are avid sky watchers - there are clouds coming in from a certain direction;  they don't like the look of that haze over the moor;  there still feels to be a frosty nip in the air at night.  I suppose years of working the land in all weathers makes them all into realists.  In the days when tractors were open to the elements (and before that when you walked up and down with horses) wet weather gear (or old sacks) was essential.   Now the farmer has heat, air-conditioning and radio in his tractor cab and the only complaint this week as he begins harrowing his fields is that the radio station keeps slipping off channel when he turns at the end of the field! 

12 comments:

John Gray said...

I go by the colour of the grass...
That deep hopeful green

Dave King said...

I do agree with you about the Shipping forecast. I was always fascinated by it, much more so than I have ever been by gulf streams and jet streams and so forth. Do you know the poem by Seamus Heaney which is almost a found poem from the shipping forecast?

Heather said...

Our youngest daughter, even as a young child, was fascinated by the Shipping Forecast and loved the names of the different areas.
I am eagerly waiting to find out if I will need a thermal vest under my wedding outfit for our eldest daughter's wedding on Saturday!

Arija said...

Yes, the weather. My husband was a professor of meteorology and when the children asked him what the day was going to be, he always advised them to look out the window and see for themselves, that he only studied the weather but was no prophet.
Oddly enough, our eldest grew up to have a 'feel' for the weather and predicted this year that we would have a long, hot, dry summer with a very late onset of autumn rain. We are well into autumn and sill waiting for the rain.

MorningAJ said...

Sole, Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea......

It was so romantic, wasn't it? Far nicer than all the isobars and bits of rain and dabs of cloud that they give us these days.

You know about my Dad's weather lore, of course. I'm with the farmer on this one. What's the weather going to be like? Check what the moles are doing. :)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

And don't forget arthritic knees that foretell rain. Pink sky at night, sailor's delight. I love the old rhymes and tales of weather predicting. When puffy clouds appear the look like sheep's wool - "if a man leads his sheep to water, can rain be far behind?" 'Ring around the moon, rain before noon".

Hope your wind direction changes soon.

Joanne Noragon said...

I wonder why I like reading about the Pennines. All the stories of English/Scottish struggles? James Harriott's landscape? The idea of a rugged road. I just don't know.

Em Parkinson said...

Both sheep and cows lie down here when it's about to rain. I always say 'it feels like snow' and it usually does! Very silly.

Cloudia said...

We have live into the 'future' indeed

Aloha

Woman Seeking Center said...

My crocus appeared today! So that's a good 'indicator' of better weather (or my crocuses are idiots, lol) We'll see.....!

Hugs
Issy

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for visiting. The forecast today tells us that we are going straight from winter into summer on Monday and missing out spring completely - oh for a warm, sunny day!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Did you read the book about the Shipping Forecast? I can't remember the author, but it's very interesting.

I think the farmers are quite wise with their weather lore, very often a long acquaintance with local weather conditions can mean reasonable ability to predict conditions