Talkin' Outdoors

Big snow storm in Baton Rouge? What? How the heck did that happen when folks in north Louisiana didn’t see a flake? Why couldn’t we up this way at least see a few flakes falling? The weather system was set up perfectly for moisture and cold temperatures meeting up down south at the right time while up here, all we got was cold temperatures and photos flooding the internet of snow men from our friends as far south as Terrebonne Parish.

With this phenomenon in mind, I dusted off a list of weather facts I had gathered over the years, several from my mother who could predict upcoming weather events better than meteorologists Neil Shaw or Tom Pierson could ever hope to accomplish.

Perhaps we could save ourselves time and frustration by devoting more attention to a list of these ancient weather indicators my mom and historians compiled.

Here are some of what the old-timey prognosticators came up with:

1. If the sun sets behind a bank of clouds on Thursday, it will rain before Sunday.

2. Lightening in the south means dry weather.

3. A red sunset means clearing weather; a yellow sunset indicates rain.

4. When a chicken’s tail feathers spread on in the wind, rain is on the way.

5. If it thunders in the morning before 7:00, it’ll rain before 11:00; if it rains before 7:00, it will be clear by 11:00.

6. Heavy fur on a squirrel means a hard winter ahead; thin fur foretells a mild winter.

7, Three months after you hear the first katydid, there’ll be a killing front.

8. For every fog in August, there will be a snow in winter.

9. If it frosts before November 23, it will be a bad winter.

10. The hotter the summer, the colder the following winter.

11. If smoke settles toward the ground, bad weather is on the way. If it rises, look for clearing skies.

12. A tilted moon with the points facing downward smacks of rain.

13 Rain is also indicated when leaves show their backs, when a herd of cows lie down, when birds fly low, and when earthworms come to the top of the ground.

14. When there is a ring around the moon, it is bound to rain, and if you count the visible stars within that ring, you can tell how many days before it rains.

15. If it rains on Easter, look for rain the next seven Sundays.

16. If it rains on the full of the moon, you can expect rainy weather until the moon quarters.

17. When you hear a screech owl, you can bet fair weather in on the way.

18. The twelve days after Christmas indicate what each month of the year will be like.

19. If it thunders in February, it will frost on that day in April.

I have not put all these old predictions to the test but I grew up believing some of them because my mama believed them and if mama said so, you could take it to the bank. For example, mama firmly believed in the “thunder in February; frost in April” (number 19 above) theory and this has proven to be true more times than not. The same has proven to be dead on for number 5 above “thunder before 7:00; rain before 11:00."

Yesterday I saw a herd of cows lying down in the pasture across the road. The weatherman says we may get rain Sunday. When cows and weathermen agree, you can book it.