• Take the weather with you…

    Here’s our handy guide to help you find out what the weather will be doing this weekend without turning on the radio, TV or PC.

    • Knowing your clouds is crucial – rain is coming if they become very large. Anvil-shaped cumulonimbus lean towards hail, thunder and lightning. Puffy white cumulus are fair-weather clouds, as they often form on the top of hot air currents.
    • Look to nature for clues too – in dry weather pine cones shrivel and become stiff but if moisture is on its way, then they become more flexible and return to a cone shape. Morning glory and scarlet pimpernel close their petals when rain is coming, and kelp swells and becomes damp to touch.
    • Wildlife and domestic animals can sense weather changes as well. Birds can detect shifts in pressure and low pressure brings clouds, wind and rain.
    • There is some sense in the old sayings from the past too: ‘Seabirds, stay out from the land, we won’t have good weather while you’re on the sand.’ Also ‘Swallows high, staying dry, swallows low, wet will blow’ – insects that birds feed on tend to be up high on the thermal currents in good weather, so this definitely has some merit.