Why is England obsessed by the weather? According to experts, it’s because of the way the land lies in England. We should have weather a lot colder than it is (a bit like Scandinavia). But we have a warm Gulf Stream, and this means we are one of the few countries in the world, where the weather changes so much. Not many countries have four seasons, nor sometimes four seasons in one day!
In fact, we talk about the weather so much, that there are many folklore sayings about it. But do you know which ones are true? Let’s ask the Met Office:
- Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. This was originally from the Bible (the Gospel of Matthew) and is actually true, as red skies appear when high pressure is coming from the west, meaning it should be fine the next day. Red sky next morning means high pressure has moved east, so the good weather has gone.
- Rain before 7, fine by 11. It may seem that often we hear rain in the morning and it’s cleared by lunchtime. But it doesn’t happen that often, not so much to make a saying of it anyway!
- When it’s about to rain, cows lie down. There is no proof that cows are sensitive to the moisture in the air. The Met Office says it could just be, that the cows are having a nice rest!
- Pine cones open, when good weather is upon us. This is true. Pine cones open out in dry weather due to humidity, and then close up again when it rains.
- It’s too cold to snow. This is a myth. It is true that cold air holds less moisture. But it can still hold some. If you have ever visited Scandinavia, you will know that it is not too cold to snow!
Books to Learn (then talk about) Weather
- What Does Rain Smell Like? is a book by two of our top meteorologists, who answer 100 questions to things you wanted to know about the weather. In this book, you’ll learn why rain doesn’t fall all at once, why the sky is blue, what UV light and ozone layers mean, what the weather is like on other planets and how rainbows are formed.
- The Weather Detective helps you to discover nature’s secret signs. Peter Wohlleben invites us to become an expert and take a closer look at the signs that clouds, wind, plants and animals convey. Passionate about nature, he combines research with charming anecdotes to explain the extraordinary cycles of life, death and regeneration evolving on our doorstep. A walk in the park will never be the same as you learn how chaffinches become weather prophets, bees can work as thermometers and courgettes tell us the time!
- A Cloud A Day is a book by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who founded the Cloud Appreciation Society, which includes over 50,000 cloudspotters. Together, they capture and share the most remarkable skies – from sublime thunderstorms to perfect sunsets. This beautifully illustrated book features 365 skies selected by them, with photographs by sky enthusiasts around the world, satellite images and photographs of clouds in space, as well as skies from great artists over the centuries. Includes poems about clouds.
- How to Read Water is a book by natural navigator Tristan Gooley. He can show you over 700 clues, signs and patterns to spot dangerous water in the pitch black (with the help of a clock face), forecast the weather from waves, decipher wave patterns on beaches and find your way with puddles!
- Weather for Hillwalkers is an essential read, if you like hiking in the hills. Malcolm Thomas shows you how to understand the principles of the causes of wind, rain, snow, cloud, fog, thunder and clear skies. And how they are affected by mountains and high ground. You will learn about depressions, warm and cold fronts, air masses and how to interpret weather maps, and how to make short-term weather forecasts for yourself.
Music Break: Weather With You
This is really cool and clever: