You Can Follow The Sun But You Can’t Out-Run The Rain
You know, in my home country of Great Britain most people go on holiday purely because they want some sun. In a country where umbrellas are practically a third limb, I guess its quite understandable that people find themselves craving a bit of assured sunlight and warmth. In fact, if you ask returning, sunburnt, vacationers how their holidays were the first thing they will say is “Oh, it was lovely and sunny”. Sometimes however pale & sullen returning vacationers will deliver the unthinkable “It rained every day” which is tantamount to saying “the holiday was ruined and we wish had stayed at home”. If only they had downloaded, Weather Bug, a free weather app before departing!
I too like to feel the sun on my back and I fully relish the opportunity to showcase my body art in a man vest. But I also love the weather in all of its manifestations be they rain or shine. Whilst its important to remember that the weather can indeed make or break our day, I still love experiencing the full roulette of what nature has to offer.
Everywhere You Go, You Always Take The Weather With You
Over the course of my travels I have come across some truly fantastic weather systems. I have watched monsoon rain’s in Colombia flood colonial streets knee high within a matter of minutes, I have choked on sandstorms blowing in from across the Indian desert and watched silent lightning in Venezuela illuminate the skies all night long.
I have also seen some truly madcap native ways to predict the coming weather. Here are some of the best;
In Himalayan Nepal, the community will sit around an open fire and a village elder will throw salt in to it. The elder will then divine the forecast by interpretation the sound it makes as it crackles. This method is still used in rural communities and is used to predict the coming of winter and the setting of the snows and is used to determine when to make long journeys over the mountain passes.
The Yogi people of the Tyrone region live a simple life deep in the Sierra Nevada jungle that hasn’t changed much since before the Spanish arrive. They worship the mountains and the sea and in order to predict when the rains are coming by the bend of the trees and the way the leaves would apparently change texture and shade before a downpour. I, on the other hand, was left speechless as I watched an unexpected deluge flood the streets of Cartagena and thwart my plans to leave town.
The sparawling sub-continent of India combines ancient spiritual practices and everyday superstition with modern science. In my journeys across India, I encountered numerous folk traditions which natives used to predict the weather systems be they heatwaves, desert winds or the famous Indian summer monsoon. In Andhra Pradesh locals observe the flying patterns of the Storks, circles apparently indicating a light monsoon. Others examine an edible fruit known locally as the Forest Flame as the early maturity of its seed indicates an early rainy season.
In other parts of India frogs kept in earthen clay, jars are used (much to the annoyance of animal rights groups).
Back in Blighty most of us get our weather fix from the BBC. However, we also take their report with a pinch of salt (which we then throw in a fire to listen to its crackles…) as trust in its accuracy has been strained ever since Michael Fish famously predicted a hurricane in 1980 (we’re still waiting for it…).
Therefore Highland farmers in Scotland’s far North rely on more traditional methods. The old adage “red sky at night shepherds delight, red sky in morning shepherd morning” is a mantra for life up there and herders are always mindful to pay close attention to exactly what there livestock are doing; if the cows suddenly decide to lay down, then it’s about to rain.
Never Again Do You Have To Let The Rain Ruin Your Parade
Whilst I do relish the unpredictability of nature, sometimes I really could do with knowing whether or not to pack a sweater or whether I should postpone that day hike until tomorrow. Yes sometimes I need to predict the weather but how? I’m a rational, modern western man and personally, I don’t know if crackling salt means sun or snow. Thankfully though, I have Weather bug, a free weather app, to help me.
Weather Bug is powered by the world’s biggest matrix of professional weather stations. It provides the fastest weather alerts with real-time conditions, accurate hourly forecasts & even ten-day forecasts. It also includes 18 weather maps including Doppler radar, satellite, lightning alerts, precipitation, local temperature, local pressure, local radar, wind chill, heat index, humid, wind, pollen, UV and much more!
Wherever I go in the world, whether Wethertop or Wetherby, I know that my weather app has my back and I’ll be fully prepared for everything; whatever the weather.